One of the most interesting stories of 2017 has to be the maturity of Miley Cyrus from bizarre red carpet and VMA stunts to her latest circumspect. Now in her mid-twenties she is reflecting upon her younger more experimental years. She realizes that these years often brought cringe worthy moments. From the Billboard interview she did May 3, 2017, Miley has emerged from insecure adolescent to confident young woman.
Generation X may recall awkward moments from their youth that they’d rather forget, but there is hardly any evidence other than memory or perhaps a random photograph to embarrass them. Miley’s generation has grown up documenting every aspect of their lives. However, that scrutiny increases when a starlet is constantly in the public eye. Having a robust presence on social media, Miley has posted more naked pics on Instagram than Playboy. However those days seem to be behind her.
According to her interview, her public displays of nudity or risqué outfits were meant to showcase the hypocrisy of media censors who allow men to be shown shirtless, but a woman’s breasts are censored by either blurring out the nipple or playing a ribbon over the entire breast. However she realized these antics did not highlight the discrepancy but drew too much negative attention to her exhibitionism.
She is not the first starlet to have a decorated past, Brittany Spears comes to mind. It is encouraging to note that Miley has chosen a different mode of self- expression at a younger age than Brittany Spears did. Miley also has decided that a sober existence is a necessary priority if she is to continue promoting her brand and her business. Being an established successful musician is not for the faint of heart but requires an understanding of the music business and a savvy approach to artistic expression. It should be said that opportunity does not knock in the entertainment business but rather it is the other way around. Starlets like Miley are learning that ventures, like The Voice, can expand their brand and their business and that expansion requires focus and a plan. Miley seems to have both at the moment.
Drugs, sexual experimentation, a quirky sense of style and an ever changing musical artistry characterize the past Miley. So what does the present Miley want to convey? Like many in Hollywood, Miley supported Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election cycle but Miley’s voice on the subject has been rather positive as opposed to the vitriolic shrills of other entertainers, Madonna being one of them. Miley actually responded to the election with tearful resignation which gave President Trump a chance to prove himself. She has since made positive remarks about his administration and supporters that do not depart from her hippie left of center views.
Miley has decided to reach across the aisle instead of isolating herself among those of like mind. This has caused some controversy on social media but she takes it all in stride. Listening is a good indicator of personal growth. Empathy and putting herself out there despite the risks, (either offending liberals or being rejected by Trump supporters) shows qualities that endear her to fans of different music genres. The latest genre she wants to conquer is country, her roots. To do so, she understands that country is the genre of Trump supporters. Country fans are leery of those outside of their political and musical sensibilities. I applaud her for trying to bridge that gap.
Did her media blackout, her relationship with actor Liam Hemsworth, her family or just the natural progression of personal insight and growth bring this change about? She credit all the above as being a catalyst for change. Although her eclectic and quirky sensibilities are still evident, these qualities, being a part of her personality, are here to stay. How she expresses these characteristics is changing.
Everything from what she wears to her tempered remarks illustrates someone in flux. According to a BBC article about new guidelines concerning adolescence, researchers have determined that adolescence actually continues to age twenty-five. Miley, twenty-four, may have gained some insight ahead of the milestone. She may well be moving on to adulthood and the poise that comes with it. Not everyone matures at the same rate. We still have hope for Justin Bieber! However, Miley has two things in her corner that may have contributed to her evolution, her family and Liam Hemsworth. Both have strong family ties, Liam has parents that are still together, and Miley’s parents are still together after twenty-five years. Stability through good familial ties can foster maturity. Hopefully, her emotional maturity will continue to serve her well in her future endeavors.