Take a guess what I’m going to talk about here?
In my own youth, the childhood tv stars – the people who graced the lunch boxes and t-shirts of my day – had their moments come and go so quickly. In a heartbeat, suddenly they were old news, and fodder for very public derision and ridicule. One look at the cast of Diff’rent Strokes and you’ll know what I’m talking about.
When Girl Child was younger, Hannah Montana was all the rage with her contemporaries. The show AND the glut of merchandise on the market were everywhere I turned. I thought that, at the ripe old ages of five and six, Girl Child wasn’t ready to emulate fictional teenage girls. We had barely stepped past the Princesses. So, we didn’t purchase any merchandise, and I didn’t let her watch the show until she was almost eight. I say that not to impugn any of my fellow moms who did, I just knew my own child and what imagery she was ready for and wasn’t ready for.
Suddenly I’m feeling nostalgic about The Princess Phase.
The road Miley Cyrus is on is littered with train wrecks and dead bodies. In her zeal to distance herself from her Hannah Montana image, she’s taken a detour down Skank Avenue, which intersects tragically with Addiction Road. Eventually it dead ends. She’s distanced herself from the people who can – and will – give her a reality check. She is surrounded by people who blow sunshine up her backside 24/7, telling her that nothing she says or does is wrong, a misstep, or even questionable. She is low hanging fruit for fame vampires.
Watching her VMA debacle yesterday I thought, “is this what she believes makes her an adult in the eyes of the world?”
Sexualizing yourself in the most public and strangest way possible doesn’t make you an adult. It makes you a joke. People are talking, sure. They’re talking about what a nasty, obscene, tasteless, gross, and skanky whore she appears to have turned out to be.
Declaring yourself a sexual object doesn’t say, “I own my own sexuality.” It says, “I’m an object.” You’ve dehumanized yourself utterly.
This isn’t what being an adult looks like. Being an adult is something in your heart and soul, not in your bra and underwear. Reaching adulthood means being comfortable with not having to shock and awe in order to feel valued.
True adulthood didn’t magically arrive when she decided to publicly announce how sexual she is, or how shockingly bold and bad she can be. Sticking her hand in the taboo bag and pulling out every trick to shine the spotlight in her direction didn’t bring about maturity. It will eventually bring burnout, exhaustion, sadness, pain and potentially an early grave. Mostly? A whole lot of pain. Not only or her, but the people who truly love her.
So, young 20-somethings: if you want to show the world how truly grown up you are and prove your worth as a human being with heart, soul, intelligence, and beauty within, you don’t have to do anything other than live your life with dignity. Be a clean, sober, clothed, outwardly focused you.
She still has a chance to bring herself up instead of down before she becomes another casualty on Tragedy Road. It’s not too late. Let’s stop the ridicule and remind her that she’s more than foam fingers, plastic underwear, and exhibitionism.