Haters Get In Line: Miley Cyrus Can't Be Tamed
Miley Cyrus in concert.
As Miley Cyrus makes her way into adulthood, the media storm she has been caught in since she was 14 is expected to grow tenfold.
Haters get in line.
After all, by her 18th birthday the empire she helped start--which includes mega-successful CDs, movies, concerts, a TV show and all things Hannah Montana--will be worth an estimated $1 billion dollars. Not bad for the richest tween in the history of child stars.
With a slew of platinum records already under her belt as well, Miley will release her newest, much sexier musical effort, Can't Be Tamed, before an 18-and-older crowd at the House of Blues next week. If she were merely a concert-goer, Miley of course would not be old enough to attend.
But just as every pop songstress struggles with the transition to sexy, expect the critics to come pouring in, ready to pounce on the racy sight of a tight skirt or some revealing cleavage. Relax. Given Miley's abnormally young fan base, bloggers have turned up the fire even more than usual.
Sinking to a new low, even for him, celebrity gossip king Perez Hilton set the mark by posting a doctored upskirt photo of Miley on his Twitter account. Thinking he was just joining the ring of haters, the crime was strikingly reminiscent of teens in the Midwest who were charged as sex offenders for sexting pictures of minors, which Miley still happens to be. Perez was fortunately let off the hook (feds have no plans to pursue child pornography charges against him), but the incident did give Miley yet another misguided headline in the media.
While the noise from dissenters is trying to drown out the tween queen's astronomical ascent, those hoping she'd fail should probably just keep their mouths shut.
Even all the hooplah for a supposedly scandalous Annie Lebowitz shoot in Vanity Fair didn't keep Miley from hitting her mark. A week after the drama, her first solo album without the Hannah Montana franchise attached to it, Breakout, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 with Miley's highest numbers to date, going on to sell more than 1.5 million copies nationwide. In this case, as well as others, controversy seems to be Miley's calling.
For a girl so young trapped in a never-ending blitz of paparazzi and tabloid talk, Miley is receptive and boldly dismissive. Misjudge her all you want, the singer is really conforming to a pre-existing pop music standard set by those before her (midriff-baring pioneer Britney Spears comes to mind), which there's nothing wrong with. She defends her more sexual image as a double standard that young men, such as boy bands like the Jonas Brothers and fellow Disney actor Zac Efron, are more easily able to get away with.
"Girls are immediately going to say, 'Oh she's trying to sell sex.' Well, I love Zac Efron, but what's he selling?" she said. With Zac frolicking shirtless on beaches in Hawaii this past weekend (as well as gracing the cover of People magazine for best beach bodies), she does have a point.
And while people point the finger at the 17-year old for being over-the-top slutty (Perez nicknames Miley "Slutty Cyrus" on his site), perhaps they should look at who is paying the bills. Miley's new, more-adult sounding CD is produced by the Disney-owned Hollywood Records, the label which brought names like the Jonas Brothers, Demi Lovato and Miley's "Hannah Montana" persona to life. There is no startling breakaway in that regard.
With the marketing machine behind Disney on overdrive (promotion for Miley's new record has been the highest yet), it would make complete sense that the mouse house is pushing Miley to go this route, especially given Disney's reputation for keeping its stars so creatively knotted.
Clearly, Disney is on board for Miley to sexify her demographic, allow her fans to grow with the new image and sound and, ultimately, allow the biggest music artist in the history of its brand to takes risks for herself and for the squeaky-clean Disney face. She is a moneymaker. Picking up where a young Hilary Duff failed, Miley has the potential to single-handedly push the young fan bases that follow the Disney franchise past their tween years and into young adulthood.
No question sex sells, and for the family brand, Miley is breaking barriers.