Open letter to Miley Cyrus: Sex isn't a gimmick, for starters
With Miley Cyrus' explicit stage antics during her Bangerz Tour causing a major ruckus among moms, the media and pretty much everyone in the free world, we took a moment to pen some advice to the salacious star. Here's hoping the lessons we've learned along the way (and are sharing) sink in for Cyrus by the time she hits 30.
If you shout all the time, you'll lose your voice
We're speaking in a figurative sense, Miles. Lately, it feels as though you've not been engaging anyone in real dialogue. You're talking at us, not with us. And, as a matter of fact, you're screaming. Whatever it is you're attempting to communicate, you've turned the volume up so loud that we can't hear what you're trying to say over the din. The louder you shout — the harder you try to make us hear you — the less your voice is actually being heard. Get it? Perhaps you just got confused, so let us clarify for you. The expression is "Speak softly and carry a big stick"... not "Yell while straddling a giant foam finger."
Embracing your sexuality is about more than embracing, well, yourself (and anyone else in your path)
While we're on the subject of straddling, can we talk about the overt sexiness you're so fond of? Don't get us wrong — we're all about a woman owning her femininity and embracing her sexuality. But, and hopefully this is something you'll learn in time, you should know that sex isn't always a gimmick. For some people, sometimes, it actually means something. And for some people, all of the time, it actually means something. And for many people, most of the time, it actually means a lot. We get it... you like sex! So do we. Very much so, in fact, and frankly you're kind of making it feel seedy for the rest of us.
You're going to be at least mildly embarrassed one day
We all do things we look back on years later and wish we could zip back in time and erase those questionable antics. Not because they were mortifying then, but because they're mortifying now. (Believe me, I did things when I was younger that I thought were so cool or sexy at the time, and now I am unspeakably mortified by them. Like, deny they happened 'til my dying day mortified.) Right now, you have tunnel vision, and we can't blame you. Bad behavior is often rewarded with attention, and it doesn't look like you have anybody in your circle who has shared with you what we are about to.
Negative attention doesn't matter
Most of that attention you're being rewarded with is negative attention. So, sure, when we say negative attention doesn't matter, we do mean you shouldn't let it bother you. People will say hateful, hurtful things, but they don't know your heart. Which brings us to a big point — we suspect you've got a pretty good heart, Miles. Because of that, we suspect you want your life to mean something. When we say negative attention doesn't matter, we mean it doesn't matter. It serves no purpose. If you're getting positive attention, it likely means you're doing great things, like impacting the lives of young people for the better or using your status to help people who want to do good but don't have the luxury of fame as a backer. That may seem like a lot of undue pressure to place on a 21-year-old, but it's because we know you're better than the girl who just simulated a BJ onstage in front of 14-year-olds.
When you treat everything like a joke, you become one
It's great to see a young woman who is confident and finds joy in everything. Those are pretty fantastic traits. But when you don't take anything seriously — when nothing is sacred to you, when nothing is off limits — you veer into dangerous territory... a place where no one takes you seriously. People might talk about you, but they won't respect you. It doesn't matter if your shenanigans are part of some big marketing ploy... if you keep pulling s*** like that, nobody will believe you when you really do have something to say. Remember the boy who cried wolf? Don't be the girl who cried, er, twerk.
It's OK not to have a shtick
In all seriousness, Miley, we really like you. We think you're incredibly talented. We also envy your position. You have in your power the influence to shape an entire generation of young women. The reason we're bangerz-ing our heads against the wall is because we're not sure you realize those young women don't need the whole salacious production that has become synonymous with your name. They'd be happy with you, stripped down in an entirely different way — as yourself. You don't need a shtick, sweetie... being Miley Cyrus is enough. Because a smart, talented, capable young woman who knows her worth enough to forego the theatrics? Now that's empowering... and sexy as hell.