Miley Cyrus Warned Us

I've been going back through some old posts - articles that I had deleted when I thought I'd kicked the blogging addic...habit - and I ran across one that I wrote back in April of 2008. I wrote it as a reaction to a Vanity Fair profile of Miley Cyrus.

The primary focus of that post was on the semi-nude photo of Miley by acclaimed photographer Annie Leibovitz, but not because of the sensationalist nature of said photo of a then fifteen-year-old Disney star. I was, frankly, hammering the photographer for "phoning it in," which in turn led to a discussion of how one maintains a creative spark after years of doing the same thing over and over.

However, the 20+ comments on that post took on a life of their own (one of the things I miss most about the "golden age" of blogging) and the discussion turned to what Miley's future might be. My contribution to those musings was this gem:
I'll admit that the track record of female teen idols isn't very good in terms of a smooth transition to adulthood, but I'm not sure we should write off Miley for this one indiscretion.

While it might prove to be the first public stumble in a long downward spiral, it's equally possible that it's a wake-up call that puts her back on track.
So, anybody want to hire me as their personal stock-picker? Yeah, neither would I.

In hindsight, Miley told us everything we needed to know about her now-infamous career path, in response to the interviewer's "dumb" question.
I ask a dumb question--I'm sorry, it's hard to interview a teenager; they're intimidating--about whose career trajectory she'd like to follow. Her answer is a deft amalgam of showbiz savvy and girl-power mantra: "Before, I'd say like Hilary Duff"--the star of Disney's Lizzie McGuire--"or this person or that person. But there can't be a thousand Hilary Duffs. Then that doesn't make Hilary special. And there can't be a thousand Miley Cyruses, or that doesn't make me special. That's what a star is: they're different. A celebrity is different. So, no, mostly I want to make my own path."
Two years later, we saw the first signpost on her "path" to being "different" in what was then a shocking performance on Dancing With The Stars (but which now seems positively quaint by comparison).

There are many ways to make a path...one of which is apparently to ride a wrecking ball in one's skivvies. But whatever we might think of Miley Cyrus today, we should never believe that it all came about by chance.

On the other hand, I'm still waiting for someone to explain to her the fundamental difference between "celebrity" and "train wreck," in terms she might be able to internalize.

Comments? Questions? Suggestions for Miley's next awesome career move? Email me or hit Facebook.

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This page contains a single entry by Eric published on December 20, 2014 11:13 AM.

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