Miley Cyrus: The Imperfection of Teenage Stardom.

It’s all been such a mess this past year for Miley, despite the fact that she earned $48 million and her Disney show Hannah Montana finished its wildly successful run. Her parents filed for divorce last fall, a video of Miley taking hits off a bong filled with the herb salvia made the rounds online and salacious photos from her 18th birthday party also went viral and generated bad publicity. This was on the heels of Miley’s appearance at the Teen Choice Awards in 2009, when she was 17 and not only gyrated in super-short-shorts, but jumped atop an ice cream cart fitted with a pole which many likened to a stripper’s pole. When a cable TV newswoman, who has young children who were fans of the singer, criticized the decision to have a 17-year-old “pole dance,” Miley responded snarkily in a March 2010 Parade Magazine interview saying, “My job first is to entertainand do what I love, and if you don’t like it, then change the channel. I’m forcing you to watch me . . . But, dude, if you think dancing on top of an ice cream cart with a pole is bad, then go check what 90 percent of the high schoolers are really up to.”


In her Marie Claire interview, Miley sounded lighthearted and enthusiastic, pushing back criticism of her bong smoking by practically quoting one of her earlier, more innocent songs (one my daughter has on her iPod) “Nobody’s Perfect.” Of the provocative 18th birthday photos, she attempted to play them down as well. On the subject of whether her recent behavior, or the more adult-like material on her latest Can’t Be Tamed CD – including a video for the song “Who Owns My Heart” where she, at 17, was vamping on top of a bed in lingerie and getting felt up in a nightclub -- is alienating her fanbase of young girls, Miley responded by saying she’s just being who she is and that she “never wanted . . . my fans to ever feel like I betrayed them.”


I can understand the desire for Miley to break free and be her own person, no longer a virginal Disney princess, and instead be a fit, talented and sexy young woman for all the world to see. I get that. And if we really want to be scandalized by teen behavior, we could tune into MTV’s Skins and see much worse than we’ve seen from Miley. Problem is, Skins wasn’t marketed to my tween-aged daughter and 17 is too young to be going on national television and gyrating next to a stripper pole, don’t ya think?