The Demise of the Cherished Hannah Montana
Whatever happened to our country teeny-bopper?
Miley Cyrus’ Southern kinfolks and worldwide fans wonder seeing the once Smiley Miley being slowly eaten by the corrupt side of entertainment. Her Disney alter-ego Hannah Montana was much loved and an influential figure to almost all kids in the US. All Hannah Montana’s series were closely followed to its end.
Miley played her role well in embodying a down home country girl with down-to-earth songs. Little did we know that on the flipside, she has her eyes set on becoming a pop sensation. Opposite Hannah Montana’s countrified songs were Miley Cyrus’ raunchy tunes with pop and rock elements. She wanted an identity of her own, separate from her Hannah Montana image.
Considering her age at that time, it’s not surprising why she’d wanted to rid herself of anything that felt oppressive. She is, after all, an individual with prerogatives.
And what say Billy Ray Cyrus? Brokenhearted, of course. He said in an interview with GQ Magazine (March 2011) that “he’d take it back in a second” referencing Miley’s teen drama series. But instead of putting the blame to the system of the Hollywood industry, Billy humbly admitted his grave mistake as a parent. While his daughter clearly made a breakthrough in her career, the fame’s intoxication wrecked their once happy and grounded in faith family.
“Live like Christ and He’ll live in you, and that’s what I want to do.”
– 15-Year-old Miley Cyrus to Fox News
Miley Cyrus as the Wrecked Ball
“I will always be the naked girl on the wrecking ball. That’s my worst nightmare…that being played at my funeral.”
– 24 y/o Miley Cyrus, Teen Vogue
Somewhere in the blogosphere, an independent and armchair theologian who calls himself Naked Pastor powerfully illustrated what the general public has done to Miley Cyrus. This was after the controversial twerking of Miley before Robin Thicke in one of her concerts. He titled his cartoon as the Public Stoning of Miley Cyrus. He meant it as a critique against double-standards and likewise, a challenge for Christians to stop being reactionary.
While we’re not forbidden to judge, our naming ourselves as people of God should put us on a position where we’re expected to make sound judgments. That requires more than merely pointing out wrongs. We are to offer helpful solutions as well.
Back to Miley, she’s made headlines with her 2013 hit, “Wrecking Ball.” Her swinging on a big ball naked became an iconic image for the years that came. Thankfully, four years after its release, she realizes the foolishness of that act and admitted regret. That along with her previous unintelligible remarks and self-destructive behaviors.
Taking this scenario into an account, we see a young girl’s life ruined by corporate greed. In the “Wrecking Ball,” Miley Cyrus was a representation of all the young people who were made Hollywood commodities. Their minds were raped; bodies exploited and sexualized. Parents and conscientious staffs were concerned, but the upper-hands just do not care for filthy lucre’s sake. And when it incites public outcries, what do they do? These greedy people will lie through their teeth and convince young talents that it’s a dog-eat-dog world. Still, when the worst comes, these young stars are left to fend for themselves.
So in an effort to protect themselves, they rage and act out on rebellion. Inwardly though, they’re scared and confused. Nobody stands to protect them. Perhaps, the following song from Miley’s Backyard Sessions could better express all the aforesaid sentiments.
“Look What They’ve Done to My Songs”
Miley’s Transitions and Choices
“In 3 to 5 years, she’ll be facing adulthood…as she does, she’ll want to change her image and that change will be met with adversity.” – Donny Osmond on Miley, Time Magazine 2008
Of course, Miley Cyrus has her own faults. Regardless of her environment and circumstances, she has the freedom to choose between good and evil. Numerous times, she’s been under the influence of booze and stones. Consequently, she did a lot of bad things that even her latter self-wasn’t proud of.
But when hope for Miley appeared slim, we’re seeing gradual changes in her. Having passed puberty’s phase with all its streaks of folly, she’s starting to make better choices. The slutty and wild girl must have thought of her was no longer in sight on media. (Well, except for the old ones some vultures gingerly picked-up and are shamelessly churning to date in the name of controversy.)
