I’d like to talk about Miley Cyrus for a minute. And honestly this wasn’t planned. My personal thoughts emerged suddenly, following the barrage of articles and commentary circulating the web right now. I realize this isn’t exactly about style, but I feel it needs to be said.
It seems that nearly everyone is ready to condemn Miley for her raunchy, indiscreet VMA performance this past Sunday. Somewhat surprisingly, I’m pleased to see that her dad Billy Ray and Robin Thicke’s lovely wife Paula have taken the high road. But the rest of the lot are jumping at every chance to call Miley trashy, label her desperate, preach about how she needs guidance, blah, blah, etc, etc. If I know anything, I know that no one can tell a rebellious teenager/twenty-something what to do, or better yet what not to do. She is her own person, and the bottom line is, she doesn’t really know what that means right now. She has no clearly defined sense of self, because quite frankly, for far too long, who she “is” has been defined for her. So let’s get one thing straight…rebellion is cathartic. Absolutely and unabashedly. And in Miley’s case, her rebellion is a no-holds-barred way of shedding who she was (i.e. Hannah Montana, Disney Darling). Yet these current behaviors do not define who she is. She is quite plainly telling the world she doesn’t give a fuck, because she’s confused and because she knows she has to figure it out for herself. She doesn’t need anyone else’s approval, certainly not until she has her own. And I think that’s the point. She’s tired of other people dictating who she is and what she does, and she’s tired of being judged on the basis of an image she did not mastermind. So she’s wiping the slate clean, by unapologetically ripping into her wholesome former self. She’s throwing her middle fingers up and contending, “You have no idea who I am.” That's exactly what’s she’s doing, and I think it’s pretty obvious, so why the hell are we all outraged? Many young people experience similar identity crises, for various reasons, and act out accordingly. Is it really Miley’s fault that networks like MTV will sop up any chance at a ratings boost? Of course they rehearsed the performance, and of course MTV approved it. I’m sure plenty of higher-ups were anxiously anticipating the inevitable media frenzy. The fact that she’s famous makes it that much harder to go through what she’s going through, and we’ve seen it all before, too many times to count. In Miley’s case, something tells me she’ll come out all right on the other side. I could be wrong, but I think she’s fierce enough to ride this storm, and eventually find herself where she wants to be. And on a side note, wild as it may be, I’m thoroughly digging her style right now.
Luisa Lucia is a Los Angeles based wardrobe stylist and lifelong fashion fanatic.