Who influences you? Miley Cyrus controversy…

Nov 12th, 2013

When I was 17 years old, I distinctly remember being interviewed for a scholarship at Southern Utah University. I was nervous that day, but I was determined to do my best. They asked me a question that threw me off, but it wasn’t a very hard question. They asked me, “Who is your hero?” I sat there for a few seconds before I answered honestly, “My hero is my Mom.” I remember specifically explaining how kind my Mom was. I don’t remember anything else about that interview, but my Mom had made an impact on me, and I’m glad it was so.

Fast forward to today…I was watching E! News. Yes, I do watch it occasionally, and although it’s basically a smutty magazine on the screen, I get sucked into celebrity gossip. Today they reported about Miley Cyrus lighting up marijuana {allegedly since no one can prove it was weed…HA} on the stage at the European Music Awards in Amsterdam. Ummmmm…I can’t say I was surprised, but I am a bit sickened by it.

I am so sad about this. I am not trying to be critical of Miley, in fact, for some reason I want to give her a big hug. But, it was just a few years ago that my daughter Oaklyn was a die hard Hannah Montana fan. She was a bit young for the craze, so she only caught the tail end of the madness. But Oaks definitely knows who Miley is, and whenever she makes headlines, she catches Oaklyn’s attention.

119203_D_0396miley lighting up

Image Source                                                                                                    Image Source

Like my daughter, millions of young girls have looked up to “Hannah Montana” since her Disney channel years, and although she has made it VERY clear that she is all grown up now, I’m afraid that she is taking it a bit too far.

So today I am posting about this issue to beg you to talk to your daughters. I am talking to all my kids about drugs {not for the first time might I add} tonight. Any family that has been affected by drugs will agree that they can tear a family apart. I don’t know how Miley’s Dad feels about it, but I get a sick feeling in my stomach when I think about all those little girls who idolized her back then and are now getting close to adulthood themselves. I hope they aren’t walking down the same path that she is.  She is condoning drug use publicly and confidently. I know drug use and addiction can be two different categories. But to me they aren’t far from each other.

Oaklyn {my 10 year old daughter} just walked in, and I showed her the pictures of Miley on my screen. Her reaction was, “She looked so pretty back then.” I agree Sissy, I agree.

Who are our daughters idolizing? Who are their heros? Is it their mothers? Or is it someone else sneaking into our homes through the media?

Are there any good examples left out there? I know that no one is perfect, but the Duck Dynasty Robertson family seems to have good morals and values.

Thoughts? Be kind.

Comments

  1. Great reminder on the importance of talking to our kids. Someone else is, so our voices need to be the loudest!
    Thank you for the reminder!

  2. I had to check but the awards were held in Amsterdam. So, technically Ms. Cyrus did nothing wrong. Marijuana is legal there. Stay with me….

    From the time my kids were small whenever I read about an average person doing something great I have said loudly “Wow, what a HERO!” I have taken them to historical site after historical site and when coming across someone wonderful have proclaimed “What an amazing person!” My kids look up to people who aren’t always in the news. But yes, some are famous. My daughter still remembers the emotional experience of visiting the Anne Frank house when she was 12. It is located in Amsterdam. At the time right next to it was a marijuana bar.

    The bottom line is that we are given free will by God and it is up to us to choose the good. Tonight I will pray that Ms. Cyrus starts choosing the good and parents start proclaiming that soldiers, medical workers, missionaries and other everyday people are the true heroes.

  3. I think it’s sad that she thinks that because she goes out in public scantily clad, talking about sex, and promoting drug use, that it proves she’s an adult. If anything, it just shows how much more growing up she has to do.

  4. Nellita Haase says:

    Miley who?

    It seems impossible to do because its on the news and internet, but we really need to stop PAYING attention to her. That’s what the industry wants the public to do; that’s how they get paid. Obviously, I can’t speak for her or any other artist out there, but I believe they’re well aware of what they’re doing, hence the name SHOW business. I feel the same about the conservative artists too, they start out praying and being “godly” then, Boom! they’re in a leaked You Tube video with their mistress or something.

