Cheers to not conforming to society's demands

An open letter to Cyrus over the years

By KEREN BARUCH
On April 8, 2014

Dear Hannah Montana,

I truly loved you circa 2007.

You were a role model to young girls all around the world. Every episode of your show taught me a lesson - whether it was the importance of friendship, the value of family or the "bone dance," which really did help me on my science test.

Your personality off screen matched your perky, good-girl personality on camera.

When Barbara Walters interviewed you for her "Most Fascinating People" segment, you said you would never curse because your parents would "kill you." My mom thinks "lazy" is a curse word, so I really connected with you on that one.

You taught fans everywhere about the importance of not using profanity. Your message said "be classy with your words" to millions of viewers.

I never thought the love affair I had with you would change. I thought you would forever be Hannah Montana and I would forever be 14-year-old Keren, holding large oak tag posters collaged with small magazine photos of your face on them at your brother's Metro Station concert, hoping you would see me from backstage. I still resent the boy behind me at the concert who ripped the poster out of my hands and shredded it into pieces.

The scar on my thigh is worth every second of almost meeting you, when I attempted to run through a fence because you were on the other side of it.

Though I was already in college and past my 14-year-old obsession phase, I remember crying during the final episode of Hannah Montana in 2011. An era had ended but I genuinely believed Hannah Montana would always be a part of my childhood.

But Hannah, things changed. I stopped liking the girl behind your character for about a year and a half and I have to sincerely apologize for that. I thought when you cut off all of your hair and traded in "Nobody's Perfect" for "Love, Money, Party," you were being fake and seeking attention.

I was wrong.

Dear Miley Cyrus,

Thank you for breaking away from your goody-two-shoes character as Hannah Montana and becoming yourself. It must have been hard transitioning from child star and role model into a young adult who wants to live her life freely without the pressures of impressing society.

I remember when your bong hit went public. Any other teen would have been grounded or punished. But you faced so much more. You had to face parents, children and the media harassing you about why you're not a good role model and how much your actions affect everybody else.

What kind of life is that to live? Other child stars may have fallen for the demands of society. But not you, Miley.

You didn't let that bring you down. You thrived off it. You let that guide you through to the next phases in your life.

You don't give a f*** about what anything or anybody says to or about you. And no matter how many haters you have, you continue to do you and that's what makes you more successful and makes your true fans love you even more.

You inspire me and everybody else who follows your fame to just do us.

You're currently on your second sold-out tour. Can Demi Lovato, Selena Gomez or The Jonas Brothers say that about themselves?

No.

Because you did you.

While they put on acts to the media and pretended they were the perfect role models, though we know it's impossible for anyone to actually be perfect, you did not need an act.

So thank you. Because if you weren't the Miley Cyrus you are today, I would not have experienced the greatest concert of my life this past weekend at Barclay's Center.

I would not have seen the trippy images, which served as a backdrop to your singing. I would not have been a part of the extraordinary dances you and your crew presented on stage and I would not have been able to share the night with the crazy Miley you have become.

When you sang "Adore You" and impelled the audience to kiss for the kiss cam and get as "slutty as possible" because "the more tongue the better," and then encouraged LGBT couples to suck face and "touch each other's titties," I didn't feel uncomfortable like people warned me I might. Rather, I felt like you were pushing a movement of openness and less judgment in our society your own twisted way.

You encourage people to be themselves. This world needs more Mileys.

You are shameless and I'm positive your spunk inspired your entire audience to leave Barclay's feeling a little bit more brazen than they had two hours prior.

I lost faith in you for a period of time, but after this weekend, you have me again.

Foam fingers in hand, tongue out, pigtail buns and black nipple tape - you do it all with pride and I will never judge you again for it.

I hope every girl out there lets your message sink in: "Every single night and every single day / I'ma do my thang / And don't you worry about me / I'ma be okay / I'ma do my thang."

The message may seem silly. I may have chuckled a bit when I first read your lyrics. But seriously, why does everyone have to constantly worry about what others are doing? Everyone just wants to do their "thang," and you make it clear how fulfilling it can be to actually do that.

I may not get on a stage in front of millions of people and grope myself through a thong body suit like you do, but you have taught your fans everywhere to not give a f*** and to be themselves without caring about what the rest of the world has to say.

So cheers, Miley, to not giving a f*** and to my newfound love for the real you.

 

email: keren.baruch@ubspectrum.com


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