She Wants You to Leave Miley Alone

On the grand scheme of things, Miley Cyrus ranks pretty low on the list of bad role models. I mean, she hasn't been arrested for assault or a DUI yet, which is, sadly enough, where the bar is set among some of her other peers. While Cyrus might make the occasional date rape joke, overall she's pretty harmless which is probably why so many celebrities aren't afraid to stand up and defend her from the criticism she constantly seems to attract. The latest celebrity to defend Miley Cyrus is Demi Lovato and that should come as no surprise considering Cyrus and Lovato both come from tumultuous Disney backgrounds.

According to an interview with We Love Pop magazine, Lovato spoke up about Cyrus with an empowering speech. "I think she knows what she's doing. A lot of artists take that route of shock value and that's fine, but I think she has such an incredible voice that's overshadowed by some of the things that she's doing. I'll always love her — she's been one of my friends since I was 14. Everyone is on their different journeys and she's having fun, she's being who she is — so power to her."

The thing about Lovato's declaration is that she preceded it by implying that Cyrus only attracts all of this criticism because the world can't "get over the fact that [she] was Hannah Montana when she was 16". That may have been true initially, way back during the MTV Video Music Awards where all of us were sitting wide-eyed as Hannah Montana grinded on Robin Thicke's lap, but Cyrus is way past that in her career now. When she's just being Miley, we accept that she's just being Miley; Hannah Montana isn't even on our minds anymore.

Thus it's Cyrus as an adult who is being judged when she does things like livetweet her entire hospital stay or exploit little people during a concert. We're all aware that Cyrus is doing the things she does for the shock value and to get people talking, but she needs to accept that a lot of that talk is going to be negative as a result of that. The world may have trouble letting child stars grow up and become who they want to be, but that doesn't mean that who they want to be is going to be exempt from criticism.

Does Miley Cyrus deserve all of the hate that she gets? No, probably not. As Shailene Woodley said, "Miley isn’t rude or mean or cruel to anyone in her actions. She just does herself." Does Miley Cyrus deserve some of the hate that she gets? Yes, she definitely does. She has appropriated cultures, exploited people, and is burying a gorgeous voice in as much flash and controversy as she can possibly drum up before she has to start working on a new album.

Besides, Ariana Grande pointed out that Cyrus' "life is the best it could be right now", so it's not like all of this criticism is dragging Cyrus down any. In fact, she's spun it into a benefit to her career. Miley Cyrus is one of those celebrities who define the phrase "there's no such thing as bad press", but she certainly does more harmless things with that attention than the likes of Justin Bieber or Chris Brown.

To be honest, there's something to be said for teaching impressionable young minds that they shouldn't be afraid to be themselves no matter what anyone else might think. There's a line, of course, but the general message that Cyrus is pushing with her actions is pretty positive. So maybe we should listen to Grande, Lovato, and Woodley when they collectively scream, "LEAVE MILEY ALONE!!" Until she appropriates another culture, Cyrus isn't really hurting anyone.

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