    I’m not even upset about the tacky marijuana display because I’m sure the show’s sponsors included a drug company that millions of loving grandmas consume monthly. (Remember, your body can’t tell if a drug is legal or not. it will just mess you up regardlessly). It’s the same thoroughly researched marketing techniques used by Hollywood and politicians to simply conquer and divide people while they make millions and we act like confused ants at a picnic. The media will focus on a few crazy artists and have the entire world believe they’re no sane ones left. That’s a ploy to make the public just settle for what they’re selling and pressure other artists to be more and more risque.

    Solutions to this epidemic of foolishness is to start in your own house: be mindful of what you & your family watch (especially the news), unplug the darn TV, read a good book, support positive artists, do one of Brooke’s awesome projects, and like she said TALK with your daughters and sons!

  5. Wendy High says:

    I am saddened by the path Miley is on. She is a lost girl fighting to make her way in this world, all the while trying to prove to herself, her family, and the world that she is an adult. I keep her, as well as the majority of the public figures, in my prayers. I have always felt that it is a very difficult life for a child to grow up in the lime light. I have taught my children that what you see on television and movies are not real life. The real life is what you are living. The true heroes of this world are the fire fighters, police officers, EMTs, Dr’s, nurses, nursing assistances, etc., not to mention those that do good deeds for others, especially those that do these deeds secretly, not looking for recognition. Our world has lost the values of humanity, the true meaning of happiness, and love for our fellow man. In saying all this, it our responsibility to raise our children to be these kinds of heroes, not the world’s responsibility.

  6. Miley Cyrus is a young woman in the public eye, trying to make a transition from her child persona to her adult one. Is she making mistakes? Absolutely. Is she being clumsy and unapologetic about some of them? Again, absolutely. But she’s is doing it right out in public, where we can all see. Thankfully, our kids didn’t have to do that. They got to explore and make their mistakes in private. I don’t think she’s out of control, YET. She may get there, or she may grow into a mature young woman. In any case, I think she will continue to be interesting and talented and it will all be on her own terms. I think her parents raised her that way.
    As for “heroes”, yes, there is something very messed up about the way we view our heroes. We make our heroes ball players and rock stars and reality tv stars. My heroes are the people I surround myself with. My husband who has battled cancer for 13 years. My friend, who has a spinal cord injury and is in a wheelchair for the last two years. My daughter, who worked hard and got her degree and now serves her country in the military as a linguist. People who face unbelievable challenges every day and keep on going in spite of them. Those are my heroes. Perhaps we need to redefine what a hero is.

  7. I learned as a child that being told I had better not do something was one of the worst things a parent could do. I talked to my daughter and tried to instill in her to respect herself, if she doesn’t respect herself no one else will. I tried to instill self esteem and I think I did a pretty good job. She is 16 (why do they call it sweet) and I am not her most favorite person right now, but it hasn’t changed what was instilled in her.
    There is a lot to me said by leaving something to the imagination. A lot of celebrities dress skimpy you could say, but Miley portrayed herself to be white trash, not just the clothes, but the whole act. My first thought when I saw it was, thankfully she had a braziallian wax.

  8. This is why Christ is the only “Hero” and my son will be taught this.

    People are flawed. We are Human and designed to make mistakes. No one is perfect. I have compassion for Miley because like Britney Spears,Madonna, Anna Nicole, Marilyn… there is a price to be paid for being a symbol for sex, greed and debauchery. The cost is your self respect. Some girls like Miley have come out the other side to become Women. Some get lost along the way.

    I will teach my son that girls like Miley should be prayed for. Neither mocked nor imitated. I will teach my son to be kind to girls like this because they need it the most. If I ever have a daughter, I will teach her that what Miley is doing is not strength but weakness. She is out of control and does not even know it. I pray that she does clean up one day and soon.

    • I would hope you also teach your son that BOYS like Chris Brown, Justin Bieber and Kanye West are also not to be idolized for their lewd, suggestive behavior. They are also in need of some guidance…I wish people would stop picking on the girls behavior, and look at the bigger picture.

