Despite my best efforts to stay far away from the celebrity gossip circles, I end up being exposed to it because I live in this country, I’m conscious, and I’m on social media. I tried — TRIED I tell you — to totally avoid the whole Miley-Cyrus-child-star-trying-to-assert-my-adulthood drama, but it pushed its ugly head into my life anyway.
Unfortunately, some of you may have been lucky enough to avoid
Miley-gate (I can’t believe I just said that). I say “unfortunately” because I had to search for these to clue you in and in the process saw much more than I ever wanted to:
I’m no fan of Miley’s. I really could not care less what she does or doesn’t do. I do, however care that a lot of the comments I’ve seen about her performance on the Video Music Awards included calling her a “slut” or a “whore” (while never commenting on the guy grinding with her or the fact that he’s married) and what that says about US. We can critique the music, the song, her voice, the costumes, dancing, lighting…all without attacking her on a personal level and making assumptions about her sex life. Is there really any need to do that to any woman?
Which is why I liked this letter to Miley from Sinead O’Connor after Miley named her as an inspiration. Whatever your opinion of Sinead, she didn’t attack Miley personally. True, she did say that Miley was allowing herself to be prostituted by the industry people around her, but that is significantly different than calling her a prostitute.
So yeah, Miley got pissed. That’s her right. But her pride was hurt, so she went way, way beyond a Level 5 Catty Bitch and straight into dangerous bully territory. There were a lot of ways she could have handled the situation, but what does she do? She posts Sinead’s old tweets from several years ago — without notating that they were old — and compares her to Amanda Bynes, who is evidently currently seeking psychiatric help. She contributes to the negative stigma surrounding mental illness by turning it into an insult and — other than Sinead repeatedly calling her out on it — seems to have faced no repercussions for doing so. While Miley commented on the situation in this interview, as of this writing she has yet to apologize. (See a summary of the situation and much of their exchange here, and Sinead’s 5th open letter here.)
Miley is just 20 years old and trying to transition from a childhood in the spotlight into adulthood. She’s reacting like a spoiled teenager. However, you know as well as I that there are adults much older than her who respond to situations at work or home in a similar fashion. There are good and not so good ways to respond to people who hurt your pride, and then there’s going way off the deep end. When you get to that point it’s hard to go back. In Miley’s case, I hope that she’s able to see it, suck up her hurt pride, and (for the sake of the kids who look up to her) apologize for her actions.
You may not be famous, but there are people looking up to you, too, whether it’s your kids, grandkids, students, siblings, co-workers…someone is looking to you as an example. Hopefully, you’re the kind of person who can see when you’ve crossed that line and try to make things right — or better yet, just try not to cross it at all.
PS: Yes, I realize that in doing this post I have given Miley more of what she wants — attention. attention. attention.