I know that Sally will give me hell, and possibly disown me for this, but we need to talk about Miley Cyrus this week, Company. This past weekend I did some traveling and had the opportunity to see come magazines and TV shows that dealt with the entertainment industry. You know, those publications that have glossy photos of celebrities and those shows that get all up in arms when somebody like throws out an aluminum can instead of recycling it and all the sudden the world is coming to an end and that person is a communist who hates the environment and should never work in town again. So I was leafing through an admittedly older copy of one of those magazines and they were all up in arms about Billy Ray Cyrus and his sixteen-year-old daughter Miley, and the stuff she has been pulling.
Hmmm...how did we come so far from Disney World. The two things that everyone has been getting their leopard-print, thong-style underwear in a bundle over was her performance of her song "Party in the U.S.A." at the Teen Choice Awards, and her appearance on the beach with some guy.
Let's start with the beach, shall we? She was on some unidentified beach (I am sure that it was identified, I just didn't hear that part) with some guy and they were kissing. Okay, not so much kissing but making out. Playing tonsil hockey. Sharing bubble gum. Whatever you want to call it. It wasn't like trashy; they weren't groping each other in inappropriate ways or whatnot out in public. In fact, I don't even thing their hands were making a whole lot of contact with one another. If I am not mistaken the only point at which their bodies were touching was their mouths, like some sort of weird and unwieldy conjoined twins. The reason the TV people showing the video was that the anchorwoman or "reporter," and I use that term loosely, was able to count 1...2...3...4...5...6...7...8...9 during the time that the two crazy kids were making out. So I saw that and processed it through my brain and dwelled upon it for a minute longer and I thought..."What's the big deal about that?"
I mean, all sorts of kids make out. Hell, even I was making out at sixteen. It's not like they were groping, it's not like they were grinding on one another, it's not like there was heavy petting, it's not like they were trying to be exhibitionists...they were just kissing. I hate to break it to you Company, world, parents, whomever, but kissing is fun. It feels good. People like to do it, and last I checked teenagers were people too somewhere down beneath the attitude and excessive drama. So it stands to reason, as I check my logic textbook, that they would like it too. It seems to me that it was a case of two teenagers on the beach who kissed one another and liked it so they kept it up until one of them ran out of oxygen. No big deal. If this would have been a non-Miley Cyrus person it wouldn't have even registered on anyone's radar except for his, hers, and that creepy old guy who is always fully clothed on the beach just sort of looking around. That's it. The bottom line is that teenagers make out ALL THE TIME, in fact they spend 64% of their day doing it. I have a pie chart to prove it. So let's just settle down, she's just a teenager making out with her boyfriend. Please disburse, there is nothing to see here.
"No, no, no. She's obviously a whore. Did you see that performance she gave on the Teen Choice Awards? Have you seen that video" She shaking her hips around and there is a pole." Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know, just settle down. First of all Baby Boomer, Elvis shook his hips too and the world survived that just fine. I mean all that hip shaking ended up with him dead on a toilet in a sparkly onesie but that happens sometimes. As for Miley, yes, she has a "provocative" performance at the Teen Choice Awards that for about 16.4 seconds involved a pole that began at the floor and just sort of ended about ten feet above the stage. But your imaginations are running away from you, it wasn't that bad.
First of all, she didn't use the pole very much. Second of all, she didn't use the pole all that well. Now, I know this might astonish you, Company, and you might think less of me but I have been to the titty bar and I have seen what a properly trained and creative girl can do with a pole, and Miley wasn't doing any of that. She actually just sort of seemed to be holding on to it for balance. She certainly wasn't doing anything provocative with it. If anything that was one of the tamer moments of the dance. The dance that wasn't all that dangerous to begin with. Okay, okay. She was up there in a tight, skimpy outfit wiggling around. I don't know if you've been living under a rock, or if maybe you just don't want to be a part of your teenager's life, but that' how teenagers dance these days people. That's how they dress. That's just how it is.
I don't want to seem like the old fuddy duddy prude, but high school kids today are wearing things and doing things that they weren't doing when I was in high school, and that wasn't all that long ago. Wander down to any friendly local high school dance and take a peek at what you see going on. If you were surprised by Miley's dance you will be astonished, okay? If you feel creepy hanging out at a high school dance, go down to the friendly local high school basketball game and check out the routines that the dance team and/or cheerleaders perform at halftime. I would bet that their routine would make Miley's look like a nun doing the foxtrot. That is just how the world works: teens are provocative in the way they dress and the way they dance. And they aren't learning it from Miley.
No, she wasn't the first one. There was the same uproar when Britney did it at age 18, and then her little buddy X-tina did it like six months later. So now that Miley is 16, and dressing and dancing like a 16-year-old she is but happens to be doing it on stage on television we are going to run her up for it? We are going to question the ability and attitude of her parents? I mean, it seems to me she is doing alright. She passed a pretty good message generally with all her Hannah Montana stuff, about honesty and family and making a pile of cash, although that WAS all under the direction of the ghost of Walt Disney. But still, she's not pregnant and she's never been arrested, and those are two things that we can't say these days about a lot of 16-year-olds. I know that you are going to trot out the old argument that she is giving young and impressionable girls the wrong message, but Miley Cyrus isn't going to make your daughters wear short shorts and bear their midrifts and shake their ass, okay? MTV will take care of that (yes, I know, Miley is on MTV but bear with me). The mall will make her do that. Cosmo will make her do that.
The bottom line here Company is that everyone is all riled up about Miley Cyrus but she isn't the tip of the iceberg, she is firmly entrenched in the middle of it. She is not setting the trend she is just going along with it, oh, and making a pile of money and fame while not getting in a whole lot of trouble to boot. So settle. You don't blame one specific locust when everything gets destroyed, you blame the swarm. So let's not get all up on Miley, let's place the blame where it belongs: the culture. If we don't want our 16-year-olds shaking their hips and using strategically places poles to keep from balancing over while doing so and making out with boys at the beach, we need to stop making it cool. We need to stop making it okay. We have to replace every pole in the world with a pommel horse or something. We need to stop singing Summer Love, because that was about getting lucky at the beach. It's not here, it's us. So let's just settle down.