Miley Cyrus made her claim to fame at the tender age of just 11 years old starring on her hit show Hannah Montana, alongside her country singer father Billy Ray Cyrus. Since then, she has rocketed to stardom and is now a well known household name worldwide. With international success and millions of album copies sold across the globe at 20 years old, it is safe to say that the Disney channel helped to shape Miley Cyrus into one of the most recognised starlets of 2013. In the light of these comments, I just wonder whether Miley has abandoned her Disney roots in the right way.
Over the last year, the media has displayed Miley Cyrus' strong appearance overhaul which has seen her image become increasingly sexualised and provocative, quickly shredding the squeaky clean Hannah Montana image that she spent years creating. I have absolutely nothing against the fact that Cyrus cut her hair in favour of short, platinum blonde locks as they make her unique in comparison to the many female celebrities that have long, extension packed hair. However, I will admit that I struggle with her new 'party girl' image in terms of what this may look like her Disney fans. Yes, celebrities should be allowed to have fun and the majority of celebrities have worked hard enough to earn the right to let their hair down and lose their inhibitions every now and then- particularly the hardworking Miley Cyrus.
Saying that, I disapprove of the fact that she has recently promoted drug use which to me, isn't the right way to make the transition from child star to adult star. In late 2010, Cyrus was caught on camera smoking from a bong that contained psychedelic herb salvia and later apologised for 'disappointing [her] fans.' As a one time mistake that she didn't intend to be seen by the public eye, it would be easy to dismiss this behaviour. However, in her latest hit 'We Can't Stop' that revolved around her memories of a 'crazy' party, Cyrus makes references to the drug MDMA when saying 'dancing with Molly,' and later makes a second drugs reference when she says 'trying to get a line in the bathroom.' I understand that due to the exciting party atmosphere, people will take drugs- but Cyrus should be thinking twice before publicising this on a song that she knew would have made the Top 10. I feel it relevant to add that on a survey conducted by AOL website, Just So You Know, Miley Cyrus was voted as the worst role model for young girls by girls aged between 9 and 15.
Like me, a lot of her fans will have grown up, but there will still be Hannah Montana fans in their early teens that still look to Cyrus as someone they would like to model themselves on in the future. I dread to think of the dismissive attitude that some of these fans may have to drugs and revealing clothes after seeing the change that has occurred in Cyrus. It is one thing being a 17 year old girl that is unfortunately caught taking drugs and then being a 20 year old woman who is promoting that at parties, people want to 'get a line in the bathroom.' Of course, we can't look at the world through rose tinted glasses because at the end of the day, we don't and will never live in a perfect world. Whilst young people cannot be protected forever from drugs and alcohol that they will eventually be offered, the least that celebrities can do in their position of fame is to publicise the dangers of drugs and the importance of protecting your health.
As well as her public image, another thing that I question about Miley Cyrus is how keen she is to abandon her roots. It was not long ago that I read an interview online where Cyrus stated that she had to work from the bottom, doing things that she didn't necessarily want to do, to make her way to the top. The 'bottom' referred to Disney, suggesting that this was the worst part of her career when in actual fact, Disney made her into the international (pardon my cheesiness) superstar that we recognise today. In everyone's career, they will do things that they won't want to do, but slating Disney is not the way that Miley should be describing her career with them. She has later said that she wants to 'erase [her] past' and is 'embarrassed' about her past role of playing Hannah Montana. Erasing her past will do no more than erase who Cyrus is because it will have been through acting on Hannah Montana for five years that she developed and nurtured the talent that has catapulted her to where she is today.
I look at stars of a similar age to Cyrus like Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato, who both had their own Disney shows and think of the difference in behaviour that they have displayed since making the transition to adult stars. Whilst Demi's emotional struggles as a child star came to light when it was revealed that she battled depression, bulimia and self harmed, she hasn't heavily criticised the Disney channel, even though she could have quite easily blamed its pressures for her own problems. Both Gomez and Lovato are enjoying the success of their music careers, like Cyrus, but haven't made as much of an effort to distance themselves from the company that brought them to fame.
I can't comment on the definite answer as to whether Cyrus is moving on in the right or wrong way because this will always come down to people's opinions. On one hand, we could argue that Miley Cyrus is simply being an individual unlike many celebrities out there and this has made her widely successful across the globe. Personally, I see Cyrus as a confident, independent woman and in that respect, I think fans can look up to her for some of her admirable personal qualities. On the other hand, I struggle with some of the overly provocative clothing, the references to drugs and her criticisms of Disney. I feel that Miley Cyrus has the potential to be a popular worldwide role model and in order to do so, needs to simply consider her actions and their consequences so that her popularity can grow even stronger than it already has done.