Miley Cyrus Really Is the Girl Next Door: Predictable and Boring

Hannah Montana’s double life? Maybe her real secret is that she has nothing original to say.

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Hubert Boesl / DPA / Landov

Miley Cyrus arrives on the red carpet for the MTV Video Music Awards at the Barclays Center in New York, Aug. 25, 2013.

Several years ago, my daughters and I launched a neighborhood boycott of Miley Cyrus. The teenage star that Disney had marketed as the thoughtful, ethically upright, regular girl with the secret superstar identity had been caught on camera with her friends doing “Chinc-y eyes” to tease a buddy. My daughters, who are Asian-American and subject to almost daily forms of this type of banal racism, weren’t just upset by Cyrus’s thoughtless gesture but that she’d done it, as she later said in an apology, because, essentially, that’s what everyone else was doing.

And, as her “break-out” performance at last night’s MTV’s Video Music Awards at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center revealed, she obviously just can’t stop. Miley Cyrus, at 20, is still a copycat.

(MOREMTV’s Video Music Awards: Who Got Cheered, Who Got Booed and Who Got Naked)

Tweet to Miley: Busting out of a racy leotard to flash a flesh-toned get-up is old enough to be your mother. Madonna, Britney, Gaga—not to mention decades of 1980s New York performance artists and 70s Studio 54 acts—have all done it. But this, from the Disney branded girl-next-door?

Actually, it makes sense. After all, the only twist Cyrus brought to Sunday night’s big reveal was a standard fare, learned-it-at-the-gym pole-dance routine, not a provocative, well-choreographed statement. And who is the girl-next-door, if not someone who falls in line with the pack, does what everyone else is doing? That’s her whole appeal. That girl, as she becomes a young woman, is never going to do anything truly dangerous or outrageous—nothing that crosses the lines of her suburban sub-division box. At most, she’ll go to the costume party dressed as a Playboy Bunny. That’s exactly what Cyrus did.

The big question now is, what are the hidden contents of Hannah Montana’s double life? Maybe her real secret identity is that she’s a follower, rather than a leader—that she’s truly the girl next door, morally and creatively banal, as to be expected.

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47 comments
mitchsimpson787
mitchsimpson787

Hey @Openminded1 , why dont you get a life and stop defending miley or attacking every comment about her that doesnt suit you "open mind" Pathetic! Go and read a book or do something valuable! All this Miley crap is just media and BS anyway. Who cares. She is a girl trying to get attention, just with no idea.

ClaudiaThompson
ClaudiaThompson

It is such a real shame that the country has sunk to such a low level that they allow this kind of perversion on stage.

And if you refuse to go along with it, you are labelled a "prude". That is just psychological manipulation, and "Group Think".

Well I for one am not going to sit here and claim that it is "okay" for some girl to do a strip dance on stage on TV.

The morality level has gone so low it is almost non-existent today.

These so-called "Stars" have to resort to trying to "out shock" the people, by wearing weird clothing, doing sexual acts, flashing the Illuminati hand symbols etc.

It is almost like they have now run out of things to shock people with. They must do that since they have no real talent at all.

Today, it would be more shocking if someone came out in a decent dress and actually sang a song that had a real memorable tune to it, without all the gimmicks. Now THAT would be a real shock!

ItsMeMatty
ItsMeMatty

Sounds like someone is doing their best to avoid repeating their peers, at the risk of sounding kind of clueless...

ToutSuite
ToutSuite

What's the matter with you? She's a 20 year old girl trying to figure out what kind of performer she is. You're dooming her to a lifetime of mediocrity and pretensions of... what, exactly? True outrage? A mother of three, herself a child of privilege and author of a life so banal that a "neighborhood boycott" of tween music is apparently noteworthy, writing with such venom about a girl half her age would be laughable if it wasn't so scary. Is this why you became a journalist?

RemixCity
RemixCity

T have to disagree with this article. You started off strong with the racial teasing. It was ridiculous Miley did that and I applaud you and your daughters taking action. But beyond that, Disney's marketing is about makng money and big ratings and selling merchandise. and if you really want to there are MANY things wrong with the Mouse House but they are a media company in a capitalist society, they're not nuns or priests so not quite sure why Miley (or anyone else has to use Disney's projection of them [to make Disney money] as any standard in real life.)  In fact your reasoning could be viewed as why Miley does what she does. Shouls she be Hannah Montana for her whole life or be herself? It's a bit amazing that this article made the cut to be published but it is really a one dimensional character assassination piece. Besides based on what you say "Madonna, Britney, Gaga—not to mention decades of 1980s New York performance artists and 70s Studio 54 acts—have all done it.


Read more: http://ideas.time.com/2013/08/26/miley-cyrus-really-is-the-girl-next-door-predictable-and-boring/#ixzz2dCIGBKZI
"

then Madonna, Britney and Gaga are copycats too. Which is  your opinion but a bit vacuous and mean.

