I Don't Give a Rats Ass What Miley Does, and You Shouldn't Either
By bklynjenn on October 04, 2013
I'm not going to talk about Miley Cyrus. Or Sinead O' Conner. Or the scores of bloggers who have written their own pieces talking about Miley Cyrus and Sinead O Conner. I'm also not going to include any links to any of these posts so if you have no idea what I am talking about (and care) feel free to hit up Google.
I'm also not going to talk about Lance Armstrong. Or Michael Vick. Or Michael Jackson. Or Lindsey Lohan. Or any other outdated, over-analyzed celebrity scandal. I'm not even going to talk about Kyra Gracie or Rhonda Rousey, even though as a female martial artist, their stories hit much closer to my world and I have a lot of things to say about their recent public antics.
I am a mother. I have a young daughter. But I am not sitting here wringing my hands over what horrible examples those ladies on the magical talking entertainment device in my living room are setting for my daughter. I am not stressed out over what kind of body type is on the cover of Vogue this month. And it is not because I do not think these things are important for the way society views women, or because I do not have very strong opinions on these very topics. It is also not because I plan on wrapping my child in a bubble as tight and safe as a fallout shelter so there is no way she ever sees a video with Miley f**king Cyrus in it. I know she is going to see it. She is going to see all of it when she is older, the magazines, the Facebook posts, the commercials. She is going to have the same insecurities, the same hormonal struggles, the same social drama that defines the world of all teenaged girls.
But I am hopeful. I am hopeful that by the time she is at the age when Miley Cyrus is on her radar, she will have been exposed to enough real female role models to not care.
Yes I said real.
Perhaps I am naive and clueless. But here is the gift we need really to give our daughters:
First of all we need to expose them to strong, confident, powerful women. Not on the television and on our IPhones, but in the REAL WORLD! We need to be these women. We need to be women who respect our bodies, who exhibit self confidence and self respect. Who are educated. Who are athletes. Who are healthy. Who are happy. Who are creative. Who are compassionate. Who care more about how we feel and how we can make others feel than how perfect our hair and makeup is. And if we aren't these women than we need to fake it really really well. Hopefully until we can become them.
Then we need to surround our daughters with more of these women. Great mothers and wonderful, creative teachers. We need to immerse her in a world where she is surrounded by real women who are making great things happen. Every day, right in front of her. She needs to see, smell and touch these women.
Finally, we need to teach our daughters that TV is NOT REAL. That celebrities are not real. (Sorry Honey Boo Boo!) That the people she sees in magazines and on MTV (provided it still exists) are like characters in a fairy tale, created and manipulated exclusively for the purpose of entertainment. They are not real women. They are not real role models. They are not real anything.
Miley Cyrus should not be any little girls role model. Not because she is doing it wrong, but because she is like Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story. She is imaginary. We need to stop making singers and actors and athletes, people who are complete strangers who live thousands of miles away, the people we look up to. We need to stop caring what they do. Someday perhaps Miley Cyrus will have a daughter. Then, and only then, will her actions actually matter to anyone.
Of course I am not naive enough to think that my daughter will not notice celebrities, that she does not already model herself a bit after the characters in the movies and TV shows she watches. Hell, she spends half of her time at the playground running around with a wand casting spells like Hermione. I know this. But I am hopeful that she is noticing other things too. Like her mother, who is a karate black belt and runs her own business. And her grandmothers, both successful, loving, confident women. And her teachers. And the women who come in and out of the dojo that her parents own. That way, when she is older, she will have some real life positivity to counteract anything she sees on Facebook.
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