  9. I just have a hard time judging Miley Cyrus. I have a hard time believing that she owes anyone anything. Just because she was a child star with a popular show and little girls loved her doesn’t mean she can’t be who she wants to be. It’s up to us all individually to decide who we look up to, who we let our children watch on TV. Okay, yeah, she might not be doing what I would do, or what I would want my daughter doing, but as an adult we have the right to do what we want (within the law of course), and we should not be shaming women into being anything other than themselves. We need to all talk to our own kids about the dangers of drug use and that life style, but in the end it’s their choice. Hopefully we will have taught them well.

    • You are correct, it’s one of the blessings of being an American – the freedom to choose. With that freedom comes the freedom for others to judge and to face the consequences either positive or negative that come from our choices.

  10. I wonder if she ever thinks about the kids that watched and followed her as Hannah Montana, and the effect her current behavior/lifestyle has on them. I wonder if she cares. I get that being a child star, and one of famous parents, can make for an interesting upbringing. But, as a parent, it is my responsibility to raise a responsible child. I can only hope that our influence on our daughter will ultimately guide her the right direction. I try not to judge people because I don’t know their whole story, their influences, their demons. But, I can choose who I expose myself and my family to, and to what extent. For Miley’s sake, I hope she works out her demons. This is probably not a fair comparison, but Brittany Spears sure seems to have worked her out. Lindsey Lohan may be on her way as well.

  11. My daughter is 9 and like yours came in on the tail end of Hannah. She recently saw a picture of Mylie and said “what have you done to yourself?” It makes me sad that today’s society makes Mylie think that glorifying sex and drugs is the positive thing to do. She snubs her Disney followers saying that isn’t who she is, but she wouldn’t be anyone without them being fans first!

  12. You asked who are the good examples out there. Duck Dynasty is an awesome show. The family really tries to show that they are followers of Christ, first and foremost. There aren’t many other good examples out there, but they DO exist. They just fly under the radar because their behavior is not shocking, like Miley. I feel everything Miley is doing is for the sake of publicity. Let’s stop talking about her. Debbie Ryan, the star of Jesse, is a professing Christian. The girl from iCarly went to college and quit the show for that reason. That has gone under the radar. There are good examples out there for our daughters, but we, the moms, have to point them in that direction. Thanks for the reminder!

  13. Like you ,I just want to reach out and give her a big ole motherly hug. I think that she had to grow up a little to fast, and she skipped the teenage angst stage , and is in the midst of it right now and is just crying out for help,love ,assurance. Children, well , everyone craves love and limits, if you can’t get it by being good,then being bad will get some kind of reaction. Anything is better than nothing at all. I keep her in my prayers.

  14. As far as famous people go, I admire Peyton Manning and his family. We watched The Book of Manning on ESPN recently, and it was so encouraging. Made me want to be a better parent. Watching old episodes of The Cosby Show makes me feel that way too.

  15. I feel for these starlets. The life they lead, while immensely privileged, also creates such an incredibly unhealthy atmosphere for them to grow up in. The expectations that people put on them, to be money-making machines, morph from adorable little girls to sex kittens, etc, is tantamount to abuse, in my view.

    That said, some come through it ok. Emma Watson from the Harry Potter movies seems to have done well – went to college, etc. Jon Huntsman’s daughters are all pretty laudable.

    I sure don’t envy anyone bringing up a young woman today. So many challenges and conundrums! I’d want mine to have all the opportunities which exist, but not be …tainted? With the ick that’s out there.

    I will say – I’m a little bit older than a lot of my online friends, and I have some really AWESOME younger woman friends, full of grace, talent, brains, and purpose. I’ve met most of them through communities for books or crafts. Birds of a feather DO tend to flock together, so find some good birds. :D (wow. what a tortured metaphor, lol!)

  16. I didn’t really know anything about her except she was once a disney-channel girl who turned into some sort of bad girl, like so many celebrity women do for some odd reason. I was surprised at the total uproar people are having about her lighting up a joint though….I didn’t think it was that big of a deal–I mean, after some of the theatrics she’s been pulling, it doesn’t surprise me at all. Would everyone be as shocked if she did it on stage in Colorado now? Who knows. I WOULD have been surprised though if it was a crack pipe.

