Below is a link to a music video featuring Miley Cyrus. The video contains content that can be perceived as sexually suggestive so if you are offended by this kind of content please do not watch.
In recent months Miley Cyrus has been the subject of tabloid covers, the evening news, and the 24 hour news networks. She has attained this fame by being what society considers highly provocative primarily by sexualizing herself. Now there are two issues with this. Why is it necessary for Miley Cyrus to sexualize herself and why does society condemn her when she does. Miley Cyrus is musically talented in her own right and she has developed a very large following. She achieved this long before she began to overtly sexualize herself. This fact compels one to ask why she would suddenly feel the need to sexualize herself. Many have speculated that in our ever changing times with our ever changing tastes it has become more difficult to remain relevant musically. When considering this theory it is easy to understand why someone would sexualize themselves. Remaining musically relevant is difficult so many artists, primarily female ones make themselves relevant in different ways primarily by sexualizing themselves. My first issue is why so many female artists feel the need to sexualize themselves to remain relevant. The Cult of Virginity piece that we discussed earlier in the semester answers this question rather well. Miley Cyrus was at one time known for her wholesome image developed thanks to her role in a Disney series. As she grew older like many young stars she sought to stay relevant. The difficulty is that to stay relevant she had to change her image so like many young stars she could continue the career she had grown to love. The problem with female stars changing their image is that unlike men they encounter intense resistance unless they choose to focus on their sexuality. The result of her actions is that society began to shun her. She had failed to find the acceptable middle ground that society expected her to. Because of this she lost numerous fans and became a fixture of what young girls should not be. This is where the Cult of Virginity comes in. Miley Cyrus had played into society’s expectation to sexualize herself, but she had taken it too far at least by society’s standards. My second issue is that society condemned Miley Cyrus for embracing her body. Many people look at her videos and behavior and say that she is too sexual. I can understand being polite toward conservative people’s views but why ridicule someone who is embracing her body. It is this type of behavior that leads to body shaming and the myriad of eating disorders that exist within our society.
Benjamin Madsen-Larsen 005