After trading her squeaky-clean (hence, boring) image for a gritty and over-the-top sexy one, Miley Cyrus has been crowned by MTV as the Best Artist of 2013.
Image source: Ibtimes.Com
Now whether you agree with MTV or not, the network’s reason for the award is that Cyrus “dominated both the charts and headlines this year with the release of the critically acclaimed #1 album, Bangerz, two #1 worldwide smash singles, We Can’t Stop, and Wrecking Ball, two jaw dropping performances during the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards and MTV EMA, an original MTV documentary Miley: The Movement, as well as a memorable turn as a host and performer on Saturday Night Live.” It also stated that she met the “criteria for the editorial lists included album and single sales, touring, airplay, social media, Internet and overall impact.”
Of course that brings the quality of her music to light. While she may not be the best as far as talent and song quality is concerned, the award’s criteria isn’t limited to musical quality and talent. Cyrus masterfully outshone other artists when it comes to reinventing her personal brand, and whether you accept it or not, this is an age where branding is much more valued than it used to be in the previous decades.
Image source: Robertoamado.Com.Br
Personally, I think Cyrus earned her title fair and square. Her image and how she arrived at building it may not be to everyone’s liking, but she took a major career risk to take a 180-degree turn from her otherwise bland good-girl persona, and it worked. She didn’t lose herself in her lifestyle, like Lindsay Lohan and Amanda Bynes did; she’s very much in control of her decisions. And had she remained in her sweet Hannah Montana mode, she would just vanish into the fray of young female artists pretending to be pure and behaving otherwise, like Taylor Swift.
In Cyrus’ case, looking cheeky and behaving accordingly smacks of authenticity. After all, she’s a 20-year-old still exploring her social life and sexuality. Besides, if people have idolized the Beatles for popularizing the use of LSD and Madonna for breaking religious image conventions during her Like a Virgin days, why should they vilify Miley Cyrus for revamping her image?
Image source: Debutionary.Blogspot.Com
To say that young fans will emulate Miley Cyrus’ antics may have its merit to a certain degree, but there’s also a hypocritical element to it, considering that it favors, again, a virginal facade that conceals the same urges that every young adult will undergo.
I’m not saying that I prefer my child to be an all-out sexual and drug-addled beast, nor a self-righteous phony ice princess. It’s not a black-and-white, either-or choice. What I’m saying is that young people will always find ways to grow up on their own terms, and it’s not fair to fully lay the blame on celebrities for their misbehavior (unless they’re completely brainwashed by their idols; diehard Twilight fans and Bieber cutters come to mind).
This divide has been and will always be an issue between the old and younger generation when it comes to appreciating the entertainment industry. What works for the current audience will always be subjected to fire and brimstone from previous audiences, and so forth.