Wednesday, August 28, 2013

I actually do care about the Miley Cyrus issue

I said this on Facebook today:

The link to the story is here: Everyone Calm Down About Miley

I used to be from that world so, really, Miley's antics aren't that shocking at all. It's entertainment. Horrible entertainment but it worked. People are talking about her, buying her songs, and the tabloids (both print and online) are happy. Just another day in Lalaland. But that's the former entertainment magazine editor in me talking.

As a feminist, I don't really care what Miley does. She's an adult. I believe in free expression and I can't impose on her what I won't allow people to impose on me: censorship.

As a mother, well, I feel bad for her. I'm sure Miley loves the attention (and the money in the bank) but if I were her mother, I'd rein her in only because what she did was beneath her. Miley's so talented. She could do better, and I don't mean better as in be virginal and sweet. She can still be sexy and hot and outrageous without being cheap. I mean, look at Beyoncé. That woman is practically naked most of the time herself, always showing off her legs, her butt, her cleavage but she does it well. If I were Miley's mommy, I'd make sure that if she wanted to show off her body, it wouldn't distract from her talent.

A friend told me I'd be singing a different tune if I had daughters, that I would be bothered by Miley. Actually, if I were a mommy of girls, it still wouldn't really bother me. If I had daughters, they wouldn't even know who Miley Cyrus is. Yup. It's possible. I grew up without a TV or movies. My mother said they were tools of the devil. So there. No media exposure. I feel like an idiot sometimes especially when I landed a career in media but that's what my parents did and even though I grew up in the age of Madonna, Britney and Spice Girls, I didn't end up sleeping around, being undressed and all that—supposedly the result of being a fan of these amazing women. Why? Because my parents, who eventually allowed TV and a few movies, controlled what media we were exposed to while teaching us good, solid, home-cooked values.

(However, my parents overlooked books. Books are more dangerous than any TV show, movie, song or half-naked celebrity.)

I compare this issue with parents blaming iPads and TV and video games as the reason their kids have behavioral problems or they blame junk food as the reason their kids are fat. Duh. Who bought those gadgets? Who bought those chips? Who is the parent who supposedly controls what the kids do, get exposed to, eat? Some responsibility please.

Don't blame the star for being a bad role model. Look, stars don't become stars because they want to be a role model. They want to be famous and rich and adored. So if the issue is Miley is a bad example to little girls everywhere, there's really no issue.

But but but I'm not done with this issue yet. As a mother of sons, I am concerned. I'm worried about how moms of daughters are so worried about Miley Cyrus and girls of her ilk. Why are you worried? If you're raising your girls right, you'll have nothing to worry about! You'll know that they'll know where real self-worth lies, that seeking attention is vanity, that success borne out of hard work and talent is valuable. I want moms of daughters to not be afraid of Miley. She's a product of the entertainment industry. She's not real. She's an image, a commodity. She's not scary at all.

But I'm scared because I have sons. If your daughters grow up to be like Miley (twerking, half naked, tongue lolling out and all), you'll still love her. She's your daughter. You will love her forever.

If my sons end up with wives like Miley, oh dear heaven, I don't know what I'll do!



P.S. Mom of little girls Daphne Paez told me that Miley's dad is actually worried about his not-so-little girl so there's hope for Miley yet! His advice:

"How many interviews did I give and say, 'You know what's important between me and Miley is I try to be a friend to my kids'? I said it a lot," he admitted. "And sometimes I would even read other parents might say, 'You don't need to be a friend, you need to be a parent.' Well, I'm the first guy to say to them right now: You were right."

Parents, be a parent to your kids. Don't be their friend!

UPDATE Aug 29: Well, this song was just released today. Justin B and Miley C. This song is going to explode. I told ya Miley had it all planned out.


11 comments:

  1. Totally agree with you about controlling the media content your kids get exposed to. This is why letting my daughters watch Katy Perry and Lady Gaga's concerts and videos are absolutely out of the question. My daughters are 9 and 4 years old and I have an 11 year old son. It puzzled me to see very young girls at the concerts of these artists (my facebook feed was full of pics of people who went to the concerts with their kids), Lady Gaga especially. Katy is a bit more tame but not all of her songs are appropriate for young girls to listen to. Firework is ok in my opinion so i allow it. Some people may call me controlling or OA but if I don't do this for my kids, who will?

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    1. Yes, we can't control every little thing they see and hear but we can moderate it while teaching them good taste =) Hopefully, when they're on their own na, what we taught them will stick!

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  2. i agree: Parents, be a parent to your kids. Dont be their friend!

    a lot of times, i hear people saying, (mostly moms to daughters), I want to be my daughter's bestfriend so she'll share to be everything. I disagree. You dont need to be your child's bestfriend - you need to be her mother. You have to draw the line.

    I watched Miley's performance, and yes, she's a talented girl and her performance was really beneath her. sayang.

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    1. Ya, what our kids need to know about us is we love them no matter what but we don't take bullshit, which friends might allow because some shit is fun =)

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  3. i completely understand what you mean ... but you know, young people can also be very impressionable. like you, I didn't grow up sleeping around and walking around half naked, but I made some bad choices too. that doesn't mean my parents weren't good at doing their job. I was just young and curious and sometimes i look back and am so thankful my mistakes weren't so big that it altered my path. i do know some people whose "growing up" phase turned out so differently. as a parent, it's ok to be a little scared about stars who behave this way. it's normal. we just have to be more open to our kids about these new things (twerking!?), be there as much as we can and hope and pray they don't make those bad choices. i think with social media, no amount of censorship can prevent them from knowing who miley cyrus is (or whoever her equivalent is in 10 years).

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    1. Yes, I also know what you mean. Especially when kids are in their teens, they'll do anything and everything to show their autonomy from their parents. I did that, too. Like you, I'm lucky nothing bad happened. =)

      P.S. I bet the Miley Cyrus equivalent in 2023 is going to do something really really jaw-dropping. We'll think of Miley's twerking as cute!

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  4. If you raise your boys right, they won't end up with wives like Miley.

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    1. Let's hope! My parents raised me right but I made some really bad decisions anyway. It's a good thing those bad decisions didn't result to something truly awful. But I came close. Many many times =(

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  5. I wholeheartedly concur. But it really is a delicate balancing act, isn't it - steering kids in the right direction without being overbearing. I also super agree on the dangers of books - the things I learned from my dad's (locked!) top shelf!

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    1. Sigh. Me, too. If my parents knew what I'd grow up to become, I'm sure they'd have given me all the TV and movies and forbidden me from reading =D TV and movies are for entertainment. Books are for ideas. Very dangerous!

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  6. Like you, I have 2 boys, so the Miley issue wasn't so horrifying for me. I totally agree with you that she knows exactly what she's doing and that she had it all planned out in order to be talked about. And it worked. Days later we're still discussing her.

    On the issue of protecting your kids from the evils of media -- I totally agree. And yes, even if I have boys I know that I still need to censor out all the violence and profanity from their environment. We do have techie gadgets but I only allow limited use (my 8 1/2 yr old is allowed only 3 hrs of iPad use in a week, and he's not allowed YouTube. Only the apps that I installed.) I've told my hubby not to watch his violent shows when the kids are awake. It's hard enough to protect them from influences outside the home; at least I can monitor what they're exposed to while they're here.

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This is all pretty new to me so please feel free to share your mommy wisdom!