Miley Cyrus is Growing Up. So Why Are We So Mad About It?


There’s been a collective gasp around the world in the last few weeks as former teen queen Miley Cyrus, who shot to stardom as the bubble-gum pop princess Hannah Montana, has been trying her best to shed her kiddie image in favor of something edgier. And in the well-worn path of so many girls passing from adolescence to young womanhood, ‘edgy’ is another word for overtly—perhaps even carelessly—sexual. Case in point: this picture of a scantily clad Miley Cyrus gyrating onstage at a concert in Madrid over the weekend.

Are we, the moms of America, whose daughters have pin-ups of Miley in their bedrooms, and know all the words to her music by heart, okay with this? Judging by the response so far, no. Should we be? Absolutely.
The notion that Miley Cyrus owes it to us, forevermore, to remain frozen in time as a symbol of purity is hogwash. The kid is turning 18 this fall. If she were a normal teenager, she might be heading off to college, where chances are she might don a few short skirts and engage in a little dirty dancing in a fraternity basement or two. Or make-out with a girl. At the very least, she’d almost certainly throw off the mantle of identity she cultivated at home for the last 17 years and try on a new one, at least for a time. That’s what kids her age do, it’s an important assertion of independence, and we should embrace that.

Furthermore, from a commercial standpoint, the writing is on the wall for Miley Cyrus-as-every 8-year-old’s dream. The show is over; the last season will air this summer. Even if she were going to keep it up, to what end? Someone younger and more commercially viable to the tween set will come along and dethrone her. Will we stay loyal to Miley when our kids move on? Nope. We’ll run right out and buy the newest thing, and replace all those posters, and birthday party theme parties faster than you can say ‘iCarly’.

So let’s cut Miley a break here. She’s making a great career move. And she has every right to move on, grow up, and experiment with whatever expressions of sexuality she sees fit. Like I’ve said before, I am sick of the notion that any expression of sex on the part of a young woman has to be shouted down by a chorus of voices. If you don’t like it, don’t buy it anymore.