Tuesday, October 08, 2013

10-8-13: In Defense of the Indefensible

Ever have one of those awkward moments where you think to yourself, wow, really? Do I really want to go there? Well, I'm gonna go there, and it's somewhere I never ever thought I would go. Defending Miley Cyrus.

I addressed the VMA appearance (I can't bring myself to call it a performance) with a blog post here. Even then, while I hated her appearance, I respected her talent. Though it must be said: I didn't see the TODAY show footage until after I wrote this. So, there are a few notes that I have to add in there.

So many individual thoughts and events have brought me to this post, but long story short: I watched SNL this past weekend, feeling like I was breaching the picket line. But I had to see for myself: Is Miley really just a hot, trampy mess who thinks that sex is over at 40?

So the answer to that simple question posed before the jump? Of course she isn't--is anyone? And don't get me started on what her sex life will be like in 20 years. I mean, she might be tired and over it by then, but she's in for quite a surprise, just sayin'. Think of the long line of young, scantily-clad females (some even more so) who led the charge before her--just as suggestively (again, some even more so). Even better--think of yourself when you were 20. I am thankful my antics weren't onstage anywhere. Maybe on a few tables once or twice, but hey, if you can't dance on a table when you're 20, when is the right time for that?

Major strike against Miley: she's the squeaky clean preteen queen of Disney past, and the world at large just isn't ready to see her like that yet (again, I reference the long line of young, yada-yada-yada predecessors. A few former Mickey Mouse Club alum come to mind. And not Ryan Gosling, but for what it's worth, is it ever a bad thing when Ryan Gosling comes to mind?). And not for nothing, but that sex remark? Shows a lack of savvy. She's a handler short of a superstar and someone needs to get on that--stat! Image matters. Sexy is one thing; showing off your ass in 'pants' cut to make it look like raw chicken quarters is quite another.

But major pro for her is that she's wicked talented--the girl can sing. And act. And she doesn't take herself too seriously. That sets her apart from virtually every other female performer of her age right now (please correct me if I'm wrong. I have to be forgetting somebody, right?). She's got the ability to laugh and poke fun at herself (hello, "Old Miley Meets New Miley" cold open skit) without seeming desperate. She really gets why she might be the butt of the joke but she doesn't really care because she's pretty damn happy with who she is. I just don't get why she's okay with portraying herself as dumb. She's savvy as hell so I can't imagine that she's dumb.

Before I watched the show, I read a post by a friend (which led to a few other brilliant posts) and the gist was: where are the modern-day rebels? I suggested that maybe conforming is the new rebelling--I was thinking of another conversation with a different friend (this one in real life). She's led a totally cool punk-rock existence and as I listened to her tell me of a particularly fun escapade, I wondered aloud: "how ever will our kids rebel when their parents are still rebelling?" To my amused delight, she replied that her child had rebelled by competing in pageants. Sort of a runway-walking Alex P. Keaton way to rebel against her punk rock mom. Brilliant.

I became convinced that conforming was the new rebelling in this next generation of boomer helicopter parents and indulged/entitled millennial children we hear so much about. And then, while I was looking at the conformity? The little rebel sneaked up behind me. I think we found the next generation of envelope-pushers and I hope that Miley's talent takes her far, long after the teddy bear bustier loses its fur.

As for the tongue-wagging, twerking, too-scanty clothes? I'm not a fan. But I'm a 43-year-old suburban mom of two. I'm not supposed to be. Well played, Miley. Well, played.

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