KatStanleySakach
KatStanleySakach

Why does Janet Jackson's superbowl breast peak attract authorities, when Miley Cyrus's performance was far worse? How sad Miley is to be so unconfident with her musical talent that she has to resort to lewd and disgusting gyrations? Thumbing her nose at the fans who so looked up to her in the Hannah Montana days and, quite frankly, were partly responsible for her privileged lifestyle is pathetic. I have a feeling she was either using drugs or alcohol. When will we stand up and draw the line? No longer a Miley fan.

bojimbo26
bojimbo26

I thought Justin had changed sex .

TheReallyWeirdOne
TheReallyWeirdOne

Predictable. All female teen singers have had the same trajectory when they're trying to break out as an 'adult'. It's yawn worthy, really. 

Every single outraged parent I know is the one who lets the TV/internet parent their kids. Not shocking either.  

hkq999
hkq999

her performance was very shocking, i've never seen such an overtly sexual performance in my life. not even from britney, madonna, or gaga. i'm surprised people aren't more outraged.

LouisPFreely
LouisPFreely

She really just acts as some typical stupid college girl on Spring Break.  There's nothing talented or entertaining about it.  It actually would've more refreshing to see her wear a nice dress and try to sing a song.  She has nothing on Madonna at the VMAs in the 1980s (God I'm getting old).

JoyceGavin
JoyceGavin

Miley Cyrus...what an absolute disgrace. So glad our youngest children do not know who she is!!!!!! What a sad day for her and anyone who knows her.

Tessiedobey
Tessiedobey

Just be happy she did not win an award. See there is a blooming light at the end of the trashy tunnel

superiorwheeljack
superiorwheeljack

Why do people care about this? Ignore her, and she won't do it. Why? Because she wants attention. Doing something like this sure got her attention. And why worship celebrities? Their just people who others treat as gods. How pitiful.

ohnoella
ohnoella

agreed, I kept hearing how "provocative and unacceptable" her performance last night was and once I watched the actual clips I was confused as to what the big deal was. Whoever put this girl up on a pedestal years ago might be the ones who have are in need of little self reflection. I am actually more embarrassed for the fellow outraged parents, or any other outraged reviewers out there, as her little show was tired and done so many times before.  

LoanTrần
LoanTrần

No big  fan of Miley but enjoy listen to her music!! however her doing at VMA was unacceptable and now everyone criticise her for the bad behaviour but do people now relies that she is the hot topic in the world that everyone is talking about. At the end of the day if her music is good she will still be able to make million dollar and sell record!

MLauren
MLauren

I definitely agree this moment was not a great moment for mothers with daughters while at the same time, we're adults and maybe shouldn't single out girls right out of adolescence and think about what her actions say a bigger picture? 

Who turned her into a "role model' in the first place? Why do so many child stars (particularly from the Disney franchise) go do ridiculous things? Why does major news outlets criticize and start covering gossip stories about celebs as young 12? How does culture and media outlets help create this public image young performers crave? Why does Disney shows themselves show kids acting more mature than their age? How can the media start talking more about positive role models for young girls that aren't necessarily celebrities? These are the topics I would like to read about. 

mica1218
mica1218

The "girl next door" of my era wouldn't follow the crowd if it meant demeaning herself.  The "girl next door" was someone wholesome and carefree.  Given that Miley has been a child star, I fear for her future as she makes the transition to adulthood.  What happens to so many of these child stars?  Lindsay Lohan comes to everyone's mind, but even David Cassidy got picked up last week for felony DWI and he is now in his 60's.  Yes, something is amiss is the land of golden opportunity.  Young entertainers pay a very heavy price to be famous, a very heavy price.  No one can make you do anything (referring to the comment about manipulative Marc Jacobs).  If you need attention so badly that you make poor judgments that's on you.  It could also be on the people who reared you but I will reserve judgment.  Miley may just be spinning out of control and she will no doubt learn some hard lessons along the way...

omglolaye
omglolaye

Her performance was unacceptable especially when you have many young children ,and teenagers who are no disgusted by Miley Cyrus. It's time that she ,and her dad or whoever abused the child to have  a DNA test  because this is WRONG eithically wrong ,and perverted. Miley is sick.

XDayglowDorisX
XDayglowDorisX

Okay, so she's just following the trend? She's the 'girl-next-door'? If she's just following in the footsteps of Madonna, Britney or Gaga, then surely you should  be slating all of them as well? She's 20 years old. She's still finding herself, finding her place in the world. Do you remember how hard that was? I do, I'm going through it now. It's hardly fair to say that her whole appeal is as the girl next door, as if that's a bad thing. She's an inspiration for kids all over the world with that persona. Because all those girls are just that "the girl next door". It gives hope to them. I used to watch her as a kid, I loved it, I actually got into stage performance because of her. So if you wanna slate Miley Cyrus then you have to slate every other "popstar" going.

