At the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards, Miley Cyrus stunned the world by twerking on Robin Thicke and doing some rather questionable dance moves with a foam finger, ushering in a new age where we were forced to acknowledge she had come very far from her Disney roots. At the 2014 VMAs, Cyrus brought a homeless youth as her date in order to shine a spotlight on the nation's homeless problem and raise awareness for My Friend's Place, a charity she supported. Instead, everyone dug into Jesse's past and discovered Jesse Helt wasn't technically homeless and had a warrant out for his arrest. On Tuesday, Cyrus called out critics of her VMAs date because they're kind of totally missing the point.
"The media never fails to disappoint. You've chosen to go after Jesse instead of covering the issue of youth homelessness," Cyrus tweeted, adding a sad smiley at the end. "While they obsesses over one homeless mans legal issue [let's] help the other 1.6 million homeless youth." She concluded her series of tweets with a link to the Win a VIP Concert Experience in Rio with Miley Cyrus donation page that she is promoting to earn money for My Friend's Place.
It's pretty much impossible at this point for a new story to break about Cyrus' VMAs date Helt without someone here at Bustle pointing out that focusing on Helt is undermining Cyrus' selfless charity effort. Now that Cyrus herself has come forward to highlight the fact that everyone is missing the point, can we finally give it a rest and give her kudos on what she is trying to do? Sure, she has yet to clarify why she chose Helt in particular as the face of her movement except with "he just looked like he had something to say," but who she chooses as that face isn't the point.
The point is that Cyrus is using her fame for something good, that Cyrus pulled a typical attention-seeking stunt for a cause and a purpose that's bigger than herself, that Cyrus might actually be moving on from the Cyrus that did things just for shock value and moving into a Cyrus that knows she has people talking and wants to make sure they take time to talk about the right things. If anything, Cyrus' Twitter rant has only proven that she's seriously committed to this, so don't we owe it to her to take her just as seriously as she's taking this cause?
To be honest, none of the news that has come out about Jesse Helt is really all that shocking. Youths who run away from home for whatever reason usually end up on the streets and the current economy is tough on those who leave the nest a bit too early. A criminal record is also something that can frequently be expected. Jesse might not be the perfect example of what can conventionally be thought of as a homeless youth, and sure there might have been plenty of other options that were more fitting with Cyrus' message. However, Cyrus wasn't aiming for perfect. She was aiming for awareness. And if the hundreds of thousands of dollars that she's raised so far in donations is any indication, then she is succeeding.
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