Thursday, August 13

In the News: Miley Cyrus, Pole-Dancer

You've all heard the news by now, I'm sure. Miley Cyrus, star of "Hannah Montana," has gone to hell in a handbasket, or at least atop an ice-cream cart. TV newscasters and online bloggers are all atwitter over her appearance at the Teen Choice Awards, where she danced with a pole. Just what kind of a role model is she anyway???

I don't know about you, but I'm just not feeling the outrage.

There's a political humorist named Bill Maher. Know the guy? I run hot and cold on him. Sometimes I think he's right on the money. Other times I think he's just annoying. But one phrase he uses that's always stuck with me is "fake outrage," which to me represents the idea of people acting outwardly more upset about things than they really are just so they can make some noise about something; and I'd extend it further to include getting worked up about things that simply aren't worth getting worked up about as a distraction from the really important issues of the day.

Hey, I have a nine-year-old daughter who likes Miley Cyrus/Hannah Montana. But as far as I'm concerned, so long as the actual show is age-appropriate, I don't really care what Ms. Cyrus does with the rest of her career. And anyway, to me, I don't even have a problem with the purported "pole-dancing." I mean, come on, people: she's fully clothed...and the pole is on top of an ice-cream cart!!! Really, this is not what I think of pole-dancing, which, by my definition, involves a woman in pasties and g-string at a place called Crazy Vin's, vomit-stained floor optional.

And really, about that pole, or any other rigid column-shaped object: Did you know such things are very useful if you feel like doing the kind of dance that might work best with a partner but there either isn't one around or for some reason you just feel like going it alone? Back in my college days, which were also the barely post-disco days, I used to engage in an activity I called post-dancing, using the frame of the door to my dorm room as a partner. I swear, that frame was the perfect partner. It never spun me out too strongly. And me being incredibly short, there was never the embarrassment I occasionally suffered when dancing with someone incredibly tall of being pulled in close so that I was practically on an eye or mouth level with...

Yes, well.

Me, I'm thinking Miley just stole my idea!

I'm also thinking I don't expect any actress or musician or anyone else to be a role model for my kid. It's my job to teach her how to behave in this world and to further teach her that we are all of us mere human beings, each with our weaknesses and flaws, including Miley Cyrus and including me, perfect as I am and perfect as my post-dancing may be.

So how about you?


Be well. Don't forget to write.


Michelle said...

Part of me feels like pole dancing on top of a cart that *sells* "Miley's Ice Cream" is a little bit risque for some of the younger members of the audience. Then again how many of them really get that little wink and nudge anyway. Regardless, I certainly wouldn't want my 13 year old niece pole dancing at the pool one day because Miley made it look cool.


Like you I think that the lion's share (more than that really) rests on parents making sure that their child understands what is right/wrong good/bad. Watching the TCAs and seeing that performance maybe warrants you know, talking about how they'd prefer Johnny or Suzie not become a pole dancer and that this is all entertainment not some sort of encouragement for future employment.

I also agree that its somewhat ludicrous that these entertainers are held up as these grand role models. This is their job not how they really live their lives. They perform this way for exactly the reaction they are getting. It gets them attention. They aren't necessarily encouraging or condoning stripperism as a way of life it just happens to be something that will get them talking.

Alyson Noel said...

"Fake Outrage"- love it!! Something that's def in abundance these days.

Didn't we just get over some "fake outrage" over her Vanity Fair pics? Somehow I think her "people" knew this would cause another bout of attention grabbing news and planned accordingly . . .

Honestly, I'm so bogged down by deadlines, I didn't even know this occurred!

Thanks for keeping me current, Lauren!


lol Hey Miley did say Britney Spears is her hero, so 'Gimme, Gimme More' video - hm had a strip pole, so well yeah I'm not surprised she followed the idea. But hey I love me some Britney Spears but Miley needs to go away, she just urks me..

Marisol Landgrebe said...

I totally agree with you, 100% on everything. This girl has posed half nude, dated a 20 year old, and many other things besides - who cares anymore? She's not supposed to be this perfect role model - she's still growing up too. Parents are the ones to teach children what is and is not appropriate, not teens, tweens, or other youths who just happen to be in the limelight.

Does anyone remember the time you took your kid to see an animated film like Shrek? Those times you laughed because of an innuendo that your kid didn't get? Thats what I see with Miley Cyrus dancing with a pole on top of an ice cream cart. We get it because we're adults, they don't because all their thinking about is "I hope mom takes us for ice cream".

A Paperback Writer said...

Looks like Miley's "pole model" rather than a "role model."
To me Miley seems like any other pretty teenage girl who wants attention; she's pushing the limits of what's expected of her. Big deal. Most pretty girls, even though far less famous than Miley, will push the limits until a) someone (like a parent) reins them in or b) they do something so stupid that even they can see the negative consequences and they stop on their own. Sometimes the really famous ones don't stop at all (Britney Spears is still at it, isn't she? And Evelyn Nesbit, a century ago, was doing the same kinds of things -- only it was a velvet swing instead of a pole --even after there was a murder because of it.)
For women who have daughters who like Miley, this might be a good time to teach the girls that you can admire and emulate certain things about a person without imitating the bad. What's good about Miley that the daughter can emulate? Focus on that, and let the rest go if you don't like pole dancing or sexy pics with her dad or whatever else the starlet is doing to get people to look at her these days.

Karen W. said...

THANK YOU! What Lauren said. :)

Melissa Walker said...

I'm with you Lauren, on everything. Even Bill Maher's hot and cold appeal! More fake outrage? When Obama chose to drink a Budweiser and Fox newscasters got all up in arms that it's actually a foreign-owned brew these days. I actually saw a segment (on THE DAILY SHOW) where Fox newscasters choose American beers for him. Dudes, please.

Shelli said...

im not feeling the anger either. but i dont have a teen.

Lauren Baratz-Logsted said...

Michelle, you're right on the money. We can't shelter our kids from everything so the trick is to actually talk to them, help them to make sense of the world.

Oh Alyson, if you are relying on me to keep you current, you are in big trouble!

Eleni, I did not know that about Britney being Miley's hero. Maybe Miley needs to pick better role models!

Marisol, HA! about the ice cream!

Paperback, exactly. Teach kids to separate the good someone offers from the rest.

Thanks, Karen!

Melissa, maybe Obama should drink Red, White and Blue beer to keep people happy? Don't know if they still make it but in college we could get it for $1-2/six-pack.

Shelli, you might not feel the anger even if you did have a teen. Some people just like to be angry - I doubt you're one of those!