When I was little, my favorite Disney show was “Hannah Montana.” I thought Miley Cyrus was the coolest and prettiest girl in the world.

She seemed to be perfect—she was smart, funny and successful.

But as I started into my teens, I stopped watching the Disney Channel and forgot about Cyrus.

Until last summer, that is, when her single “We Can’t Stop” left the world with their jaws dropped.

I had a similar reaction when I first listened to it. I had been hearing about the whole controversy over the line “dancing with mollie/Miley,” but hadn’t expected the song to be so blatantly simpleminded.

Nonetheless, as I listened to it again and again—I’ll admit it is rather catchy—I began to realize that my astonishment was more due to the everlasting image of Miley from my childhood rather than her boundary pushing.

I mean, just listen to Katy Perry’s “T.G.I.F.” The themes of the songs are basically the same: “Party till you drop.”

The real shock for me came from envisioning Cyrus as a sweet little teenybopper chanting along to “Party in the U.S.A” or “The Climb.”

I came to see that I felt similarly about everything Cyrus did. From her racy music videos to her incessant tongue exposure, my disturbance came from my tarnished childhood image of her. I had watched most of the Lady Gaga music videos, the majority of which are much stranger than even “Wrecking Ball,” and not blinked an eye, mainly because I was used to it. I had come to expect such from Gaga.

But when my past idol began swinging around naked on a wrecking ball and licking hammers, I couldn’t take it.

Recently, I’ve decided I’m not going to judge Miley for her actions. I mean, there’s a reason that Rihanna, Lady Gaga and Katy Perry are still popular today. Cyrus is just trying to imitate their success.

So why not let her try?

The thing is, lots of people hate her because of her change in character, but just as many love the change.

And obviously she’s succeeding in getting attention—her twerking fiasco at the VMA’s was considered breaking news on many stations.

At the very least give Miley credit for forging her own way in pop culture.

 

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