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Why I actually admire Miley Cyrus

Picture yourself when you were Miley’s age and make a mental list of all the crazy things you wore/did/said during that time: It’s more of a scroll, isn’t it?

Miley Cyrus

Photo credit: FayesVision/

Now, picture what it would’ve been like during this period of self-discovery if every move you made was with millions of Judgey McSnotfaces breathing down your neck. Yeah. That’s what I thought.

Miley’s one of the most talked about celebs on the planet, and for good reason: She’s loudly broken free of the Hannah Montana shackles and is becoming her own person. You know, just like you and I did once upon a time — so what exactly is all the fuss about? So many people are cringing at her antics, trying to stuff her back into the box they knew and loved her in. Meanwhile, this isn’t Peter Pan — it’s time to ditch the hypocrisy already.

“It’s so much easier to know who you are when there aren’t a thousand people telling you who they think you are.” – Miley Cyrus

I shudder at a good portion of the things I did during my late teens/early twenties, and I know you do too. It’s the time in your life where you come into your own. You attempt to let go of everything everyone’s trying to get you to be so you can figure out what “being yourself” even means — only, you’re not having to do so with millions of people watching and criticizing everything you do (I know if I did, I’d be curled up in a ball on the floor).

This is Miley’s experimentation period: Instead of being typecast, she’s owning not just who she was, and not just who she’ll be, but the entire transformation in between and isn’t regretting one second of it — how many of us can say the same?

“The greatest opportunities in life come with fear and risk.” – Miley Cyrus

There have been many pop stars before her — Britney, Christina, Rihanna — who all began their careers with a proverbial safety net wrapped around their image, just like Miley did. As they got older, they edged up their looks, wore less and sang riskier songs. It’s a phase that seems to be a rite of passage among pop stars who’ve grown up in the industry and has helped them to identify with who they are as women.

“I’m obsessed with being alone and hearing my thoughts. I’m trying to take this alone time — the five minutes I do have a day — to learn as much as I can.” – Miley Cyrus

Miley’s evolving. It might be in an over-the-top way, but quite honestly I don’t see there being any other way for her to pull off the life she wants: If she were to actually take note of the criticism and backlash, her creative freedom would be stifled. She’d become a cardboard cutout. No, most of us don’t understand how a connection between twerking and giant stuffed bears would ever take place, but that’s how she wants to express herself right now, and she has every right to.

Too many people glamorize what it’s like to be famous because all they see are the millions of dollars in record sales, and the award ceremonies, and the designer duds. They don’t see behind-the-scenes: The grueling travel, the intense rehearsals or the pressure to be “on” 24 hours a day. It’s not just a career: It’s your life. Everything you do and every mistake you make is archived forever.

“I would rather have everything I do be 100 percent honest. I just want to be who I am.” – Miley Cyrus

I admire Miley for the fact that what you see is what you get, and I feel like a lot of backlash is more to do with jealousy than anything else. She’s free to be exactly who she is, while millions of people worldwide are sitting in a cubicle right now, only thinking about the life they want to have. But that’s not her fault: It’s collectively our own.

Miley’s career isn’t luck: It’s hard work. It’s 24/7. She’s free to live on her own terms because she demands that right — and it’s exactly what we should all be doing (except maybe with a little less tongue).

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