  17. Mind Bender says:

    Madona did just fine.. Our parents were saying the same things about her back then… She will grow and mature…It is a business.. to get publicity.. andthere “is not bad Publicity”

  18. I read this post last night, and thought for a bit about what my idea of a hero is, who I hope my two year old daughter’s hero will be someday, and read what some others posted. Regardless of what one thinks of current celebrity, where one’s own values lie, or what they aspire to teach their young, it is indeed an thought provoking and careful subject for families to consider. My answer to the issue has become more clear with each passing day. Quite simply, we unplug our tv. And our computer. (And tablet, and phone, and…..) In our time together, we read books(procured from the local library), we go for long walks, we visit the playground, we seek out state and county parks at which to hike and find insects and collect leaves. We paint pumpkins (or rocks or sticks), we put on puppet shows, cook dinner, and have hot tea or cold water with friends and family. All of these activities are nearly if not entirely free. And when we are in the grocery checkout line and my tiny girl asks who the people in the bright and shiny pictures are, I say those are some people who sing. Most days, I honestly can’t tell her their names. Then I ask her if she likes to sing, or what the last book we read was about, or what we want to make for dinner, and attention is redirected to something that she loves, and I fully approve of. I realize the ease of averting this situation will change as she grows, but I am hopeful that the years spent playing outside and using her imagination will remain in the forefront of her joyous activities. My experience teaching middle schoolers has informed me that even the dreaded tweens and teens like exploring, getting their hands dirty (with mud or paint) and laughing in a shared experience. While she is young, and constantly by my side, I will attempt to surround her with people who value books, travel, learning and ideas, and be sure she is party to discussions of these things, in hopes that one day she will surround herself with the same. When we need the easy break electronics provide, because someone is sick, or exhausted, I turn on the discovery channel, or pbs, or hgtv even, because they offer something more than flash and noise to my family. Then we regroup, and unplug again. While this method, this attempt, is not perfect, easy or the only route, and I certainly miles from flawless or unfaltering, it is working for us. And I’d recommend it time and again, because whether our kids say it or not, whether we realize it or not, we are the heros, role models and formers of these tiny humans, and I find it quite likely that they will follow the example we set, not only in words and actions, but also in how we spend our daily minutes.

  19. Sadly, I don’t think there are any good influences for girls out there. The “good” ones, like Taylor Swift (I assume), are just teaching girls to be vapid and base their self-worth upon men. The “bad” ones, like Katy Perry, are just teaching girls to be…vapid and base their self-worth upon men. The only real difference is how much clothing the singer happens to be wearing at the time, and I don’t buy into slut shaming or endorse the constant objectification of women’s bodies, so I don’t particularly care how flesh-toned Miley’s bikini is.

    Of course, I also don’t think Miley’s marijuana use is an issue. Marijuana actually has a lot of valuable medicinal properties and is not akin to, say, the ecstasy she also claims to do, which is full of chemicals and can really mess you up.

    I have a seven-year-old son, and to me the most important thing is that he learns a) to recognize and reject racism, sexism, and classism in our country, b) not to objectify women sexually, and c) that what people look like or what religion they practice has no bearing on their value as a person. We live in a super backwards society that judges young women for things it does not judge young men for. All of these comments expressing dismay and distress that Miley is expressing a relatively radical sexuality don’t seem to also be troubled by the sexuality expressed by her male peers. Where’s the outrage that Robin Thicke has written and popularized a rape anthem? Does everyone realize that Justin Bieber is high, like…all the time now?

    There is a nasty double standard, particularly in our country. We expect “good” girls to be ladylike, demure, and obedient. No such restrictions are put on young men. I don’t have a daughter, but if I did, the thing I would most want to teach her in response to this particular issue is that society will always have an opinion on her appearance and that her body is considered public property. I would want her to recognize that at the same time Miley is sexualized because of her body, she is shamed and judged for owning that body and expressing that sexuality. I would teach her that the piling on of Miley and “slut shaming” is indicative of the rape culture in which we live, and that she must be aware of that misogynistic crap and reject it at every turn.

    What DOES bother me about Miley’s recent turn is her shameless and racist appropriation and fetishization of black women’s bodies. Her VMA performance was rife with super offensive objectification–not only of herself, as she played along with Thicke’s revolting rape song, but also of the black female dancers she dressed up as toys and groped sexually.

