I admit that I was horrified with the rest of the country as I watched Miley Cyrus’s raunchy performance at the VMAs last night, however I found myself to be more disgusted by America’s response today. I am honestly not surprised by Miley’s show. We’ve all watched many young starlets go down this same path as they navigate through the pressures and influences of show business. While I certainly agree that her performance was inappropriate to say the least, I am appalled by the attitude and hate expressed by so many adults. Nearly every response has been a hateful attack on Miley. We are focusing our energy in the wrong place and I’d dare to say we are even continuing the cycle. The collective voice of the country is saying that Miley Cyrus is a skank and a worthless human being (translated from Facebook to a PG-13 version). But let’s think about this, this is the collective voice of the same country that taught a young Hannah Montana that sex sells, that being smart isn’t cool and that you must conform to be accepted.
Challenge society, challenge your own thinking – I know I had to, but don’t persecute a young woman who is so clearly in need of guidance. Our initial shock and disapproval is justified and tough love is good. I am not asking to sugar coat a much needed discussion, and this isn’t an excuse for bad choices, but if we don’t step back and consider why it even came to this point we will never be able to connect with the teens that need to hear from us. When the Mileys of the world are confused by the hate they are receiving from the same society that taught them that’s what they wanted from her, where will they turn? Will it be to the loving guidance of an adult who shows her grace and a new path? Or will she only be able to find adults who call her a skank and make it clear that they want nothing to do with her “low-life ways?” No wonder the next step these stars take often seems to be drug abuse – there is seemingly no escape from this trap. Thoughtfully consider which adult you want to be for these teens. They are watching.