I used to teach at a Pre-K to 8 school several years ago when I was introduced to Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus. Her music was catchy and I even bought a few of her songs on iTunes. I learned the words and I would sing her songs at the top of my lungs in the car when I was by myself. If it was good enough for some of my 4th graders, it was good enough for me!
But gone are those days – I can’t find Hannah Montana anywhere lately. It’s really too bad. A lot of little girls looked up to her and somewhere deep down, I did too.
Recently, Miley Cyrus has been embroiled all over the internet because of her MTV VMA performance and for “twerking.” (I am going to leave you to look that one up if you don’t know what it is.) Granted, she is an adult, but I was quite sad about it. It made me wonder what her mother was thinking. If I was her mother, though, I don’t know if I would have been standing and applauding. Her performance didn’t seem something that was “pushing the envelope” or inventive and different. It just seemed like another cliche of a child star being sexualized to sell albums or generate media buzz.
It was a jarring reminder of the world that my daughter is going to be and is growing up in now. It frightens me a bit. It makes me want to have talks with her about loving her body and being proud of it, but also protecting it and regarding it as precious. That her body is not just about sex, but it’s also about strength and beauty. It’s also about the fact that her brain is a part of it and that her intelligence is something beautiful and sexy.
I still listen to Miley Cyrus/Hannah Montana. My hope is that her career will be long-lasting and wonderful. I also hope that she will find who she really is and that she will be confident in herself. If this is it, then so be it. She is an adult and it is her choice, after all.
And I think the same for Ninjette. I have a hope for the kind of person she will become, but some day, she will have to make her own choices. I know I will still love her and support her as best as I can. And I know Miley’s mom and dad probably feel the same way.