  20. Great post Brooke!

    When I look at all these poor teens who get so much fame and money at such a young age it makes me sad. They never get a chance to really develop an inner feeling of self confidence and self esteem that can sustain them through the hard years. They are always looking for attention, affirmations, and others to look at them and think how edgy and cool they are.

    What I take away from these kids is that I have to work harder as a mother to build my kids self esteem and self confidence. I want to teach them they are more than their bodies or their athletic abilities. What makes them special is the whole package – their minds, their sense of humor, their kindness, and even their mistakes. I want them to feel good enough about themselves from the inside to sustain them. I hope they have enough strength to make it through the hard times without needing others to feed them and their egos. Despite the medias portrayal of the famous having it all I think they are disproportionally sad, lonely, and empty.

  21. I totally agree with everything you said. I talk to my daughters about drugs (we live in CA’s “Emerald Triangle”) and today my 14 yr old had a session in her Honours English class with expert witnesses to debate recreational marijuana use and I would have been horrified if she had come home with a revised opinion of the subject.
    However: Miley Cyrus was in AMSTERDAM!
    Amsterdam is THE European destination for pot use because it is totally 100% legal and acceptable. When I have been in Amsterdam in the past it is as common as cigarette smells on the streets. While many of us who live in a culture where marijuana use is a criminal activity may judge her activities stupid; it helps to see things in context. Similarly children are allowed (and regularly do) have watered wine with meals in France which is something many many parents in the USA would find difficult not to judge. So whether or not she might regularly use it: she was in Amsterdam and thus behaving in what is considered a totally acceptable social activity in a culture different to the standard American/British culture.

  22. While I do agree with most of you in the way that Miley is “acting” I do feel like there are some unnecessary attacks going on. I do believe that the right type of hero should be acknowledged by our society, why are we putting down athletes and “rock stars”? There are a lot of athletes and “rock stars” who were educated at the collegiate level who are successful and rightly so. Lady Gaga went to the prestigious Tish School of the Arts in New York. John Mayer went to Berkley. I’m not sure of Whoopi Goldberg’s credentials but she is a phenomenal actress and an excellent example of work ethic and inspiration. There are brilliant musicians and athletes who went to school and grew up in adversity while remaining resilient and constantly pushing forward. Believe it or not, there are musicians out there who are majoring in music education and teaching our youth (aka me) who are also constantly auditioning and putting ourselves out there to be a voice for society. Some of those people have made it. I feel like you should not take away from those people simply because you were born in a generation where you were told that kind of thing is “unrealistic”. It has been proven that music increases “good” grades and test scores. (If you’re into those whole one-size fits all standardized tests). My point, I don’t condone in promoting drug abuse, however, do not generalize one group of people simply because one is causing a controversial ruckus while trying to clumsily figure out what it means to become an adult. There is not one way and her mistakes are publicized but one does not magically become a mature adult over night considering those circumstances. So relax, if you’re a solid parent you just have to let your kids know that everyone is different and to be their own person and to be the best they can be regardless of what they see in the media.

  23. I live in New Orleans, and just about 2 years ago Mylie was in town filming a movie. One day while shopping downtown, my three daughters ran into her. My two youngest had been been HUGE fans of the Hannah Montana show,and while my oldest was 19 at the time, she also loved her music. I remember how excited the three of them had been, and how nice they said she had been. She spoke to thme for over fifteen minutes, and she even took the time out to sign autographs for them, and take a few pictures. We all thought it was very sweet of her, particulary since in my business, I have the opportunity to work with celebrity clients on a regular basis. I can tell you many of them are so caught up into themselves that they would NEVER do what she did. How sorry and disappointed I and my daughters have been, to see what she has been up to lately. This is certainly very different from the young lady my kids met not long ago. My daughters are no longer fans, as they believe that she is more vulgar than anything else now, but we continue to pray for her in th hope that she may realize the error of the choices she’s making now. She may never act like Hannah Montana again, but I hope for her sake she starts making better choices because we all know if we live long enough, we may actually learn from our mistakes. Here’s to better things ahead for her!

  24. oh she is mental case

Speak Your Mind

*