Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A Mom's Perspective of Miley Cyrus and the VMA's ...

As a rule, I don't watch the MTV Music Awards. They just aren't the same since MTV became more about the TV and less about the M. So I didn't think anything about it last night. Didn't even know it was on until I began seeing post after post talking about Miley Cyrus' embarrassing performance with Robin Thicke.
If you haven't yet seen the video, take a look:

Be sure to watch in its entirety, and yes that's important, because I am about to dissect this performance a bit ...

First off, I want to say that this performance was not shocking in the least. At least, not for me (okay, well, admittedly the giant foam finger was a bit much ...). Let's not forget performances of past VMA's involvoing Madonna, P!nk, Fergie, Lady Gaga, and others. People watch the VMA's to be shocked - at least that's why we all did in the 80's and 90's, and if we weren't, we were disappointed: "That was the most boring VMA's ever!" we would exclaim on the bus or at our lockers the next day. One particular favorite moment was Madonna and Britney locking lips. Or Madonna's performance of Like a Virgin. Or Madonna's bringing out the Drag Queen Brigade for Ray of Light. Or Madonna grabbing herself during Express Yourself, or Madonna's Marie Antoinette's rendition of Vogue, or Madonna's  ... Well, you get the picture ... The point is, for people to say how "shocking" Miley's performance is really inaccurate. It wasn't shocking. Not in the least.

Miley Cyrus came onto the scene in 2006 when Hannah Montana premiered on the Disney Channel. While her fun and quirky acting style was immediately obvious, it was her voice that made people stand up and take notice. Billy Ray's little girl could SING. But even so, she was still "Billy Ray's Little Girl". In fact, for the entirety of the show's run, and well after, she was "Billy Ray's Little Girl". Not once was she ever just "Miley" on her own terms. Not only that, but because she was "Billy Ray's Little Girl" and a "Disney Kid" she was expected to maintain a squeaky-clean image. So much so that she couldn't even sneeze sideways without a frenzy of media hate. You put those expectations on a kid while they're trying to live up to daddy's shadow and things happen ...

First was the "salvia incident". First off, for a kid to be experimenting with ANY drug is on the parents. Yep. I blame Billy Ray for that one. Know your kids, know their friends ... And don't give them a reason to WANT to try drugs.

Next came the "Can't Be Tamed" video. It was an image of a little girl struggling to grow up on her own terms.

Miley was in and out of the news after that for a string of media moments, including a DUI and speculation of drug use, but nothing major until now.

When you watch the video, the image of a little girl lost comes to mind. In some ways, it's saddening. In others, empowering.

It's empowering on the level that she is finally making a name for herself on her terms, not her father's. She's coming into her own. She is trying to break the image of "Billy Ray's Little Girl" and morph into her own image.

It's saddening because the image she's trying to morph into still isn't her own. Not really. I didn't see Miley Cyrus. Instead, I saw a compilation of P!nk, Madonna, Lady Gaga ... It was although she was trying to get as many shocking performers as she could and fit them all into one persona.

But taking the image of a 14 year old Miley Cyrus out of the picture, and watching the performance for the performance itself, it was nothing like the frenzy suggests.

In fact, as far as VMA performances go, it was one of the better ones. The fact is, no matter how you look at it, they were having fun up there. Even though people said that her vocals were "all over the place," I have to disagree. As a performer myself, I know how hard it is to be moving around up there and REALLY sing. Yes. She was REALLY SINGING. NOT lipsynching like 99.9% of singers and musicians do now days. Let's see how spot-on your vocals are after 50 jumping jacks ...

Everyone is so quick to judge Miley. Why is that? She did nothing different than many performers of MTV's past. She's going through a "wild phase" that so many young people go through at that age. In fact, some of those same young people are now amazing adult performers. So why make a big deal of it? Just turn your heads and get over it.

P.S. While the media frenzy over Miley was happening here, this was going on in Wisconsin, this was happening in Japan, and this was going on in Syria. Now, which do you think we should be more worried about?

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