In her recent appearances and gigs, Miley now carries herself in a dignified manner. Her coming to maturity is also evident in the kind of songs and acts she’s incorporating into her performances. We’ve seen her do covers for classic songs from renowned artists. Notable of course is her godmother and America’s Sweet Heart, Dolly Parton. On numerous occasions, we’ve seen Miley often pick one of Dolly’s hit, “Jolene.”
Her consistent contact with her godmother has proven fruitful as she quietly learns from Dolly’s great example. She’s seen her treat people with love and respect. Miley then could not help but idolize Dolly and has only good words about her godmother/role model.
“Always a reminder to me and my family of what is important. Never let success change your heart.”
– Miley Cyrus on Dolly Parton
In an interview with The Sun, Dolly Parton said that her god daughter’s going to be fine. She did not lose faith in Miley despite how badly she’s been portrayed.
“I have Seen her through all her phases and I have always had faith in her….Everybody has to grow up.”
– Dolly Parton on Miley Cyrus
While the young Miley Cyrus may have, for some time, been corrupted, the woman that she’s becoming now is of a different breed. Slowly and steadily, she’s reinventing herself. Her performance on the bohemian inspired “Malibu” was noticeably demure compared to her previous songs. Miley told Billboard in May 2017 that she has been staying clean from drugs and alcohol.
The “Climb” to a More Well- Rounded Person
Dolly Parton was right about Miley going to be fine. Because let’s admit it, people. On top of her superb talents, Miley’s very savvy. Now sober-minded, she knows exactly where she’s headed. Take one of her tracks called “Inspired” for example.
Following her god-mother Dolly’s footsteps, Miley Cyrus is also a Philanthropist. In 2014, she launched her Happy Hippie Foundation to help vulnerable and oppressed people including homeless youths and those in the LGBT community. By doing backyard records, she encouraged people to donate for the cause. Prior to that, have we easily forgotten that following the wake of Haiti tragedy, the then 18-year-old Miley Cyrus personally delivered relief goods and comfort?
Such awareness and initiative from a young star should not be overlooked. Nevertheless, here’s a list of other charities and humanitarian endeavors that Miley’s currently supporting. And note, this is not even the exhaustive list.
- Amnesty International
- Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation
- Blessings in a Backpack
- Celebrity Fight Night Foundation
- City of Hope
- Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
- Dollywood Foundation
- Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation
- Elton John AIDS Foundation
- Entertainment Industry Foundation
- Feeding America
- Habitat For Humanity
- Houston Children’s Charity
- J/P Haitian Relief Organization
- Kids Wish Network
- Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center
- Music for Relief
- Red Cross
- Save The Music Foundation
- Youth Service America
Shedding Self- Destructive Behaviors
Miley Cyrus is continually evolving and let’s hope it’s towards being the best version of herself. Like other child stars, this young lady grew up before the camera. The public is a witness to the different phases of her life from a goody-two-shoes to a risqué teenager, and now a lady who knew her voice well.
And, let’s get real about her. She won’t obviously meet the conservative’s idea of a dignified woman. Having observed Miley, she’s not one to submit to people’s expectations. She could not even care less about the media. Still, if there’s one thing admirable about her, it’s that she’s always being truthful on who she is. Hence, there’ll be nothing from her we can call fake. Love her or hate her, there’s no doubt that Miley’s a real deal. People may hate her for several reasons, label her, and hurl insults. Those don’t bother her anymore.
So what do we have to say? We’re thankful to see that she no longer does things to harm herself. Even at her worst, we’d want to be among those who won’t withhold love for her. We’ll be supportive especially when she’s headed the right path. What about when she’s not? We won’t condone evil but will fervently pray for God to give her wisdom in all her decision-making.
On Her Rumored Departure from Christianity
With just a few words pertaining to “meditation” and her calling Buddhism “lovely,” speculations about her denouncing the Christian faith mushroomed on the internet. When Miley mentioned and encouraged meditation for young girls, she was only trying to share what has worked for her. She did not, however, verbally maligned Christianity nor did she reject Jesus.
