OMFG!!! She (almost) touched her boobie!
I'm no a fan of Miley Cyrus's work, though I've met her and find her to be completely professional and very nice (Britney Spears was also a sweetheart the three times I met her and you know I'm not big on her catalogue, either). And while I'm bored, aged 41, at yet another cycle of let's-sex-up-my-innocent-brand, I do think some of her provocations ring a bit desperate. It's transparent that she's trying to be naughty as a way to "grow up," and I can see how some parents of (very) young children might worry that this could put ideas into their heads, especially since she's playing "Hannah Montana" on a children's show of the same name.
However, Bonnie Fuller's recent piece on Cyrus manages to be reactionary and corporate-driven, and is disgraceful coming from a woman who's made every dime she has from the vicarious kicks America gets watching the very antics for which she's condemning the 17-year-old diva.
Put aside whatever your feelings are about Miley's music or whatever they may be about her persona—chances are you're way out of her demo anyway—and try this on for size:
"In a way, she's the Tiger Woods of teenage girls. When he accepted the platinum endorsement of repping American Express, he was 'agreeing' to be a role model. She has made the same deal. And like Tiger, in reality she's behaving like the devil."
I'm perfectly capable of understanding her point that if you lie down with people paying you to be a role model, you'll wake up with disapproving fleas; I don't pity any star who trades on his or her persona and then pays a price when that persona fails to satisfy his or her customers. (Jessica Simpson lost tons of her fans when she posed sexily for a men's magazine back when she was still riding side-saddle, and while I'm pro-sex, that was her own mistake for plying her trade with an anti-sex crowd.) However, excuse me, but Miley Cyrus should not be compared to Tiger Woods. Tiger Woods behaved like a sex addict whereas Cyrus has so far done...what? Gone to clubs despite being underage. Danced suggestively. And now, kissed a girl (giving Fuller a chance to be homophobic as well as sexphobic). She could very well turn into a Lindsay Lohan lost child, but she hasn't done anything yet but flirt with a PG-13 rating. ON STAGE!
And here is Fuller, literally comparing her to Satan.
[I also find it very interesting that Fuller would compare this female rebel (God, please shoot me if kids today think Miley Cyrus is as slutty as it gets) with douchey (and nothing worse) Tiger Woods AND the criminally reprehensible Chris Brown. See, apparently, the black guys and the young chicks are the only ones who have to have a code of behavior imposed on them by white women. Sure, you could argue that some of the biggest white male artists among kids aren't really behaving badly, but were the Bonnie Fullers of the world railing against Pete Wentz a few years ago when he introduced the planet, and his teenybopper fans, to his peen? Or Eminem for the abhorrent lyrics that sooo many young kids loved? How about today's Robert Pattinson, who smokes cigarettes?]
I don't know what it is about Miley, but she is definitely that "It" girl, as Madonna was, as Britney was, who means a lot to a generation, whose every move means so much more than can be explained to those either too old to care about her or those, like Fuller, too old to be charmed by her. In some ways, she's lucky—it's hard to shake that distinction, even if you screw up. But in other ways, she's unlucky—she's a kid, yet everything she does matters exponentially more than the same things done by other people in the public eye.
Miley's capitalizing on her fame, so she is of course fair game to criticize and is going to have to endure some mocking, too. But for a fiftysomething woman to cluck her tongue and state flat out (in a lengthy screed filled with judgmental exclamation marks!!!) that Miley is "behaving like the devil," that is a puritanical overreach.