Here's Hoping Miley Cyrus (and Her Parents) Can Pull It Off
I am watching Miley Cyrus like a hawk. I'm not responsible for her, of course, but I am responsible for the little people in my own house, and they are fascinated with this Disney mega-star. We've bought into the whole Hannah Montana craze--the CDs, the movie, and I even watch the TV show with them. It's good stuff--wholesome and upbeat, and it's a lot better than some of the alternatives. As Loudest House on the Block writes:
The lyrics are exactly what I'd like my young impressionable children listening to. I hear my dd's singing along to the lyrics you see below, and I can only hope that they memorize them, and follow the advice of Hannah/Miley.
And, let's face it- it's certainly better than what I was raised on "Hey Mickey", and "Like A Virgin", etc. My mother must have been cringing with each line of "Like a virgin....Touched for the very first time". Funny how your perspective shifts when YOU'RE the parent.
As positive as the message may be, I'll admit to participating in the whole thing with an odd mix of hopefulness and skepticism.
Is it really possible for a young teenage girl to be in the middle of the Los Angeles celebrity culture and come out unscathed and emotionally healthy? Supposely her parents are very strict and keep her grounded. Julie at Disney Society reports:
I’ve always heard both Miley and her dad Billy Ray say that her mom is the strict one. Her dad likes to play the friend roll and he lets Miley’s mom be the one to make her do her homework and clean up after herself. It sounds like her mom is pretty strict when it comes to who Miley surrounds herself with.
“You want to keep your closed circle of friends,” Miley says. “And sometimes my mom is saying, ‘I have a bad vibe about this person. She needs to hang out with you when I’m around just to keep you safe.’”
MSNBC reports that
Billy Ray revealed to [Access Hollywood] his unique way of tackling Miley’s paparazzi frenzy.
“I’ll go knock on the window and say, ‘I just wanted to see your face because you are taking pictures of my little girl, you know, just in case.’”
“If I have to hunt you down and kill you, then I know what you look like,” Miley added, finishing her dad’s sentence.
Part of me is thankful Miley is out there, thankful my kids are seeing that it's possible to be cool and fun and still clean. But the other part of me wants Miley's parents to yank her out of Hollywood so fast that nobody sees where they're going. I'm skeptical that no matter how grounded her family is, the fame environment is simply too toxic for any teenager.
I watched Barbara Walter's recent interview with Miley, and heard the report that Miley has her own wing of the house (although in fairness, her mom does lock the door and not tell her where the key is). I watched her interview with Oprah a few months ago, loving the ease with which she and her dad laugh together, but cringing a little when Billy Ray Cyrus called himself "her best friend".
Don't be her best friend, Billy Ray. Be her dad. Duct tape her to a chair, if that's what it takes, to keep her from going out and partying. Watch her like a hawk with those boys. Keep her close.
Hot Momma Gossip reports that Miley's mom, Tish, recently had coffee with (oh, heavens) Lynne Spears, of Britney and Jamie Lynn fame.
And the reason for their discussion? “The Spears and Cyrus families have become good friends,” adds the source, “and I wouldn’t be surprised if they arranged the chat so that Lynne could share with Tish the lessons she learned as she’s tried to deal with care for Britney and Jamie Lynn.”
I want this girl to succeed. I want her to grow up with a healthy view of herself and her world, and I hope she has honest relationships and a stable home of her own someday. Keep it up, Miley--the moms are out here pulling for you. And more importantly, the kids are out here watching you.
Shannon Lowe is a Mommy/Family Contributing Editor at BlogHer. She also writes at Rocks In My Dryer, and she's been known to listen to Hannah Montana music when her children aren't in the car. Shhh, don't tell.