She's Just Being Miley?

Of all the celebrities in Hollywood that I would love to sit down and have coffee with, Miley Cyrus makes my top 10. What started as a skyrocketing career of pop, fame and fortune has sadly turned the same corner of so many other celebs who have succumbed to the LA culture of partying, drugs and booze. The girl who once sported the blonde wig and sang about ‘the best of both worlds’ now doesn’t even appear to have the best of the one world she’s living in. Even amongst the media, there is such a sense that Miley is simply…lost.

Miley was just 12 when she stepped into the spotlight. The machine that is Disney catapulted her into the world of tweens everywhere and the daughter of Billy Ray Cyrus went on to feature as closet pop star ‘Hannah Montana’ in four series from 2006 to 2011. As with many of her Disney counterparts, Cyrus launched a successful singing career through this and was soon having arena tours first as ‘Hannah Montana’ and then under her own name.

Her first single ‘See You Again’ featured on the second season Hannah Montana soundtrack and Cyrus went on to release a total of six soundtracks to her television series and another four solo albums. She was seemingly the picture perfect child star, her autobiography presenting her as a southern bell who grew up with the principles of Christianity and a loving family. But all good things must come to an end in Hollywood, and soon pictures surfaced of Miley in her underwear, acting suggestively with other females and posing for THAT Vanity Fair cover in 2008. Controversy ensued on Cyrus’s fourth solo release as she bared her midriff on the cover of ‘Can’t Be Tamed’ and danced around a pole at the 2010 MTV Teen Choice Awards. Could this girl who once quoted scriptures now be lost to lights of Hollywood?

Following the release of ‘Can’t Be Tamed’ the media went into a frenzy. What was once an occasional occurrence turned into a stream of photographs and Tweets showing Cyrus smoking Salvia (a drug legalised in California), swearing and showing cutting marks on her arm. Add to this her highly publicised on/off romance with Australia’s Liam Hemsworth from ‘The Hunger Games’ and it seems that Miley could not go anywhere in Hollywood without speculation as to why she was missing her engagement ring. Amidst all this chaos, Cyrus continued her career starring in numerous movies and working on new music. Her long awaited single ‘We Can’t Stop’, the video which was released last week, shows her posing suggestively as she wears a Borat like one piece. Add to this the racy lyrics,

“It’s our party we can do what we want,
It’s our party we can say what we want,
It’s our party we can love who we want,
We can kiss who we want,
We can sing what we want.”

And there is such a sense that this girl who sang about living your dreams and overcoming broken hearts has morphed into something that can only be fathomed once you to have seen the promise and tragedy that carpets the streets of Los Angeles. The young woman who once sang the lyrics, “She’s just being Miley” now has the world questioning who Miley really is.

If I was to one day walk into the Starbucks in Toluca Lake and sit down with Miley Cyrus, I’m not sure I would have so many questions as more a curiosity and sincere interest in listening to this twenty year old. It is only by listening to this free spirit that I could understand if she sees herself as the same Miley who started this journey, how and why her beliefs have changed and if this young woman is happy.

It is easy for me to become angry and judgemental when I see the bright sparks of Hollywood fall to the party life. I have a tendency to stand on my soap box and start carrying on about how they should be better role models. Yet what I have increasingly understood is that these celebrities know all this, and perhaps this is why they have fallen so far. As a member of the media, perhaps the one thing I can do to not only inform the public but also support these individuals is to look at them and their lives with some compassion.

After all, if we were standing in the sparkly sneakers that Hannah Montana once danced in, who is to say that we would not have replaced them with the empty promises of Hollywood too?