Justine Umali

She Can’t Be Tamed: A Perspective On Miley Cyrus

Justine Umali
Justine Umali

Miley Cyrus is the most unpredictable and controversial figure in recent pop culture.  While most celebrities teeter towards originality, Cyrus races to it with gusto.  If there is an elephant in the room, she rides it. The moment she is put in a box, Cyrus kicks open the top and twerks her way out.  Miley has guts.  She is unafraid to make bold decisions, as seen in the recent release of her free album, Miley Cyrus and her Dead Petz. Dead Petz is the one of most innovative and wacky albums mainstream pop music has seen in quite a while.  The record is co-produced by The Flaming Lips and features tracks with titles such as “I’m so Drunk”, “Pablow the Blowfish”, and “Fweaky.”  I highly recommend it. Dead Petz is psychedelic yet glossy, vapid yet intelligent– it is an experience.  Cyrus does not follow the current trend of bass-dropping ballads about loving yourself, and instead bangs on her piano to a tune about her dead blowfish.  Miley is a breath of fresh air in the smog cloud that is mainstream pop music, and whether her “haters” realize it or not, she is paving the world a sparkly, rainbow-covered path to social acceptance all while being herself.

Miley Cyrus naysayers use the same excuses to support their hate. They whine, “I miss the old Miley,” and “Miley used to be a role model on Hannah Montana, but now she’s crazy.” To those remarks I say one thing; cry about it. Cyrus was ELEVEN when filming Hannah Montana.  Have you not changed since you were eleven? Have you not become less innocent? According to the Washington Post, around 20% of 18-25 year olds smoke marijuana, so do not make it seem like the singer’s infatuation with the substance is anything out of the ordinary.  Miley indulges in the same illegal activities as many other US teens, the only difference being that the average teenager’s life is not documented and exploited for the world to see.

As for those who believe Cyrus should alter her behaviors because of her younger audience, I present you two arguments.  Miley Cyrus should not have to live her life for the public.  How would you feel if you had to censor your life for the benefit of eight to ten year olds?  Also, if you have such a huge problem with having your child witness Cyrus’s performances– do not watch them. Every TV owner has a remote to switch the channel from the VMAs to Nick Jr. If you worry about Miley poisoning the minds of your oh so precious youth via the internet, turn on parental controls.  She can be easily blocked out of your life. Cyrus tends to be featured in adult-oriented materials.  Instead of being on the cover of Teen Beat, Miley is now the face of PAPER magazine, a lesser known adult magazine.  Same goes for the VMAs.  If you really want to shelter your child from anything provocative, they really should not be watching the VMAs or any awards show to begin with.

Miley is just the cherry on top; aside from her there are several other explicit performances and skits that no one seems to have complaints about.  Maybe this hatred towards Ms. Cyrus is simply an unwillingness to admit one’s captivation with her? The reason people do not shut their screens off is because people cannot take their eyes off of Miley. There is a constant inner commentary of, what is she wearing? What were those lyrics? What is she going to do next? Instead of replacing such commentary with hate, just submit to them.

One must not forget a special type of Miley “haters”: the nostalgia-freaks.  A common complaint about Cyrus is her “decline in quality” from Hannah Montana.  Sorry to break it to you, but Hannah Montana was not that good.  Do not get me wrong, I love the feeling of reliving my childhood through a push of a button, but the show had a poor critical reception.  With a weak 4.6 out of 10 score on IMDb, whether you want to realize or not, the show was corny.  And although this cheesiness gave the show its charm, the quality of Miley’s output has taken a significant hike.

Now, we must address Miley’s societal impact.  Most people tend to brush over how Miley Cyrus is a LGBT rights champion, but she does more than just verbally support the cause. Miley runs her own nonprofit, “The Happy Hippie Foundation.”  With such an offbeat title, one could easily mistake the charity as a joke or side project of Cyrus’, but it is indeed the opposite. Happy Hippie states their mission as “to rally young people to fight injustice facing homeless youth, LGBTQ youth and other vulnerable populations.” Many may brush this manifesto in with the plethora of celebrity organizations that are more active on a resúme than in society itself, but Cyrus truly champions her cause.  The singer gave up her MTV VMA Video of the Year award speech to one of the charities’ homeless youth.      

    Additionally, Miley also uses the organization to assist in wildlife conservation. Her newest campaign “#SaveBCWolves” is Cyrus’s attempt to use her social media presence in order to garner donations to fight against trophy hunting.  She started the hashtag after visiting British Columbia and witnessing the scarcity of the British Columbian wolves due to such trophy hunting.  All funds from the campaign go to Happy Hippie’s partner with Pacific Wild, an organization that specifies in wildlife preservation in the British Columbian area.  With several other hashtag revolutions under her belt such as “#SupportAFriendWhoIsComingOut” and “#LGBTHistory,” it is blatant that Cyrus uses social media as a tool to promote charity work just as much as she uses it as an outlet for her absurd outfits.

Miley Cyrus does what she wants and lives as her truest self, encouraging millions to do the same.  If you don’t like Miley’s agenda, well… it doesn’t really matter.  Because as Cyrus belts on her track “Do My Thang”: Every single night and every single day, Imma do my thang, Imma do my thang.” So just let her do her “thang”.  Or better yet, stop worrying about Miley’s life, and try doing your own “thang”.

CJ Jerkovich
staff writer 

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