Actually, Miley Cyrus is Exactly the Role Model I Want For My Daughter
Hi, I'm Eric. My friend Natalie is one smart cookie. She is a wildlife biologist with her Master's in Ecology and Systematics, and on top of that was one of my first college crushes. So you know she must be really cool. This is us agreeing on things. ----
Natalie: Miley. Miley, Miley, Miley. What ARE you doing?
...What’s that? You’re making an ASS-ton of money, doing whatever the fuck you want, and looking pretty damned sexy on a wrecking ball?
Ok. Well then carry on.
Miley Cyrus is not the harbinger of the end times for us all. She’s not even the ready-and-waiting trashcan for a single, young generation. She is just a pop star doing what pop stars do...feeding off our voyeurism. Pop stars simulate sex acts and we watch. It’s a pretty simple and long-standing business model.
Why is there hysteria that we're about to unleash an uncontrollable generation of slutty girls and the boys who think it’s ok to objectify them?
I grew up in the 90s with Britney. Shockingly, my dress and behavior wasn’t affected by hers despite being an impressionable idiot with no free will or character due to my age and gender. If others dressed like her it was probably because it was hot out or because they damn well pleased and skimpy clothes do not a lesser person make. I occasionally danced raunchily in totally unsexy tomboyish grunge gear because (shocker) it was fun, not because I was begging to get raped or showing subservience to my be-cocked overlords.
If watching Miley dry hump herself onstage makes you want to rape and oppress or makes you more acquiescent to being raped and oppressed, that’s a larger issue than what Billy Ray Cyrus’ daughter is doing with a foam finger.
It’s fine to analyze and criticize Miley’s product for perpetuating gender norms and inequalities that shape our society, but it’s probably not that constructive. How often has snarky commentary changed the world?
Social progress originates from intentional policy and education decisions, and positive examples set by famous people with the spotlight to show us what we could be. Complex female characters in movies and television, real women in industry and politics, lady athletes, these are the people who make us imagine, “What ARE women capable of?”
Enjoy or disregard Miley for what she is and focus instead on inspiring, supporting, and challenging the girls and women in your life if you want to create a more equal world. ------- Eric: I agree with you Natalie.
I'll be the first to admit, if not brag, that a Miley Cyrus scholar I am not. But it's been pretty impossible for me to fire up the ol' Facebook news feed the last few weeks without seeing another post about Miley and her "antics", so it seemed like I should jump into this game now, albeit four weeks too late.
So Miley is a sexy, confident, and (from interviews I've seen) pretty fucking smart 20-year-old woman with an insane amount of success. And at no point have I ever seen her expressing remorse over how she's decided to portray herself publicly - she seems to love both her self-identity and the evolution of it. And I think that's fucking fantastic.
So why does everyone care so much? Why can't people join the party with Miley, and celebrate the success of a young woman having fun doing what she wants? Are parents so naive that they think it impossible that their own 20-year-old daughters might be sexual beings - adult women who want to express themselves provocatively, get drunk at college parties, and drop some molly every now and then? And what the hell do they think the Beatles and the Doors were doing? Volunteering at soup kitchens?
Or maybe people are so "shocked" at Miley's behavior because they can't let go of who they knew her to be - a Disney manufactured caricature of a rascally teenage girl that subsisted only on disjointed quips and laugh tracks, forever cryogenically frozen in their minds. That isn't to say there's not a whole network of industry levers and pulleys being manipulated behind Miley right now, but at least it seems like we're seeing her own iteration of spectacle instead of some charade of Mouseketeer cocaine-laden virtue.
As for her "Wrecking Ball" video, what the fuck is wrong with you guys? Of course there's a sexualization to it, and along with that there's also a beautiful - dare I say artistic - sadness. I don't who actually penned the explanation below, but it's definitely much closer to what I took from the video than "what if instead of a sledge hammer that was my boner she was licking!".
I hope that when I have a daughter, she'll be able to have a role model like Miley Cyrus. I hope that my daughter is confident, successful, and comfortable expressing her sexuality. And while I don't want her to be hurt - I hope that my daughter will live with vigor and embrace every moment that life has to offer. Miley's dad seems to agree. Many celebrities are deserving of ridicule, but if we're going to direct our vitriol to superficial outlets while trying to forget how fucked up our country actually is, Miley Cyrus is the wrong person for most certainly the wrong reasons. ---- Lookout for more Agreebates between me and Natalie, and be sure to checkout this week's podcast: Jacky Joy & Hermaphrodite Twins