So. Miley Cyrus.
She’s not someone I’ve really paid much attention to. Her name is familiar, and I remember she played a character on the Disney Channel.
The other morning, I woke up to see her name everywhere. Twitter, Facebook, CNN…what on Earth was going on that made Miley Cyrus such a craze?
So I youtubed it, and I found out.
Wow. That was…something, all right. In the first seconds, it struck me that she looked very awkward and kind of uncomfortable, although she did seem to find her groove. But, yeah. MTV, par for the course right?
And then the blogs started popping up, and the discussions. The horror and the shame people were expressing seemed…out of proportion. And then I read more, and I realized…People are saying that someone who is a role model shouldn’t be behaving like Miley did that night on that stage.
She’s not, never was, a role model. Role models are to be imitated in all aspects of life. And Miley does seem to be generous, but that’s not what people know her for. And that’s the disconnect here. A role model would be known not for her lack of clothing or racy behavior first.
It is our job as parents to direct our kids towards appropriate role models. Let’s look around, and find the people who are quietly doing good for the world, who support causes and donate their time and energy to help somewhere-be they celebrities or not. Let’s look at the people who are bettering themselves, who are facing adversity and challenges and rising above them. And while they are quietly doing good, they are also composing themselves in a manner that is fit to be imitated, in all things.
The only shocking thing about any of this to me is that people are disappointed that this role model of young girls everywhere has fallen so far. The thing is, I am not going to be allowing my kids to look to people like Miley Cyrus and say “that’s what I want to be someday”-Miley or anyone famous, for that matter, just because their faces appear in our living room on a regular basis. That’s not something to aspire to! If they want to come to me and say ‘so-and-so actor/actress has been volunteering for XYZ charity, I think that’s neat and I want to do that too!’ then awesome, yes, that’s something to look up to and imitate. If they discover how so-and-so worked so hard, going to auditions and keeping up their grades and finally, finally landed an awesome role in something after lots of patience and failures? Yep, that’s fine with me-hard work? Fantastic, let’s talk about that some more. But to simply want to be like someone because they appear on TV or in movies, no, that’s not something to look up to. Not even a little bit. I want to teach them to look to the person, not the character or the persona.
As my kids get older and start noticing pop culture, they aren’t going to be allowed to think that the songs they hear on the radio are representative of real life. They’re stories, not real, just like movies or TV shows. The people who sing those songs are characters just as much as the characters that they see on TV-not real. Pretend. Not something to be imitated, followed or otherwise taken seriously. It is entertainment, not life lessons.