I think that a lot of what Miley says and represents — dealing with self-love and happiness, for example — makes sense and is good advice. I totally get why people find her empowering with her “I don’t give a fuck, I’m doing me” attitude. I think that a lot of people need a role model like that in their lives to help them recognize that they, too, are worthy of happiness.
However, I also think that a lot of people who are Miley fans in this respect are also people who I don’t think have a lot of understanding about social justice issues or media literacy. I don’t think that most people actually understand how really fucked up some of the things Miley has said and done are. I don’t think that most people really understand that pop stars are parrots and that producers work really hard to make sure they reflect a certain image.
And I think that’s okay. It’s not up to me to decide what is and is not an appropriate way to live your life. And although I’d love it if everyone on Earth came at media with a feminist lens, they don’t. And it’s okay if people don’t look at everything with a critical eye. Not everyone is like me and my friends. Not everyone wants to analyze everything. And I respect that, to a degree. Ignorance, sometimes, is bliss. And I can’t fault people for wanting to live that life.
But I, personally, can’t get down with Miley. Because I’m past the place where I need someone to make me feel empowered and sexually liberated. And I am someone who is going to be critical of her cultural appropriation and faux liberation.
I appreciate that she makes some people feel good about themselves and their lives.
But she doesn’t do it for me.
I hope that makes some sense.