Everyone gets it: Miley Cyrus is an Adult. She’s an Adult and sexy and an Adult. She single-handedly inspired a revolution of rebellious, burgeoning girls and guys to get up and shake their asses at anyone, anywhere. Remember, only God can judge ya.
I was never a “Hannah Montana” super-fan. It was a cute TV show with a cute girl — she sang songs, she wore the wig, she had a classic Miley eye-roll, and everyone was like “this girl is so cute, my daughter should look up to this wholesome Disney-fabricated character.” And then, after a four-season whirlwind, “Hannah Montana” was done. What was left was an 18-year-old trying to get away from a mostly hollow image, someone trying to transition from childhood to young adulthood.
Three years later, she’s still convinced that we’re not convinced she’s all grown up. It all started with “Can’t be Tamed.” It made sense back then: It was her first, non-Hannah Montana-affiliated single, and she wanted to make sure people really got her, you know, like, as a person. She was in a bird cage, and it was a big deal, and she just couldn’t be tamed. But then, everyone was like, “Miley, stop it, you’re ruining your image.” And then, as if she made a pact to never back down from challenges, Cyrus got weirder.
Whether it’s her admission to name-dropping drugs, her classy VMA performance, her “don’t-give-a-shit” attitude or twerking, Cyrus is nonstop.
It has been a long year for Cyrus. She cut her hair. She possibly broke up with her possible fiancé. She feels great, though. She feels more like herself than ever. Does everyone hear that? She feels great, Liam. She’s releasing Bangerz and getting back to her musical roots. She likes to let loose and she likes to get wild. “We Can’t Stop” is based on real parties she’s been to. You guys, this is just real life for Smilerz.
I like “We Can’t Stop” the same way I like some songs on the radio without having them permeate my own music library. It’s enough for me to hear it once a day, but I can appreciate it for what it is. The song’s fun and, for the first time in a while, I feel like Cyrus has a style. I can hear the work she put into her vocals and tonality and, yeah, the lyrics are more interesting than her last album’s. Her music feels right — it doesn’t come off as forced and it doesn’t try too hard.
“Wrecking Ball” is the first song I’ve sincerely enjoyed of Cyrus’s. It’s delicate and honest in a way that many of her songs aren’t. It’s still a pop song, it’s not poetry, but it’s different from the Cyrus we’re used to — this is what I wanted from her. I wanted to see a different side to her music. I thought, there’s no way she can make this music video about twerking.
This probably isn’t the last time I will be wrong about a video. It’s a trap because, at first, Miley’s crying. It’s a close-up of her face, red lipstick bright, and she’s crying. Then, the chorus drops, and she becomes a sexy, sledgehammer-licking, wrecking ball-riding, lying-in-her-underwear-on-the-wreckage Miley.
What? What’s the point of this video? Seriously, what is it? Because the way I see it, this is a way for Miley to keep on her “female sexuality is amazing, and I am sexual” kick, trying to prove to everyone that she has nothing to prove.
Being a woman, especially a 20-year-old is difficult. I get it. I understand feeling young and exciting; I know why Cyrus parties and why she likes to get naked and grind on Robin Thicke. It’s rebellious, and she feels like she’s showing that being a puppet of The Machine isn’t cool. You want to have a penis cake for your birthday? Do it! Fuck those that tell you otherwise.
In reality, being a sexually comfortable woman has very little to do with showing everyone your naked ass on a demolition ball. If Cyrus was actually trying to show everyone how comfortable she is in her body, she wouldn’t be screaming about how comfortable she is in her body. Frankly, no one really cares. The point of being relaxed in your own skin is that it’s your own; it’s a quiet confidence that allows you to be happy with who you are — it’s not about projecting that sexuality on others, making someone uncomfortable.
“But she just likes being naked and sexy! She’s just being herself,” someone says in Cyrus’s defense right now. Yeah, exactly, so let’s call it what it is: That’s not about inner confidence and sexual sureness. Whether it’s of her own volition or with prodding from her PR agents and record company, that’s just a woman wanting someone to tell her she looks great in her Calvin Klein bikini.
I watched the video again. I watched it a few more times, actually, fighting my embarrassment for her and trying to find some kind of saving grace. Because the thing is, her music is stronger than it ever has been. I want to like her, and I want to champion for her, but I can’t help but see her as a whiny child. I’m tired of watching her twerk and I’m sick of hearing her talk about how free she feels — what’s the point if no one takes you seriously?
And that is the real problem: Her music, which deserves all the attention it’s getting, can’t be taken seriously if it’s accompanied by a video of her making out with a hammer.
It isn’t poignant, it isn’t smart — it’s showy and attention-grabbing in all the wrong ways, like a child yelling for candy in a grocery store.
In the end, I’m torn. I’m really feeling the music, but I’m really weary of Cyrus. I’m really bored of the persona she’s adopted. I see her as a one-trick pony, someone to call up for a good time if I want to do some Molly and make a skull out of fries. Would I ever call her if I’m upset? If I have a nice dinner party to go to? If I need a ride to work? Probably not. She’s the party friend, the one you never take too seriously because they’re probably high as fuck. She’s just being Miley, though, right? The thing is, she’s not an adult; she’s annoying, and I’m pretty sure there are other singers out there with more to offer.