When Miley Cyrus finished her last season of Hannah Montana, I hoped she would be one of the few Disney celebrities to transition into adulthood gracefully. For a while, Cyrus seemed to be on the right track.
However, I was disappointed, like many others, when she shocked millions at the Video Music Awards.
Cyrus has always been popular since her reach of stardom at the age of 13. Like many other young celebrities, she has had to find a way to transition from a younger fan base to an adult fan base. However, Cyrus is going about it the wrong way.
Justin Timberlake started off in the boy band *NSYNC and shed his teenage image with class.
He has made millions of dollars and is highly respected in the music industry for his artistry. Why can’t Cyrus follow his lead?
Cyrus chooses to use her sexuality to sell records. In fact, she told Rolling Stone Magazine, “I know what I’m doing. I know I’m shocking you.”
What Cyrus does not realize, however, is that there are young women who see her behavior and think it’s cool to try marijuana or dress provocatively.
This can lead to major physical and mental health issues, like STDs, impaired judgment and low self-esteem.
“I have a 14-year-old sister and I don’t want her seeing that. I told her she wasn’t to watch [her performances] because I was like ‘Oh my god, what if she sees this and she thinks that’s OK and she thinks that’s normal?’” said California Lutheran University senior Kiersten Lopez.
Despite the negative feedback Cyrus is receiving from the public, she’s still successful. In fact, her overtly sexual performances are the cause of her success.
According to npr.org, in just one day, Cyrus’s infamous music video “Wrecking Ball” hit 19.3 million views on VEVO worldwide. This video beat a One Direction clip, which had previously held the record for most views in one day, by seven million views.
“Wrecking Ball” may have been a huge success for Cyrus, but many people watched the video because of how she exposed herself.
Personally, I think the song is very good. The lyrics are heart-felt and the song has a good beat. But, the video’s content takes away from the powerful lyrics.
Yes, she broke a record. However, it was because she was naked, not because it was a good song. Is this really a music career success?
“People that [think] ‘sex sells’. It’s not really true. What sells is controversy. What makes it newsworthy is that controversy. So, certainly it was a controversial performance and it got talked about in the mainstream media,” said Jean Sandlin, who has her doctorate degree from CLU and is a communications professor.
The controversy of her fashion and performances got people talking, and in effect, caused people to buy her music.
However, I have to wonder if people are only buying her music because they are waiting to see her next controversial move.
Genesis Rodriguez, a sophomore majoring in public relations, believes Cyrus is only trying to express who she is.
“She’s an adult, you know, she’s legal, she has her own life. Let her do what she wants to do. I mean it may not be exactly what you want to do personally, but at the same time, she has the power to do it,” Rodriguez said.
Even though Cyrus is a legal adult, she is still a public figure. She knew when she entered the entertainment industry that she was going to be a role model for other women.
I believe in the freedom of expression, but when it’s negatively affecting others or giving people a false impression, it shouldn’t be acceptable. Not all women who are 21 years old act like her and society shouldn’t be taught that her image is normal.
If people were to follow her lead, they would find out very quickly that you couldn’t gain respect by that type of behavior. If you don’t have respect from others, where do you stand? Is all that judgment worth the freedom of expression?
Published Oct. 23, 2013