Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Miley Cyrus...

I've been wanting to cover this for a while but the other day I saw a video on youtube and it reminded me just how much this needs to be written. Also it serves as good procrastination to study that I'd rather leave for later (I'm a stellar example for all youth, clearly).

Miley Cyrus (2009) 
The video was a "Kid's React" video from the Fine Brothers on Youtube and this particular segment was in response to Ariana Grande (an, apparently, ideal role model for young women especially). I have nothing against Ariana Grande. I mean, there was a time where she said herself that Marilyn Monroe was her all time idol. That was questionable, but nonetheless, not something I can hold against her. The point is, at the end of this video, the children were asked how they felt about Ariana Grande and her performances. It was all well and sweet, however, then it hit a point where the Fine Brothers started asking some interesting questions. The topic ? Miley Cyrus of course. 

"A lot of people say that they are happy with what Ariana Grande has decided to do with her music as she's become an adult, more so than what Miley Cyrus has chosen to do."

Now I am going to try and tackle this from the fairest viewpoint I can muster, but I can't make any promises. When it comes to the lives of celebrities that are reported in the media, you really can't trust anyone. You can't trust the media because you don't know if they're boosting publicity for themselves by appealing to the average audience, or because they were paid off to promote a celebrity, or their manager, or whoever else. You also can't trust their "sources" or the shitty blogs you read on the internet (you can decide for yourself if this blog counts or not...). So what is left? Well, if you read my post about celebrity hating, you'll know where I stand. I personally think you can't honestly judge a person by what you hear or see that doesn't come directly from them. With that said, if you desperately need to form an opinion on someone, in this case, Miley Cyrus, form your OWN opinion. Not one you heard from someone else or read about. 

The issue is, the children in this video (the eldest being 13 years of age, the youngest 7), were forming their opinions off what they heard everyone else around them say. And, I'm guessing, due to their age and our society, making a conflicting argument hardly seemed possible for them. Furthermore, they were saying things that they thought would source approval from their peers or elders. One little girl said, "I've seen pictures on magazines, I can't even talk about that" whilst another older girl thought it would be best to depict her opinion by pretending to throw up. One of the boys, a 13 year old, said, "I don't even want to get started on her...From that sweet little girl to this maniac." 

Now first let's get a few things straight. From what I can gather, those with the most outrage over Cyrus are in such a state due to the sexually explicit images she puts forward of herself and the adult content in her music (such as drug references). On the other hand, Lady Gaga does the exact same thing and she gets away with it because she was never a child star and therefore doesn't have to really cater to the needs and wants of young children and their parents. 

So all in all, people are pissed because Miley Cyrus is what they deem a shitty role model. In a nutshell. Supposedly matters are made worse because she used to be Hannah Montana and thousands of teen and pre-teen girls looked up to her. Let's look at the operative word in that sentence. USED. She USED to be Hannah Montana. She is not anymore. All she is trying to do is re-brand herself in order to re-make her career. Yes, there can be ways of going about it that could be less "provocative". But also, Hannah Montana is a character. She is not a real person. Even when Cyrus was performing live as Hannah Montana she was still acting. So it hardly makes sense to view Hannah Montana as the person Miley Cyrus actually was during her pre-teen to teen years. She was acting, that's what actors do. Are we going to shit on Michael C. Hall too because he's not a serial killer in real life ?

Miley Cyrus (2006)

Being thrust into the public eye at a young age is very difficult to deal with – I imagine, it's never personally happened to me. However, there have been countless studies in psychology that show that it can actually cause issues down the line. Just how healthy is it for a child to be publicly scrutinised every single day ? What about as they grow up, and hit puberty and become adults too ? In a way, the "sweet little girl" was practically a facade, because her childhood was heavily impacted, if not taken away, by all these different forces in show business. She was forced to grow up much too soon.

The kids also said "Most of us have seen the VMA's...That was quite a performance that I regret watching." Now it seems to me, that I am detecting a pattern of parents allowing their kids to watch these supposedly "explicit" "outrageous" and "disgusting" things and then complaining about it. The VMA's do have a rating that indicate an appropriate audience. You should pay attention to that. For that matter, Cyrus' songs, that are seen the same way, also have a rating that tell listeners how explicit or clean the song is. If you buy the song "We Can't Stop" or the video for "Wrecking Ball" on iTunes, it'll have an icon clearly stating that the files are "explicit". 

Miley Cyrus (2013)

Also, on a tangent about the VMA performance, it would be nice not to place all the blame on Cyrus. Robin Thicke played an equal role in that performance, and the majority of what I hear is notably directed at Cyrus. Actually, I do believe that "Blurred Lines" features the line, "I'll give you something big enough to tear your ass in two." Although I was disappointed in her participation in the performance, at least she doesn't support violent sex in her lyrics (or rape). 

It's important to keep in mind that at the end of the day, everyone has a reason for doing what they are doing. Whether Cyrus is finding herself or doing whatever she is doing for publicity reasons, we can't really know. But, if you're unhappy about how a pop star is living their life, guess what ? It's your lucky day. You don't live their life, so really it's not your problem.

To end all of this (although there is so much more to say), I just want to address my confusion about how some of the kids talked about Ariana Grande and Miley Cyrus. The way they talked about either celebrity made it seem as if they knew them personally (and they don't). In response to whether Grande would make the same mistakes as Cyrus, a 13 year old girl said "[Ariana] has a good head on her shoulders, she was raised very well, and I think that her parents aren't gonna let her do that" 

To which the Fine Brothers replied:

"Do you think 3 or 4 years ago you might have said the same thing about Miley Cyrus though ?"

Well played Brothers. Well played. 

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