Nobody’s Perfect

Matthew Friend

After Miley Cyrus performed Sunday night at the MTV Video Music Awards, a firestorm erupted on the Internet.  Professional news organizations such as the Los Angeles Times and my Twitter feed read much the same, with most commentators wondering what had happened to America’s sweetheart, who was now dancing to a much more scandalous beat.

Cyrus has for a long time headed down a path much different than her television persona.  In 2008 racy photos of a then 15-year-old Cyrus appeared on the Internet, and in 2010 a video surfaced of the Disney star smoking Salvia, a semi-legal hallucinogen.

Additionally, Cyrus has been off the air for nearly three years.  Why after all of the past drama, in addition to the variety of other headline grabbing stunts she has committed over the past few years, does a racy dance performance have America up in arms?

The entertainment industry has, and continues to produce, teenage role models who simply cannot fit the mold that has been built for them on-air.  Television stations have for years specialized in creating stars, such as Lindsey Lohan, Miley Cyrus, and Amanda Bynes, who formed an image of what the ideal teenage girl should be.

As we all know, nobody on television, even on supposedly “reality” TV, acts that way in real life.  Just as Bryan Cranston (who plays Breaking Bad’s Walter White) is not a manipulative drug lord in reality, Cyrus is not eternally an innocent teenage old pop star.  She is a twenty-year-old recording artist still figuring out life and making mistakes.

In the words of Miley Cyrus herself, nobody’s perfect, some even less so than others.

Yet we continue to treat these now young-adults as if they are, even after proving many times before that they are often quite the opposite.  If we as a society have an issue with Cyrus dancing provocatively, why invite her to perform in front of a national audience when we know full well she is not the Disney princess she was once touted as?

It’s not like her act was unexpected.  For a production as major as the VMAs, obviously her act had been rehearsed many times over and viewed by MTV.  If anything, the media outlet deserves a share of the outrage for allowing what has been deemed improper by the public.

We need to grow up, as Miley obviously has, and realize that there is no such thing in real life as a Disney princess.