A Mother's Open Letter to Miley Cyrus – Guest Post

One of 2010's most controversial celebrity is undoubtedly Miley Cyrus. As you  know, she (dis)graced the pages of this humble blog more than a few times as a minor. If you kept up with my posts, you'll remember I stated “she would fall off my radar when she turned 18,” and I'm sticking to this, but I am making an exception today. I received the letter below a few days before the teen pop queen became of age, and it hit home with me once I read this heart-wrenching plea from a mother whose daughter adored the famous singer.
I decided to share “A Mother's Open Letter to Miley Cyrus” with you because it illustrates how pop idols innocently leach into tender tween's lives, and then tear down the veil of trust and loyalty without batting an overly mascara-covered lash. Dear Miley Cyrus,
My family has been a huge fan of yours since the day you began your Hannah Montana show — we were hooked and just loved your music, show, lyrics — all of it!  The most memorable day was when we all went dressed as Hannah Montana (wigs and all) to see your 3D movie!  We saw some warning signs that your content might not be kid-appropriate for more than a couple years, but we kept an eye out — surely, ultimately, our job, not the media's. 
For many it is nothing to be alarmed about that while you were under 18 years old you showed strong sexual overtones in your off-screen behavior (while your Hannah Montana story is still in progress depicting a minor). Many might just agree that you have grown up, thus are not held accountable to set a good standard for the fan base (6-12 year old girls) who have been your loyal followers and helped in creating your empire!
Perhaps because of your celebrity status you were forced to “grow up” sooner — but the double standard, by default, alienates and sends poor messages to those young girls that helped build your career and supported you along the way.  However, while you might go through the same lessons, I suggest that you might have a greater responsibility that comes along with fame — that is to respect that your actions influence millions of fans, some very young and impressionable!  Since I see that you sincerely feel a  loyalty to your fans, I urge you to think about the images that you are portraying to young girls (your target fan-base to help build your name/empire).  I wish you had just waited until you were an adult to stay covered up and not feel the need to over sexualize your image. I doubt you realize how invested some of us have become (it costs a lot of money to suddenly redecorate, etc.) to not give us some time to dismantle your signature from our household — at least maintain a clean-cut image until you have become a legal woman and distinguished your status as having graduated from a Disney kid. 
You are a HUGE influence in pop culture, and that power is one that entails some integrity that in so many ways you have upheld. Too many girls, however, have the pressure to have to exude sexuality well before even becoming an adult.  It breaks my heart, as a mother, to say that I removed your music, posters, bedding, etc. and this is well before I thought I would need to. While you are a huge talent and your music touches us so deeply, I was extremely uncomfortable with images of a then-17-year-old wearing underwear on a king-sized bed, of a young girl wrapped in a sheet looking like she just had a roll with her BF in the hay, of a girl on stage with her bottom hanging out of her pants or pole dancing.
The same girl that depicts a dependent girl living with her dad is shouting out the message that she can't be “tamed.”  Never would I feel the same way had I not had a daughter myself, and surely would not want to see images of her like that out there, especially as a girl that grown men lust after.  I was hoping that once your Disney show was over you would then slowly merge into a new image — and for the kids' sake ease into a new you…but sex sells, and the industry wants to take advantage of your power ASAP — I get that.  Girls are so impressionable, and I am saddened that they are exposed to so many of these images of pop stars that at a young age portray such overt images with sexual overtones and suggestions.
My husband told me last night that my little girl (not permitted to see your photos in tabloids) said, “Mom is just being protective!”
Wise young girl she is.
Thank you,
Stacey Ross


  1. Anonymous says:

    Beautifully said…Wisdom from those who come before us or those with an “outside looking in perspective” is so valuable.

  2. Anonymous says:

    True! We can all learn something from each other.

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