Dear Miley Cyrus,
I guess you’re famous. I guess that’s why you’re clogging up my twitter feed and facebook posts from my normally contemplative friends.
The truth is, I am writing more to those friends than to you. I am writing to you as a simple woman, recently returned to America from a developing country. I have been gone six years and I am used to watching news that is...well, news. I have been catapulted into a pop culture that reports things like which celebrity wears what, which Kardashian is married and giving birth to whom... stuff that the rest of the world doesn’t care about.
I wanted to write to say my own three things.
- Your being a celebrity does not affect me much.
Your celebrity means I will either listen to your music or watch your movies or watch you play a game. I don’t know which one you do, but with the entire hubbub going around twitter I can assume that you normally wear clothes and something happened to them lately.
Truthfully, my main questions this week are how my friends in Egypt will survive another change of government. How will they afford electricity or gas? I want to know how the Egyptian church will be received by a transitory leader that will most likely be in office for no longer than ten months.
I want to know why the Obama administration has just now called attention to the tension in Syria, when that area has been dominated by fundamentalist leaders that threaten to ruin their own people for years. And why don’t we have to the guts to confront Saudi Arabia, who have been watching this for years and puppeteering the whole Middle East?
I want to learn more about Greece and Iceland’s financial recovery, how that will affect the economy of the USA, the balance of the Euro... the future of the yen.
That's what I expect from my news this week. Am I nuts?
2. I’ve seen you before.
I grew up watching Charlie’s Angels, then Madonna, then Brittany Spears. Back in the day when I saw them as benchmarks to womanhood, I watched them for fashion tips and even listened to their philosophies. In between, Wendy O Williams dropped her halter top in a TV interview, Janet Jackson had a wardrobe malfunction and Paris Hilton played peek-a-boo with her crotch a few times.
Once America watched in horror as Madonna, Brittany and Christina French kissed after some boob and cheek struttage. It was all a show to jump-start the public attention on all three of them.
By the time I stopped watching celebrities market themselves, I was almost too old to realize that the real women in my life were benchmarks for different reasons. These women loved hard, got wounded by the objects of their affection and somehow survived. They laughed at themselves, found beauty in even the smallest things and spent blissful moments in circles on folding chairs, listening to the conversations of family and friends.
These women have influenced the woman I have become and will influence my daughter and her daughters. I won’t get caught up in thinking that celebrities influence the way I live...anymore.
3. You sell a lot of soap.
It used to be that newspapers used to use the scandals of celebrities to pedal the detergents on page six. There was Ivory Soap, Oil of Olay and Palmolive that they sold there. Now my online newspapers are smarter. On the right side, the advertisements are for Jackson Perkins roses or Modcloth dresses – vendors I pay attention to.
I know you have a job to do, but I grieve for the fact that you don’t even know you’re doing it. As far as your concerned, you are peddling Miley Cyrus, not soap (or roses or cute clothes). A whole lot of parents are mad at you because they let their fourteen year old daughters watch the MTV awards and find you in positions that used to be only seen on reel-to-reel films in dark movie houses.
"MTV has once again succeeded in marketing sexually charged messages to young children using former child stars and condom commercials -- while falsely rating this program as appropriate for kids as young as 14. This is unacceptable," the Parent Television Council said in a statement.
If I had to do it all over again, I’d react less. My daughter would have heard about this performance at school, or (now) on twitter. Whatever, man. Watch what you have to do to peddle yourself in America. That’s it, right there. Watch and learn, then choose.
I guess I have a lot of hindsight. I used to ban viewings like these in my home, hoping to protect my kids from the world. The truth is, we live in a fallen world. You live in the same world that I do and my kids do. This is the show that has been getting attention in this world.
Okay, I live in a world like that.
I got it.
Now I can get on with what I was doing. I hope my blog gets two thousand hits today. I bet it will. After all, I’m blogging about Miley Cyrus and she’s trending on twitter.
This isn’t about me.