- Michael Horton
Yesterday social media exploded with the reaction to Miley Cyrus' performance at the VMAs. I decided to watch the youtube of it to see what all the hoo-hah was about. I made it through about the first 30 seconds.
It saddened me. Miley Cyrus is a beautiful young woman and *seemed* to have her head on straight during her Hannah Montana years. Each time a Miley Cyrus comes along, many of us wish and hope that she won't enter the seemingly inevitable skank stage when making the leap from child actor to adult. But it seems like it always happens.
Brant Hansen nails it in this compassionate essay. Excerpts are below, but go read the whole thing:
I'd like to apologize to Miley Cyrus on behalf of All Adults.
. . .
Adults are supposed to protect young people. Adults are supposed to refuse to treat young people like little gods, put them on pedestals, and parade them on stages. But adults do it, anyway, and our culture is just dumb, and just numb, enough to act like it's perfectly normal. Turns out, as we've always known, celebrity messes with people's heads, particularly the young.
A few years ago, I remember talking about this on my radio show.
Me: I'd never, ever let my kid be a celebrity. And not because of a few anecdotes, but because it messes with their heads, teaches them narcissism, and skews their view of the world.
Callers to the show: But Brant, a good Christian family can raise a celebrity. And kids NEED great role models from strong, Christian families, like, you know, the Cyrus family, or the Biebers, and...
No, actually, kids don't need other kids as role models.
Kids need adults.
. . .
Kids don't need more kids. They know plenty of them. Kids need adults, actual adults, adults adult enough to reject a culture that is so bored, so dead, that it can only feel alive if given one more jolt, one more shock. And it's hard to shock, anymore, but Miley hit that mark.
MTV has largely been about sex since its beginning, and Miley's performance was almost a brilliant parody. It was a beautiful young woman, very scantily-clad, parading in front of millions, and it was... well, repulsive.
Which brings to mind what Mike Yaconelli once wrote, "The more pagan a society becomes, the more boring its people become." And I, for one, can't help but notice:
MTV, you're doing the near impossible. You're making sexuality seem boring.
Anyway, adults aren't supposed to make kids into celebrities. We're not supposed to let kids just "follow their dreams" without regard to how foolishly tragic said dreams might be. We're supposed to step in. If other grown-ups are creating a toxic cultural atmosphere (uh, no Britney pun intended) we're supposed to at least inquire about the emotional health of those grown-ups, while separating you from them, until you're older and wiser.
But we didn't. Now, after handing you the keys, the car, and a cliff, we stand around and wonder, "Wow! What happened? What a strange girl."
Kids need adults.