Miley Cyrus is considered as one of the most influential pop icons of today’s culture because of her controversial clothing and dance moves. The controversy does not stem from the way she is dressed in the present but it does stem from the distinct shift of style from the Hannah Montana character into this ‘slutty’ chick formation. Hannah Montana was a Disney Show in which Miley Cyrus performed as Hannah Monata, a young high school singer with a lot of enthusiasm to sing and dance. The concept of the show was very popular at time (2000s) and these type of shows even made it into movies which were globally distributed. Because kids enjoyed watching the struggles of the ‘talented’ high school youth, they kept dreaming that one day they can also be so talented that they can overcome their issues in school by singing songs and by acting cool. Parents were also okay with this teen pop-star because she was witty, smart and not ‘slutty’. So she was an approved role model for children. Hannah Montana character was so widely commercialized that you can find most commonly used children’s products like pencil cases, toys, bags etc. with Hannah Montana character printed on them. As a result, in children’s point of view, she was a way more important celebrity than Einstein was.
After publishing a few platinum records and movies, the transition had begun. Similar to other pop icons that are standing out with their sexually determined features such as nudity of their clothing, the dirtiness of their dance moves and nasty lyrics, she was slowly assimilated into that culture.
Although parents were not much reactive at the first stages, the controversy had risen greatly after the 2013 VMA Award show of Miley Cyrus with Robin Thicke, millions of people were flaming them for such an explicit performance. In the beginning of the show, Miley Cyrus gets on the stage from the stomach of a Teddy Bear. She is wearing a tan colored top and bottom while sticking her tongue out absurdly.
After a few songs, Robin Thicke and Miley Cyrus performs ‘Blurred Lines’, another song that raised a lot of controversy, with sexually explicit dance moves. Normally if Lady Gaga was performing instead of Miley Cyrus, it wouldn’t be such a big problem. But Miley Cyrus was a teen icon for 2000s kids. Performing an explicit song with sexually obtrusive dance moves can actually be described with an internet slang: “Right in the Childhood”.
According to Peggy Orenstein’s article “What’s Wrong with Cinderella”she states that girl’s toys are becoming sexified and this quick turn from innocent pink to hot-sexy pink might affect the child’s psychology and attitude toward sexual relationships before she reaches an adolescent age. Therefore she implies that idolizing such characters may result in a hyper-sexualization and instead of letting them discover their own identity, idolization may force little girls into acting in a more feminine and sexified ways. Similar to her statement, idolizing Miley Cyrus as a teen idol might have adverse effects on children’s psychological and sexual development. The way she dresses and the way she ‘moves’ might influence and encourage little girls to do the same thus resulting as a delusional perception of today’s society. Parent’s should educate their children about the current stance of popular culture and help them distinguish between what is common (normal or not) and what represents the Hollywood play. I am absolutely not acting as a conservative male who finds such figure abnormal and I am just making a critique about how we should raise our children and how we should educate them so that they can choose their role models wisely.