Chances are, you dear reader, saw, read or heard something regarding the performance Miley Cyrus gave at the VMA’s this past weekend. Much slack has been gifted upon Miley within the last 24 hours. Instead of criticism, there is reason to applaud and celebrate her performance.
Miley is a living petri dish of the combusting combination that is fame mixed with coming of age. We as the public, feel the right to watch her transition for our own entertainment value (think: wealth of water cooler small talk) her growing pains provide.
Miley has the blessing and the curse of growing up in the public eye. She is experiencing the raw, painful, and confusing transition to adulthood in front of our eyes. She is blazing a path for herself, unabashedly so. I think if many of us were teen pop stars, we would act the same way. Why can’t we celebrate her fierce and tenacious run towards her new self? Why can’t we, instead of criticizing, applaud her for the brave and bold stance she is taking in her new found identity?
Why must we put a limit on the amount she is allowed to explore herself? Why should there be realms?
Lots more rhetorical questions to come. Sorry, folks.
Her performance was in no doubt sexual — can’t we celebrate her feminity and sexuality? She is no longer a boxed in, sexually smothered youth controlled by the pressure society places on her. Her performance was a blatant mix of youth, with teddy bears and backpacks (this may very likely also be a drug reference I’m too naïve to know) and adulthood with the declaration of her body and ownership expressed in her movements with and without Robin Thicke. In less than six minutes, she declares her youth as recognized but dismissed, and her growth (complete with sexual adulation) to be real, with her captive audience as the witnesses. The circle of sisterhood is broad and supportive of all types of womanhood – we must support all as they take their own journey to their evolving selves, so let’s stop the hate and begin to love and commend.
She owns the night like she owns this transition — she seems bold and wise enough to not let the negativity turn into a dark night of her life — she don’t take nothing from nobody, It’s her party she does what she wants to. So we must let her. We must let her continue to be raw, and to evolve. If someone told you to stay as you were at 16, at 19, at 20, for the rest of your life, to never continue to evolve, and to always fit a certain stunted mold, wouldn’t you try to fight and resist that anyway you could? Wouldn’t such an expectation make you angry? She has every logical right to act as she has. In fact, considering all, it may be the most normal transformation we could have expected of her. She’s being raw, and refusing to mold to a cookie cutter she could never wholly fit. Let her be the wild friend you live vicariously through. Let her be the Samantha Jones of our generation. (I refuse to make a “she’s just being Miley” reference, so I’ll stop while I’m ahead).
It takes a bravery and confidence that is powerfully inherent to come of age so boldly and fearlessly. She was in the moment, it was hers alone to own. She did just that. The performance has been called many things – bizarre, weird, and illogical, etc. But can’t the experience of coming of age be called just the same? She may have not taken a traditional high school English class, but her exemplification of the metaphor of growing up was loud and clear on that Brooklyn stage.