Miley seems to be the topic on everyone’s lips these days. But why all the fuss? After all the feathers were being ruffled way before she swung around naked on a wrecking ball. Britney and Christina were dancing around in scantily clad rags before Miley was even a twinkle in the eye.
The fact is, sex sells, it is the oldest business known to man and we’ve been filtering it through music for years now. And hey, to those of you thinking “that’s unfair! Miley is really talented. She’s not just a sex object!” Fair play to you, I’m not saying that people don’t listen to Miley’s music for the remarkable poetry within her lyrics. I’m just saying that when she gets naked and stuff, people tend to sit up and pay attention a touch more swiftly.
Miley Circus’s stunt at the MTV music awards, although shunned by many, has undoubtedly boosted her fame and in effect made a lot of people a lot of money. Her video for the single ‘wrecking ball’ in which she swings around naked for nearly 4 minutes has over 200 million hits on youtube and the single is currently number one in the US and UK singles charts. The fact remains whether you like it or not, people are buying into it; its ethical impact however remains a heated course of debate.
These passionate feelings are illustrated in Sinead O’Connor’s personal letter to Miley in which she advises her on the dangerous image the latter is portraying through the media. In O’Connor’s letter she suggests that Cyrus “is being pimped out by the music business” and warns her of the effects her actions may have on young females around the world.
Nobody can doubt that millions of young girls idolise and look up to Miley Cyrus, copying her style and advocating her behaviour. “You people need to stop judging her she is trying to make a statement!” writes one fan in response to Cyrus’s provocative “wrecking ball” video. I just wonder – is the ‘statement’ Miley is making: sex sells records? If so, I think the lass might have a point.
Freedom of expression is important and people are entitled to their opinions. Miley is young, perhaps vulnerable to influence as O’Connor suggests, or perhaps she is simply “making a statement”. Either way, only time will tell whether her influence will have a generation of young bare breasted girls hanging around at building sites, licking rusty hammers and nails. All we can do as a responsible society is to encourage them to be safe and make sure they get their tetanus shots.