paradoxickal
paradoxickal

She's not doing it to just be racy - i feel its more of an inside joke for the audience to like it - she just showing people IS THIS WHAT YOU LIKE tongue out....IS THIS WHAT YOU LIKE twerk.... IS THIS WHAT YOU LIKE ass slapping .... IS THIS WHAT YOU LIKE crotch grab ....  IS THIS WHAT YOU LIKE strip IS THIS WHAT I HAVE TO DO grind .... for you to (please) buy my album!!!!! Why don't everyone stop hating on Miley Cyrus and give her a #1 album and single!!  She's good and she's been around for a while trying to become the kind of artist people like - have you heard SEE YOU AGAIN and THE CLIMB  and PARTY IN THE USA - superb talent, but overshadowed .... instead the MUSIC INDUSTRY monopolizes music with Rihanna's and Katy Perry's and little old Disney stars cant find their way. Everyone in the audience, at Barclays and at home, was so ashamed because Miley's ability to act out and act for the camera - also she has a that certain place in everyone's heart having been Hannah Montana - brought to everyone's attention THIS IS WHAT I LIKE, THIS IS THE KIND OF STUFF I'VE TOO BEEN DOING, and THIS IS WHAT ENTERTAINMENT IS. Miley just made us all question this as a public in a very FUN WAY. 

rikmorgan
rikmorgan

What kind of danger would she have to put herself into to make it the level you seek?  I can't help but see a parallel to those 3 kids in OK who were so bored, so they went out to do something dangerous.  That's the world we've created, prove yourself bitch!  Then we wonder what in hell got into those kids?  Personally, all I want out of music entertainment is great song writing because the rest of it is pretty predictable, given what you can broadcast on TV.

j45ashton
j45ashton

What happens when the shock value goes away?  Maybe we'll just have music left that's still worth listening to at least 6 months from now.  Is there any?

kssomom1187
kssomom1187

It seems to me that both of these skanks didn't get enough attention from their parents, so they feel they have to do outrageous and "sexy(??)" things to get peoples' attention!!!!  They should just crawl into a cave and stay there, we're tired of both of them!  No one will know who they are in 10 years.....  They both bore me!!!!!  


SarahConfran
SarahConfran

THANK YOU. everyone was so shocked by miley and i was just sitting there un entertained thinking it was rather boring. 

CarlRobbins
CarlRobbins

@ToutSuite So true ..These offended dolts .........while at the same time almost certainly voting for a party and a president who enthusiastically support sucking a child's brains out as it protrudes from its mother's body...as a private matter the mother alone can decide.........

ellieh
ellieh

@ToutSuite trying to figure out what type of performer she is?  Laughable.

ellieh
ellieh

@hkq999 I didn't think it was overtly sexual.  Madonna can do overtly sexual and Britney's "break-out" performance was incredible.  Miley's performance was inelegant and certainly not artful.  I've seen her sing beautifully, but she can't dance and her taste is lacking.  Her performance was just bad and boring.  

Openminded1
Openminded1

@hkq999 Get real who cares what she does other then her mom and achy daddy. You sound a bit prudish get over it.

ikoihil
ikoihil

@hkq999 "very shocking," huh? I'm guessing you've never been to a strip club, or even a modern high school prom?

Openminded1
Openminded1

@superiorwheeljack perfect Jack right on the money. speaking of money, to her and her agent that is what that was all about . sex sells.

Tati
Tati

@ohnoella you have to remember that a large portion of her fan base are children- she was Hannah Montana (i hate how i know this) 

ellieh
ellieh

@XDayglowDorisX I can't accept that finding one's place in the world translates into crotch grabbing and tongue hanging out.   Her antics were juvenile and unsexy.  I would have no problem if her performance was well done - no problem with provocative or sexy.  Instead we got crass.

paulwalk14
paulwalk14

@CarlRobbins @ToutSuite You  are disgusting people. Using a a 20 year old Disney star to wear an outfit babies wear, have your hair done how no one out of primary school does, have aggressive air sex , and pretend to finger your vagina is foul on an indescribable scale. I cannot believe you enjoyed that then wrote a record of permanent proof online.

Real men don't accept and defend that performance. You must be immature teenage boys who never had sister, heaven forbid you might have a daughter. How could one not understand how sick and perverted that show was. Some old man who was a Miley Cyrus fan thought that up years ago, that was not her choreography. It has been overwhelmingly proven that young girls learn what is acceptable from television.

I pray you never are granted daughters, but if you are I hope you get it one day. Hey sicko "those offended" are the overwhelming majority.


ToutSuite
ToutSuite

@ellieh @ToutSuite You think she's going to be doing this same act in five years? Look at Britney, Christina, Madonna, etc. It's a work in progress.

CarlRobbins
CarlRobbins

@ellieh @hkq999 I agree, she is not a bad singer,,,,,puts J Lo to shame (of course that’s not too hard) this was a bit over the top and the blame belongs squarely on the folks that produced and broadcast this uncensored.......