Column by Hayleigh Syens
“Hannah Montana” was my favorite show when it was in its prime. I thought Miley Cyrus was funny, I liked her music and I thought her outfits were cool. I was also in middle school. Now, at 19, I can say that I think Miley Cyrus is funny (come on y’all, she went out in public in a unicorn onesie. That’s comedy.) As much as I don’t want to, I still like her music. I wouldn’t call her outfits cool per se, but they’re certainly interesting (I could totally rock that unitard that says “Dope” in her “We Can’t Stop” video).
The point here is that Cyrus grew up just like all of her fans and target audience did. No one seems that upset that I traded in my ruffled, denim miniskirts and IM lingo for the occasional crop top and swear word. Why has everyone decided that Cyrus has to stay perpetually 13 in order to be respected?
I will admit that Cyrus’ performance at the VMAs was shocking and a little embarrassing to watch. I think she probably should have kept her distance from the very married Robin Thicke, and the Hamburger Helper foam finger is probably scarred for life.
But consider the stage. The MTV VMAs are known for being a place for artists to push the limits (remember the Britney/Madonna kiss? The Lil’ Kim nipple pasty?) Also, Lady Gaga bared her entire behind during her performance as opposed to just the bottom cheekage like Cyrus, and no one seemed concerned. I doubt Cyrus would have had such a risqué performance at a different, more formal awards show.
The VMAs have a more casual, club-like atmosphere. No one even blinks an eye when girls Jersey Turnpike all over randos on the dance floor while they’re out for a night on the town.
In terms of the new “Wrecking Ball” video (which just broke Vevo’s record for most views in 24 hours), I was initially confused as to why Cyrus felt the need to lick a sledgehammer (unsanitary) and ride a wrecking ball completely nude (also unsanitary not to mention probably quite cold).
However, Cyrus explained that the nudity is a metaphor for her vulnerability in the relationship that inspired “Wrecking Ball.” She’s obviously thinking before she acts, and we should be encouraging the artists of our time to be thoughtful and creative.
They might make some mistakes along the way (I’d love to hear the explanation behind Cyrus’ VMA hair), but we can’t expect anyone to get it right every time.
Cyrus isn’t concerned about her younger fans because most of them were in diapers when her career started. It isn’t fair to expect a star to constantly appeal to every audience (Britney Spears’ new single “Work B***h” certainly wasn’t aimed toward kids who are the age I was when I bought her first CD).
So, in the words of Cyrus’ best friend Leslie, “She’s just being Miley.” I applaud her for being fearless and being herself.
Keep doing you and eating that alphabet soup that spells twerk, Miley, regardless of what the haters say.
Syens is a sophomore magazine journalism major and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org