As I was watching Miley Cyrus perform on the Today show this morning, I couldn't help but think about this girl. She -- Miley Cyrus -- does not have the best of both worlds. Miley Stewart is the fictional character portrayed on the Hannah Montana show on the Disney Channel who manages to have it all. Miley Cyrus herself has only the "Hannah Montana" personality. She's a superstar and a marketing machine. Her family is there supporting her, and she's taking advantage of the opportunities that are before her right now, and I hope it works out for her.
Matt Lauer explained that this was by far the largest crowd that has built up for one of their Summer Concerts in the Plaza. The people spanned several blocks (many of whom could not even see the stage), and waited and waited on a cool and rainy morning. He asked Miley Cyrus if she could even understand it. Of course she can't. But she seems to have a decent (if very calculating) head on her shoulders.
She was singing songs from her new CD The Time of Our Lives, which as a strong rock influence, and she stated outright that they weren't really the kind of songs that were really "her." She said that the CD came out to help promote her new clothing line at Wal-Mart. She's got the image down -- the rocker hair, the head-banging and everything.
If you've been in Target or Children's Place, you've seen this British rock style that's stocking the children's departments this fall. I don't mind the look (although pleather leggings at Target -- really??). This is along those same lines.
I think that Miley is trying to live up to the idol status that she's earned. But just because Hannah Montana is a fun character for our kids to follow, that doesn't guarantee that Miley Cyrus always will be, especially if our kids are much younger than the 16-year-old star.
Miley Cyrus is not Hannah Montana.
Miley Cyrus poses on the cover of Elle magazine in a cleavage baring shot.
Miley Cyrus pole-dances, not Hannah Montana, although it did happen at the Teen Choice awards, where she landed because of her role as the Disney princess she is (I was tipped off to this story by redblog, one of my new favorite movie sites, after I did the interviews with Erika Olsen for our 5 Minutes for Books Books on Screen column).
I didn't even know that Miley Cyprus had a CD Breakout from 2008, and that a new one was coming out (available exclusively at Wal-Mart apparently). This summer we've been enjoying Hannah Montana, Volume 3 and the Hannah Montana: The Movie CD. Hannah Montana and Miley Stewart, not the real teenager Miley Cyrus.
Amanda didn't start dipping her toe into that tween media frenzy until she was almost 9 -- a genuine tween. When she was a preschooler (and an only child), I fed her a preschool-friendly diet. Now her much-younger brother is fully immersed in what his tween sister watches, so I'm not pointing fingers at those of you with Miley/Hannah-crazed six-year-olds. But I am saying that we have options.
As parents it's our responsibility to decide what our children will be exposed to. We are Hannah Montana fans (Yes "we" all enjoy her -- the 11-year-old, the 38-year-old, and the 5-year-old boy). But that doesn't mean that we need a steady stream of Miley Cyrus as well.