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From me to you, highlighting challenges faced by girls

Dear Daughters, Excuse Me While I Talk to Miley First

Dear Daughters,

Please excuse me for a minute, I need to speak directly to another girl right now…

Miley, Miley, Miley. I almost hate to write this as it gives you media coverage that you just do not deserve. By writing about your clothed (albeit barely) pornographic performance (there are no other words to describe it) at MTV’s VMAs, along with the millions of other bloggers, writers, journalists, etc I am adding to the Miley Cyrus frenzy that allows you to see your name going insanely viral all over the internet, in newspapers, in magazines, on television. Everyone, everywhere is talking about YOU! And you are loving every minute of it! It seems you cannot get enough attention lately. You are like a toddler throwing a temper tantrum in the grocey store. “Pay attention to me”! “Look at me”!

Your performance at the VMAs was so many things – disgusting, pornographic, shocking, disturbing, sad, disappointing, and embarrassing to name a few – but the things it wasn’t was what I thought the entertainment industry was all about. Your performance was not entertaining. If you don’t have much talent, at the very least you are supposed to provide the audience with something entertaining. Your performance was anything but that. Your performance did not display one ounce of talent. And we know you have talent. That is why it was so sad and disappointing to watch you on that stage. What are you doing Miley? You have talent. You have an amazing voice! Why do you feel you have to resort to raw animalistic behaviours? I saw my neighbour’s dogs replicate part of your performance last night. It is nothing to be proud of.

As a mother of three young daughters I am more saddened and disappointed than disgusted by your performance. I feel sorry for you, for my three daughters, my nieces…for all females. I feel sorry for my nephews and for all males. We still live in a society where girls and women are objectified and valued for sex over their minds and their contributions to society. As much as parents and other family members try to teach their daughters and sons that the real value of a person is not in how they look but in their character, the entertainment industry screams back with the complete opposite message. They scream, “Don’t listen to the bullshit your parents feed you. Image and looks are what count. This is how society determines your worth”. As an entertainer you have the power to change that message. You have an amazing position in life where you can influence people in a positive way. Why, oh why, would you endorse a message that is so demoralizing and damaging to girls and women?

Now back to you dear daughters and welcomed fans of Dear Daughters,

Media plays a huge role in our society, especially for our children. Entertainers become role models for them, whether the entertainers like it or not. Without their fans, the entertainers would not have the careers they are enjoying. But I am not here to lecture Miley Cyrus about this. I am here to use media to our advantage. Because as much damage as it can do, it can also be very powerful in change. So let’s continue to use the media to our advantage. Let’s use it to counter the entertainment industry’s message that girls and women are sex toys.

Miley Cyrus does not deserve recognition for her performance at the VMAs but she may have given us a platform here. She has demonstrated that even girls who seem to have it all, who have obvious and already recognized and profitable talent, who have NO NEED whatsoever to resort to using sex, still feel the need (for whatever reason) to use their bodies. And Miley has demonstrated that the entertainment industry still thinks this is acceptable. Would they have allowed a dog fight on stage? Would they have allowed someone to smoke marijuana while they performed? We all know the answer is no. Enough said.

I have read many articles about Miley Cyrus’ performance that advise people that if you don’t like it, then just don’t watch it. That is true. I don’t have to watch Miley Cyrus’ decline. I don’t have to watch herself twerk herself out of a successful career. But Miley Cyrus isn’t the only young woman using sex to get attention. Girls are taught from a young age, even through well-meaning friends and family members, that girls are valued more for their looks and not much else is expected from them (the whole princess thing for instance). Girls are bombarded with media messages about sex and beauty that are much more subtle than Miley Cyrus’ VMA performance. But they are watching the Mileys too. And Miley Cyrus is a prime example of what will happen to all of our little girls if we don’t teach them that they are way more than that. They are more than a nude-coloured, skin-tight bikini shakin’ booty. In fact, their booty has nothing to do with who they are whether they shake it or not.

One Comment

  1. I wish that all young girls could read this blog! They need a voice of reason to counter the cultural messages!

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