Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Leave Miley Cyrus Alone!

Ok, so this isn't exactly going to be a rant akin to the towel-covered head of some guy who complained about the treatment Britney Spears was receiving. Heck, I don't even really want to defend Spears. She has kids and has acted terribly irresponsibly, and that I really do not approve of.

More generally, I couldn't care less what celebrities do in their private lives. Mostly I ignore that sort of thing. Mostly I ignore Miley Cyrus, for that matter. My daughter does, too, simply because she's too young (at 3 2/3) to really know what is going on gossip-wise anyway. But since she does watch Miley and want lots of Miley-stuff, I have paid more attention than I otherwise have, and so I have noted the various "scandals" that have popped up in the media, including something about pulling her eyes (oh no, racial slur!) or saying bad things about rival Disney stars or some other such nonsense. Suffice it to say, pretty vanilla stuff. It isn't like she was found covered in her own vomit from a heroin overdose after shooting eight-balls.

Nothing I've seen indicates she is acting any different than your typical 16 year old - it is just that when she does it, it gets broadcast. What partly compelled me to bother writing about this was an article I saw (really two articles) about Miley. I'd link to them but now I can't find them. The articles were a point-counter-point - one saying she's a good role model, the other saying she isn't. The "bad" Miley article discounted any notion that she was acting like a typical teen, as the author noted she taught teens and knew plenty who were much better behaved than Miley. I had to laugh when I read that. I'm sure the teens were plenty well behaved around the author - what the author never sees is how those teens act when they are with other teens, no adults in sight. I'm sure she'd have had a very different picture.

Now, not all teens do crazy stuff, but all teens do stupid stuff. I had a slice of that on my computer one day. I have many sitters for my two kids. The very first sitter we had has always been very well behaved and a model citizen when she's been here. Obviously we trust her. But one day I discovered a whole bunch of pictures on my computer that she must have downloaded from her camera (which was fine, I had let her plug her camera into our computer before to charge it and such). She probably just forgot to delete them when she was done. In any case, at first I couldn't figure out what they were, but then I saw she was in some of them and the mystery was solved. It was pictures she'd taken with her friends, when no adults were around. No, nothing naughty, all relatively tame teen stuff, but still, she was posing and doing silly things that she'd never done in front of us. I'd almost thought of her just as another adult - the pictures reminded me that she was also a teenager and what that really meant. I'm sure if the pictures (and every other tiny detail of her life) were placed online, disparaging remarks might be made about her, but really, she's just a typical teen doing what typical teens do.

So really, it is kind of annoying to see so much being made out of basically teen nonsense, just because it is Miley Cyrus doing it. Hell, I think it is refreshing to see she's just a typical teen in her behaviors.

I think the complaints are almost Victorian in character - then again, so is our country. We pretend to the world at large that everyone is prim and proper while ignoring what really goes on behind closed doors. I wonder what a society would be like that didn't let people get away with that fake Victorianism. In any case, leave Miley alone! (said only slightly tongue-in-cheek).


armagh444 said...

I have a daughter who is right in the middle of the Hannah Montana target audience, and I generally don't have a problem with Miley as a role model. Gods know, kids could do a lot worse these days.

My only real issue is the fact that she's dating a 20-year old. Not sure how I am going to handle that one when it comes up.

DBB said...

While I'd be somewhat miff about my 16 year old daughter (when she is that old) dating a 20 year old, ultimately, a four year age difference isn't that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things, particularly when both people are well established in their careers.

armagh444 said...

Not in the grand scheme of things, no. And, frankly, I was thinking less about that than about the fact that, if my daughter were to have a dating relationship mirroring the one Miley is currently having, she would be helping her boyfriend commit a felony for which he would end up having to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. (But you don't even want to get me on that soap-box.)

Like I said, though, overall I think my daughter could have worse role models.

DBB said...

What felony would she be helping him commit? Is this something to do with the age of consent? (If so, in Michigan, it is 16).

armagh444 said...

In Wisconsin any adult (which in Wisconsin is anyone over seventeen for the purposes of the criminal law) who has sexual contact or sexual intercourse with someone who is not an adult (i.e., under seventeen) has committed second degree sexual assault. A felony punishable by a pretty hefty prison term and a lifetime stuck on the sexual offender registry.

DBB said...

Ah, well, ok, that certainly would be an issue - if Miley first hadn't publicly declared no sex until she's married and also lived in Wisconsin (in case the declaration proved hollow...)

I don't know what the age of consent is in California or Florida.

In Michigan, it is just 16, period, with only a few exceptions, like for teachers in high school and students - for a teacher, the age of consent of his or her students is 18.

So Miley in Michigan could date anyone and do anything (consensually) and it would be perfectly legal (well, aside from the ancient and probably unconstitutional anti non-vanilla sex laws).