Miley Cyrus has come a long way from Disney’s pretty princess Hannah Montana. These days she’s ditched her highlighted, long locks for a bleached, pixie cut and is twerking on stage with her tongue sticking out – a trademark she’s created for herself. But instead of shaming Miley for humping Robin Thicke in nude underwear at the 2013 MTV Music Video Awards, or pole dancing at the 2013 Kids Choice Awards, perhaps we should be discussing how she is following the trope many entertainers have grown into before: The cute, sqeaky-clean pop star who has seemingly fallen from grace into the trap of sex, drugs and controversy, whereas the men who are getting humped on are nothing but talented artists. We write these women off as “sluts” who are promoting a poor example for young women, but we forget that they’re also young and make ill-informed choices just like the rest of us – even if they’re in the public eye. And after looking at the fact that Miley is engaged and doesn’t even fit the definition of a “slut,” is it wrong for her to express her sexuality in a way we’re not used to?
Gyrating in your underwear hasn’t been anything new since before Madonna began her career. But this hasn’t stopped controversy from selling Miley’s music. She has been said to dehumanize black women in the form of ratchet culture, the potent sexual symbolism of black female bodies, using them as living props and spanking one on stage at the VMA’s. She has also been criticized for talking about the drug Molly or MDMA in her song, We Can’t Stop. But the problem is, what is hardly talked about when it comes to Miley is her music. A contralto vocal type with a Nashville twang, Miley is able to deliver without loosing a breath during her show’s choreography. In 2011 she was named #1 on the Top 10 Richest Teens in Hollywood with 120 million, and at age 20 she is releasing her 4th album, Bangerz. Regardless of what she wears or what controversy she’s stirring, Miley is still one of the most influential people in the world and not even old enough to legally drink alcohol in her country. It takes hard work to get to where she is, and maybe we should be discussing about her talent and drive rather than her underwear and fiance’. Maybe then she won’t feel like taking her clothes off and humping men and will become more informed about things such as ratchet culture. But even if she does take her clothes off and hump men, the one being shamed should be the one believing Miley should fit up to their standards, not the other way around.