October 19, 2013 10:31:17 PM
Disney's princess known for her role as Hannah Montana to millions of little girls and their moms all over the world has become the queen of controversy lately. The 20-year-old Miley Ray Cyrus, born Destiny Hope Cyrus, is an actress and singer with a famous country singer dad who sang all about his "achy breaky heart." Her childhood nickname was "Smiley," and none other than Dolly Parton is her godmother.
One day she is on the arm of one of Hollywood's most handsome actors, Liam Hemsworth, winning the world over with wholesome ballads inspiring us to remember, "Ain't about how fast I get there, ain't about what's waiting on the other side, it's the climb." With the world watching, she transitioned from child star into tween heartthrob, selling out tickets to concerts and landing leading roles on the big screen.
It seemed she was America's sweetheart, from the polished side-swept updos on the red carpet to live performances on a global scale and even in our own living rooms via high definition television. Then, poof, Miley became the most talked about 20-something of 2013 -- and mostly not in a good way.
Clips began leaking on Twitter of celebrity hairstylist Chris McMillan and a new Miley. The hair was platinum blonde, shaved on the sides with a disconnected fringe on top sending tremors through Hollywood. Next, her four-year engagement was off, and the music became less about rainbows, daisies and unicorns and more about provocative grown-up things.
When the smoke clears, the spotlights dim, and the shock of it all subsides, I find that Miley Cyrus is a talented young adult with a powerful voice, an artist who knows exactly who she wants to be. In fact, when she cut her hair, she said that she had "never felt more herself in her whole life." On the one hand, it's natural for us to want Miley to remain a chaste role model for our young girls. On the other, it's unfair to put young stars in a box and expect them to remain children while they are also living their own adult lives. Can anybody live up to those expectations?
Miley is among the most successful artists to originate from Disney, and no doubt she does owe something to her origins as we all do. She has been ranked high on Forbes' Celebrity 100, and she has had 17 Top 10 hits. Not slowing down a bit, her brand new song "Wrecking Ball" is all over the radio.
Love her or leave her -- and you're well within your rights to do either -- she has grown up without the need for our approval and has "twerked" herself onto the main stage in life where we can either turn it up and dance or turn it off. While many of her behaviors are no longer appropriate for our young girls to follow, in one important way maybe she can still be a role model. Don't we want our girls to grow up true to themselves whoever they may become?
Former Columbus resident David Creel owns Beautiful With David salon in Jackson and has 20 years experience in the beauty industry. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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