Jesus Needs New PR

Watching Miley’s career is fascinating for me. I’ve never met her or her father, but years ago we went to the same church here in Nashville. I’m not sure if we went to the same service or not, but while I visited the church I heard lots of great stories about the talent and gumption of Billy Ray’s daughter.

I ran across this very recent video of Miley, her father, and Dolly…

It reminded me of why America’s youth fell in love with Miley. Her sweet, pretty, confident presence is difficult to ignore. But from a “PR” standpoint, this video with Dolly is such a sharp contrast to the “Can’t Be Tamed” Miley in the video below…

I get why Miley (and perhaps Miley’s people) desired for her to drop the cutesy Disney image of Hannah Montana.

And seriously, I’m sure they realized that her bad acting and that wig was going to be A LOT to drop…

But why does “growing up” mean “I need to be sexy”?

Was her displaying “sexy” the only way to prove she’s not a little girl anymore? Is this the only option for young superstars who want to prove that they’re no longer 12? And is this need to prove one’s age/maturity using sexuality a uniquely female thing? Can a famous girl (or boy) grow up and survive the cutesy kid image without sex? Is “sexuality” an easy way to demand attention and respect in popular culture?

We’ve seen it over and over again, of course–from Britney to Lindsey to Christina…

But maybe I’m naive, but I really thought that Miley was going to be an exception. Consider Miley a year or so ago. Sure, her apparel was shortening and tightening, but there was still an innocence there in my opinion. It seemed that, more so than her being sexy, she was relying on a catchy hook, good production, and a whole lot of money to outsmart her “good girl” image. And “Party in the USA” was catchy. Not cool. Not going to be a song that changed the world or is remembered 5 years from now… but in the “moment,” it was catchy. And all that seemed to be working.

But then this happened…

And I’m not really sure what “this” actually is… I mean, do you think that Miley feels like her only option to prove her age is sexy? Do you think this is really her? Is somebody talking her into this? Maybe it’s just me, but it just doesn’t seem to fit. Honestly, while she’s adorable and pretty, she’s not all that good at being “bad.” It seems forced to me. Like she’s acting.

And does the sexy Miley contradict the Miley we see in the top video with her father and Dolly?

Maybe it doesn’t. Maybe her best friend Leslie is right… she’s just being Miley.


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