“People are always looking for you to do something that is non-Christian. ..If I wear something revealing, they go, ‘Well, that’s not Christian.’ And I’m like, ‘Yeah, I’m going to go to hell because I’m wearing a pair of really short white shorts.’ Suddenly I’m a slut.” -Miley Cyrus, 17, Parade 2010
“..I don’t necessarily define my faith by going to church every Sunday. Because now when I go to church, I feel like it’s a show. There are always cameras outside.”
...I am very spiritual in my own way. Let me make it clear, though–I am a Christian. Jesus is who saved me. He’s what keeps me full and whole. But everyone is entitled to what they believe and what keeps them full. Hopefully, I can influence people and help them follow the same path I am on, but it is not my job to tell people what they are doing wrong.” – Miley Cyrus, Chron. 2010
How we missed that dear young lady! She was raised in a Southern Baptist family. But no matter how far Miley may have strayed, she’s not a hopeless case. Reading her earlier statements on Christianity, she had a strong foundation in faith. While some may still find an issue on Miley still being blindsided on her understanding of the Christian life, it does not change the fact that she still hopes for Jesus to save her.
Going by technicality, a Christian is someone who identifies with Jesus, taking him in as Savior and Lord. It has nothing to do with religious practices and ethics. Temperance, good works, and treating the body as God’s holy temple are the by-products. Miley’s still on her journey to discovering what’s best for her. It’s easy to get on a moral high ground and get preachy about her mistakes. But that will not be helpful. Calling her a “fake” Christian will be counter-productive either.
So what do we have to do with this woman? Love her like Jesus does. Surely, her immediate family may have constantly tried to get her back on her spiritual roots. Let’s help them in prayer. There’s nothing impossible to God.
We’re excusing nothing about Miley Cyrus’ past especially her wild adventures. It’s just that we’re in agreement with Dolly Parton. Everybody has to grow-up including Miley Cyrus. Unapologetically, it’s our happy tears to see she’s finally getting her sense back.
And to those who are still skeptics of her changing for the better, hope they’ll be reminded of the array of legendary Country Singers who were also once a “lost and found” case. We’ve extended our understanding to the point of forgiving them. Why should it be different with Miley? Whether she’ll come back to Country or stay Pop, there’s no denying that she’s still one talented woman.
Where is Miley Cyrus Now?
Earlier this year in January, Miley Cyrus sang opposite Elton John at the 60th Grammy Awards. Many were delighted seeing a graceful woman in a gown of red. A distant departure from the mindless-twerking-pop star image. More of this Miley!
Currently, she’s busy working on another album. Whatever’s in it, may she be the embodiment of “inspiration” she called herself to be.
A Look at Her Kind-Heartedness
We see her happier in a healthy way now. Shouldn’t we congratulate and encourage her? Hence, we want to include highlighting the times when Miley did something helpful for people.
1. She brought a homeless kid at the 2014 MTV VMAs and had him deliver a speech on homelessness. More than $200,000 was raised that night for My Friend’s Place.
2. She took two trips to Haiti to hand-deliver hearing aids for the 400 Haitians who are in need. She said that she couldn’t imagine people not being able to hear the beauty of music. Hence, the passion project.
3. Without batting an eyelid, Miley’s a generous giver. In 2014, she donated $500,000 for the AMFAR funds for HIV/AIDS research.
4. She’s an active participant and supporter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation. She makes time to fulfill sick children wishes.
5. Twice, Miley used her birthday celebrations as avenues to raise money for causes she believes in. On her 16th birthday, she sold concert tickets to her fans and proceeds went to the Youth Service America. When she turned 20, she asked millions of her Twitter followers to donate to the Saving Spot! Dog Rescue in Los Angeles.
6. Here’s one of our favorites. Despite her busy schedule, Miley went all the way to record a video message for a dying fan suffering from cystic fibrosis. The girl received Miley’s message and six hours later, she passed away. That night, Miley dedicated her concert for her. Her name was Miss Caley.
“It’s not about how much or how far. It’s about looking at your neighbors and seeing how you can help. This isn’t just stuff that is all over the world. It’s right here, right next to you.” – Miley, PSA 2010
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