Opinion: Miley isn’t perfect, but neither are we

Bruce Walton

Bruce Walton

Bruce Walton is a junior print journalism major and a senior editorial columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].

“Shocking” “Distasteful” “Shameful” and “Disturbing.” These are what most people would describe Miley Cyrus and her newly adopted “lifestyle” and more particularly her VMA performance. What happened there was shocking even to the stars themselves in the audience. While accompanying Robin Thicke, who was dressed in a Beetle Juice-like black and white striped suit, the former Disney star was dressed in flesh-colored, what I can only describe as underwear, grinding her butt against Thicke and using a foam finger as a prosthetic penis, waving it around between her groin. The song was deliciously fitting for her performance, Thicke’s new song “Blurred Lines,” about turning a willing good girl into a devious bad girl.

As our generation reaches full-fledged adulthood, we are going to begin to see our beloved child-actors we grew up with begin to make some bad choices. We’ve seen this before, Lindsey Lohan and her substance abuse, Brittney Spears shaving her head, hitting a car with an umbrella, not wearing underwear in front of paparazzi and Kevin Federline. And let’s not forget Drew Barrymore’s substance abuse and alcoholism and Justin Timberlake’s unforgettable performance at the Super bowl with Janet Jackson. These child actors, teen pop stars and Former Mouseketeers have gone through their rebellious phases and have recently mellowed out, some faster than others but have begun to mature like the rest of us.

For the last three to four years. Miley Cyrus has been going through a similar phase. While there have been other child actors who have hit rock bottom, the newer trend in our generation of child stars like Miley Cyrus is falling to rock bottom with style. But who is to blame for this? I doubt Billy Ray Cyrus is at all to blame, and even before her Disney contract, she grew up with her father’s popularity. However, something needs to be understood about celebrities coming of age.

Do you remember that one time you smoked weed, you when you lifted up your shirt to a roaring crowd of your drunken peers? Maybe you dated someone much older than you, or someone your parents and friends didn’t really approve?

Many child stars don’t have that luxury when contractually obligated to be a goody-two-shoes. Or even worse, that your entire career depends on your public image which is being documented almost 24/7. The temptation to be a teenager grows stronger until you become a legal adult, and where most people got it out of their systems by their early 20’s, child actors will go so wild that they’ll need several years of rehab. We must understand that these young celebrities have a different level of rebelliousness. It’s a subculture of celebrities we can barely comprehend of the outside because of the glitz and glamour blocking our view.

We go streaking, they pose nude on a magazine. We got caught with drugs and lose our cell-phone privileges, they have it put on the news. We write some sexy fan fiction or a sexually frustrated poem, they do a sexy music video. After all what is rebelliousness but a cry for attention?

I’m not saying Cyrus was right to cut her hair, date older men, smoke salvia, twerk in her music videos and on national television, but I’m not saying it’s something we need to demonize her for it. Just imagine what would happen if the craziest thing you ever did was all over the news for a week. I sure wouldn’t be safe.