We Can’t Stop, And We Won’t Stop
Published: Sunday, September 22, 2013
Updated: Sunday, September 22, 2013 16:09
Hannah Montana. Miley Cyrus. The girl who was dating Liam Hemsworth. Smiley Miley. Whatever you want to call her, the 20-year old star that not long ago held our gaze on the Disney Channel has undeniably taken precedent in our conversations and on social media. It’s disconcerting turning on Fox News and watching as reporters go on and on about Miley’s most recent performance or latest music video. It’s common to see her swinging around naked on a ball on Facebook or Twitter, but the news is a place for stories that matter. The fact that stories like Miley’s twerking episode are played shortly following news on Syria is disquieting. This juxtaposition highlights the sharp decline at which American culture is slipping at an increasingly fast rate. It seems all that we are willing to do is throw our hands in the air and enjoy the ride.
Although Miley’s controversial behavior has proven to be quite the catalyst for numerous arguments and discussions, it has also done us a favor by illuminating society’s problem as a whole, something that we have clearly chosen to ignore. I’m pretty sure there have been more twerking videos uploaded to YouTube this year than students graduated from college (kidding). One of these videos is entitled “Miley Cyrus Twerking Into History” and swiftly gathered millions of views. Distressing. I can affirm first-hand the way this effects America’s reputation, as I have just finished a year abroad in England and met people from all over the world. We are known best for celebrities like Miley, Kim Kardashian and even more so, for the time we spend foolishly obsessing over them.
The last time America hit a low comparable to this was with Kim Kardashian’s sudden fame. Behavior that should have been abhorred was rewarded, as Kim and her family suddenly had their own show on television. This is what I am afraid will happen in Miley’s case. Due to the fact that there has been an explosion of interest in her, as the world’s younger population is so caught up on her contentious actions and behavior, she will receive even more unrightfully earned attention from the world. God forbid she gets her own reality show and is presented with an even greater opportunity to expose herself to the world.
Why did she dance like that at the VMAs? Why is she licking sledgehammers? Where were Miley’s clothes? Who cares. As far as I’m concerned, she can do as she pleases. I know that it is upsetting to see younger fans look up to such a role model and that this is the main controversy, but we can’t spend so much time focusing on one person and their mistakes, regardless of whether or not they are famous. If we do so as a society, dedicating precious time to her on the news and other respected means of communicating information, generations to come will only follow suit.
It’s inevitable that Miley will pop up in our conversations as her fame is undeniable, but it is the extent and the means at which we communicate this interest that makes her and celebrities like the Kardashians rulers of our culture. The more influence and power they have over our society and the more they pop up in the news, the more ignorant and vacuous we appear as a country. Although this is clearly a very broad quandary that has been of topic for years and, as a result, is now usually ignored, situations like Miley’s recent fame shows the necessity for it to be reiterated. However, our prioritizing the lives and behavior of celebrities will continue to be a problem for years to come (I’m a realist). It is one of the many things that we, as a country, are known for. Unfortunately, it’s not that we can’t stop, it’s that we simply won’t stop.