Miley Cyrus morphs into a symbol of gyration nation, but she’s nobody’s role model

It's a long way from her Hannah Montana days to the obscene performance Miley Cyrus gave at last the MTV Video Music Awards in September 2013.

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It's a long way from her Hannah Montana days to the obscene performance Miley Cyrus gave at last the MTV Video Music Awards in September 2013.

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Have you ever heard the old show-biz adage that there’s no such thing as bad publicity? Well, the scandalous performance put on by Miley Cyrus at last month’s Video Music Awards proves that she still believes this to be true. That is one of only two possible reasons why anyone would do what Miley did.

Miley’s cringe-inducing gyration was a horror. I disagree with those who say her graphic simulation of various intimate behaviors was artistic self-expression. There wasn’t anything artistic about it at all. Miley’s latest “hoedown” was merely a compilation of hip-shaking and bizarre oral movement– nothing we haven’t seen before, though perhaps not from her.

The young pop singer’s bawdy behavior also cannot be explained as a desire to shed her sweetie-pie image, honed in years on the Disney Channel as the innocent Hannah Montana. Her wholesome image has been gone since the release of her 2010 hit “Can’t Be Tamed,” with lyrics like “I go through guys like money flyin’ out the hands.”

On the contrary,there is a plethora of evidence to suggest that the primary reason that Miley Cyrus would engage in such activity is for the money. In March 2013, Miley hired Larry Rudolph, best known for turning Britney Spears into a pop sex symbol from a Mousketeer. It seems that both Britney and Miley used the VMA’s as a platform to reignite stagnant careers by staging sexually charged performances. Now that Miley’s evolution is complete and her career is red hot, it is difficult not to admire her in the least bit because, in the end, she attained what she set herself up for — financial success.

However, there is no excuse for how offensive her performance actually was.

First of all, it sent the wrong message to girls. It suggested that the only way to get notoriety is to exposing your body to the world — even when the world doesn’t want it. We don’t need to rely on our sexuality to be powerful and successful. As a feminist, I am left scratching my head — she is hawking music that views young women as nothing more than sex objects.

Second, it’s ridiculously immature. Her song “We Can’t stop” is actually a selfish rant about not caring about how your behavior impacts others. Lyrics like “It’s our party we can do what we want, it’s our party we can say what we want” remind me of common behavior of a toddler.

Finally, Ms. Cyrus’ distasteful, in-your-face performance inverted people’s image of what is valuable and precious. Through her exhibition, Miley diminished the worth of the human body, as so much of pornography already does. Her production turned the human vessel into nothing more than an instrument to induce arousal.

Miley Cyrus and her team of managers and agents are in charge of her career trajectory, and at the moment, her franchise is large and in charge. Thus, viewing her as something other than a savvy businesswoman can be difficult. It is also incorrect to think that Miley represents a typical 20-year-old girl; she isn’t. It is unlikely that young girls see her as a role model.

Still, impressionable young girls — and everyone else — need to be reminded that Miss Cyrus is merely a commercialized and oversexualized creation who is selling records, the real person behind them remaining unknown.

In reality, there are many hardworking young women who are able to define themselves in a way that has more depth than does Miley’s current persona. Miley Cyrus is blurring the lines between a serious emerging artist and an insolent young girl using sex to sell records while selling herself out. Her one-dimensionality actually provides bad publicity for both her age and her gender.

Fortunately, there is no reason why other young girls will not understand that.

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