Team Miley

Credit to: Billboard.com

Credit to: Billboard.com

I logged into my Spotify account this morning to play my jams, but Spotify clearly knew what my jam would be even before I did. Cue mildly disturbing thought: have we reached the point where technology knows us better than we know ourselves? Oh wait, it’s just those silly marketing and personalization tactics I spent four years in college studying. Anyway, I digress….

The message that popped up on my screen was this: You’ve been listening to a lot of We Can’t Stop by Miley Cyrus lately. Play now?

Why yes, Spotify, I would like to “play now” – I’ve only been listening to that song nonstop over the past week. It’s catchy, danceworthy, and sung by Hannah Montana Miley Cyrus herself. The song began, and in the midst of bouncing around in my chair, I started to think of poor Miley and how she has clearly gone off the deep end.

Not.

Fox News has labeled Miley’s video and her lyrics extreme, risque, and something of concern, especially to her younger fans. Is the line really “dancing with Miley” or “dancing with Molly”? Or has clever Miley left it open to interpretation? Either way, people are still “trying to get a line in the bathroom”. So MDMA or cocaine, they’re dancing with something. So my question is this: Does an individual’s celebrity status automatically call for them to be a role model, too? What really is going on with Miley Cyrus?

My answer: absolutely nothing. Yes, young children worldwide have clamored for a glimpse of Hannah Montana, but that’s just it – her character has served as a role model rather than Miley as Miley. And who can blame her for wanting to shed her old image? The soon to be 21-year-old singer/attempted actress claims “she’s just being Miley”. Her lyrics may reference drugs and partying, but has she ever been arrested? Has she ever pulled a Lohan or a Bynes? Sure, controversies follow her, but there are so many other celebrities out there shedding their “wholesome” images, so why is Miley taking all the heat?

Other former Disney stars have transformed their images. Both Vanessa Hudgens and Selena Gomez star in Spring Breakers, which has numerous highlights centering on sex and drugs. My former Even Stevens crush Shia LaBeouf has starred nude in a music video and is working on Nymphomaniac. So essentially sex, sex, and more sex – and yet, this does not seem to phase people as much as Miley’s run in with salvia and a bong. Even my beloved Emma Watson wanted to let go of Hermione so she starred as a burglar in The Bling Ring (side note: I realize Emma Watson is not a Disney star, but she’s amazing nonetheless). All of these celebs were thrust into the spotlight so early on, in which their characters ended up being the role models for Disney fans. Yet themselves as individuals should also be able to lead the lives they want – barring they do not have the intent to injure others and themselves.

If parents and guardians are so worried about their kids being negatively influenced by Miley and any others, then all they have to do is one essential thing: be a parent. Simply talk to your kids about the qualities they should have and instill important values about what is acceptable/desirable/wanted/needed – at one point or another, those very kids are going to be out there possibly smoking weed, grinding up on another, and heaven forbid, having actual consensual sex. Intercourse is real, folks. And guidance should start in the home rather than via a television or a radio or the Internet. Celebrities as well as you and me engage in the very act. Those very same celebrities should not be judged or criticized for partaking in PG-13 activities so long as it is safe and consensual.

Miley is simply acting her age. Doin’ her thang. She’s not sitting in the back of a cop car or marking dates on her calendar to go to court – she’s moving on. Growing up. Bye bye, Hannah Montana. I’m sure those ten year olds will miss you, but just like you, they’re going to eventually move on and grow up, too. So party on, Miley. Just make sure you do it in style (and do your best to keep it classy along the way).

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