Since the premiere of “Hannah Montana” back in 2006, I have been (yes, I’ll say it) a huge fan of Miley Cyrus. Her songs are catchy, she knows how to put on a fantastic performance and, yes, she has always been a good influence.
From the beginning of Cyrus’s career, she has been singing songs trying to inspire her audience to live the life they want to live and not worry about messing up. In one of her earlier songs “Nobody’s Perfect,” when she was still known as Hannah Montana, she sings about how it’s OK to make mistakes and should keep working hard at what we are doing to make it right.
She is not doing anything much different in her songs now. In her latest extremely popular song “We Can’t Stop,” she sings, “Remember only God can judge ya, forget the haters ’cause somebody loves ya,” trying to let us all know that it’s okay to be who we are and do what we want.
However, considering her other lyrics such as “We like to party” or “We all so turned up here,” we can say she is promoting partying, drugs and drinking, but why is everyone so focused on that? Most people seem to be looking past the real message of her song.
She performed this song at the 2013 Video Music Awards and has been receiving harsh criticism because of her inappropriate dance moves and nude bathing suit. But, how about when Robin Thicke came on stage with her and started singing his number one hit “Blurred Lines”? Don’t get me wrong, the song has a great beat and all, but his lyrics and the video are degrading, no doubt about it.
The original music video features topless girls with only a thong on (and sometimes shoes) dancing around Thicke as he sings lyrics such as “I know you want it” while eating his chocolate ice cream. The women use a foam finger to either cover up their breasts or point at Thicke’s genitalia. An article in the Huffington Post stated, “The overall effect of the video is to remind us that women’s place in the sexual realm is to be a prop.”
When Cyrus and Thicke performed the song together, though, she was the one singing the song to him belting the lines, “But you’re an animal, baby, it’s in your nature.” She had then begun dancing on him, which really stirred viewers.
Many were appalled by the way she acted, but nobody seemed to bring up Thicke. She did something brave and and made him seem as if he were her prop (as he does with the women in his music video) by provocatively dancing with the same foam finger used in the video and completely taking control over his song and the stage.
Earlier this year, Cyrus admitted to Sunday People, “I have so many f***ing issues. I am so f***ed up – everyone does dumb stuff when they are messed up.” It’s not a surprise at all. She has been in the spotlight almost her whole life especially since her father Billy Ray Cyrus had also been a singer. Although she just started becoming famous when “Hannah Montana” had begun, she had still been living a less-than-ordinary lifestyle from the get-go.
I will admit, when I first watched the “We Can’t Stop” music video, I was shocked and immediately thought she was just desperate for attention. I even showed it to my grandma just to get a laugh at her reaction, and we both agreed she was trying a bit too hard to create this “older” image of herself. But, the song is about having fun and being yourself, so it shouldn’t matter how she dances or what she is wearing.
Go to any party with young adults around the same age as Cyrus. Almost nobody is dancing without shaking their rear ends or covering up their bodies. We just pick on her because she is out there for the whole world to see what she is doing. Hopefully, she will find a balance between her old Hannah Montana-self and what she is doing now, but until then, I applaud Cyrus for being who she wants despite the negative feedback. You go, girl!
Christina Danno is a senior English studies and philosophy major. Questions or comments regarding her column can be sent to: