Illustration by COREY ADAMS
BY AMY Z. QUINN Well, poopies, it seems like only yesterday that your Citizen Mom was here begging Britney and Lindsay to please put away their vaginas, thanks. But that was way back in 2006, LaLohan is sober for the upteenth time and Britney is a single mom working the 9-to-5 shift at the dream factory. They grow up so fast. Well, they age, anyway, usually far beyond their years. And so will Miley, which is why I tend to believe her wide-eyed protestations to the Today Show that her naked-licking antics are just her being herself. Because herself is a 20-year-old with a lot of money and a smokin’ hot bod who just wants to get her freak on.
Is that so wrong?
Of course it’s not, any more than it was wrong when Sinead shaved her head and engaged in antics — clothed antics, but antics to be sure — in her twenties. The difference being that when Sinead tore up that picture of Pope John Paul II, it still seemed vaguely punk rock even if it was happening on “Saturday Night Live” and kind of made you roll your eyes. (History has more than vindicated her on that. — The Ed.)
In Cyrus’ most recent SNL turn, the cold open skit involved Old Miley trying to warn her younger self about a VMA’s performance that would ruin America. It was funny enough, and it’s clear Miley is in on the jokes.
But it doesn’t feel punk rock so much as a career path we’ve seen the young, beautiful and talented travel too many times already. It’s so familiar you can practically pull it up on Google Maps.
“It all went exactly as we planned,” she told the Today show this morning.
Miley had already tipped her hand in the opening monologue, wearing that goofy cropped-top houndstooth Barbie suit: Hannah Montana’s been murdered by Miley Cyrus. Give Miley credit enough for understanding that we all have to slay our adolescent selves in some way before we can grow up.
If we’re lucky, and we haven’t killed too much of it with sex and drugs and all of the other foolish things young women do, the best parts of ourselves live on. If we’re not lucky? Ask Tara Reid.
Now, about that letter: What can I say … Sinead gonna Sinead. That open letter wasn’t bullying or shaming or girl-on-girl crime, it was an earnest and well intentioned act performed in the most cringeworthy and uncomfortable way possible. Again, vaguely punk rock. I believe that “spirit of motherliness and love” part. Maybe that’s what happens when punk rock gets old. It has some great points, and would have made for a terrific come-to-Jesus conversation, woman to women, maybe over a nice joint or a couple of Xanax and an Entenmann’s cake. Instead, it happened on Facebook.
You also said in Rolling Stone that your look is based on mine. The look I chose, I chose on purpose at a time when my record company were encouraging me to do what you have done. I felt I would rather be judged on my talent and not my looks. I am happy that I made that choice, not least because I do not find myself on the proverbial rag heap now that I am almost 47 yrs of age..
That’s some self-aware, slightly cynical, Connie-Britton-on-Nashville-level stuff! And:
Your records are good enough for you not to need any shedding of Hannah Montana. She’s waaaaaaay gone by now.. Not because you got naked but because you make great records.
None of us can know if Miley’s wildness will inevitably end in ruin and mental illness, as Sinead suggested. That was as cruel as it was when Miley, in turn, mocked the Irish singer’s battle with bipolar disorder and compared her to Amanda Bynes. Miley is talented enough — her singing is legit and those years of Hannah Montana sitcomming have left her with good comic timing, the same Disney Channel training that makes Justin Timberlake’s many SNL turns so good. That Boehner-Bachmann parody of her “We Can’t Stop” video was as “Lazy Sunday” funny and twice as timely.
Actually, I like this guy’s approach:
Never mind Sinead and Annie, I think the biggest question about this Miley Cyrus stuff is why hasn’t her godmother Dolly Parton stepped in?
— Ryan Nelson (@RyanJohnNelson) October 7, 2013
After all, Dolly Parton is God.