2013 MTV Video Music Awards - Backstage
Updated: October 16, 2013 6:38AM
It would be nice if we could tell our young girls that when an entertainer like Miley Cyrus takes it all off, nothing good happens.
But that’s not exactly true. When her video “Wrecking Ball,” hit last week, the Twitterverse went wild. In the first 24 hours, 19.3 million watched it on Vevo, breaking the fleeting record for most-watched video. That news came about the same time we learned the former Disney star will be guest-hosting “Saturday Night Live” in October.
That once again leaves parents of young children in a dither, wondering how to explain what’s up with Hannah Montana. Jeez, they’re probably thinking, we just had that conversation three weeks ago, after the Video Music Awards!
When we allow, even encourage, our kids to embrace child entertainers, there’s a good chance eventually we’ll have some ’splaining to do. Their young public or on-screen personas may be squeaky clean, but too often that vanishes once they are of a legal age to tell their parents and handlers to bug off. Think about it: These are children who are required to act like adults well before their time, yet also be the embodiment of the innocence of childhood. What a balancing act. It’s no wonder someone like Cyrus is attaching herself to demolition equipment. Not too hard to figure the symbolism there, is it?
Knowing the whys still leaves parents searching for the right words. This is what we’ve gotta get our young girls to consider.
There are two worlds out there, the real one and the one entertainers inhabit. It’s not called Hollyweird for nothing. Stars are under pressure to push the envelope, do something — anything — to get attention. For them, any time in the spotlight, even when it’s negative, usually is better than none.
But our girls have to know they are not rock stars. This is not how adult females do it in the real world. We let our talents — ones we’ve worked hard to develop and hone — speak for themselves without flashing anyone. What plays out with rewards in Hollywood won’t necessarily translate positively in the real world.
I think J Niice, morning host on B96, put it best: Taking your clothes off is the easy way out. Instead of improving her singing or acting, Cyrus dropped her drawers for a moment in the sun. It’s no surprise people are looking. When the parts are perky, there always will be people wanting you to show ’em what you got.
But what’s next?
In the real world it’s hard to get people to take you seriously once you’ve bared all. Even Cyrus is experiencing some of that. After “Wrecking Ball” hit, the entertainer lamented no one was listening to the words, according to Us Weekly. When people are busy watching a naked singer — oh wait, she did have boots on — knock a wall down while straddling a wrecking ball, it’s no surprise the words and sentiment fall by the wayside.
Hannah Montana is just a character. Miley Cyrus is letting us all know that. Our young girls have to be made to realize that where they reside — the real world — Cyrus’ type of behavior ain’t gonna fly.