Miley Cyrus & Sexualization in Teen Girls

From her excessive twerking on Robin Thicke to touching herself with a giant foam finger, Miley Cyrus has definitely rid herself of her Hannah Montana persona; however, is all this “growing up” a good thing?  Miley went from “Can’t Be Tamed” to nakedly humping a wrecking ball and simulating oral sex on a hammer.  Miley claims that she’s just being herself, but all her sexual actions are causing teen girls to follow in her footsteps.  Teens are easily influenced by the media, and Miley is certainly publicized enough for people to see what she’s doing.  Even her sex-themed 21st birthday party appeared online:

Miley definitely “can’t stop,” as she continues to tweet explicit things and turn heads with her Bangerz tour.  Miley has no problem letting the world in on her personal life, which encourages her fans and other teenage girls to expose themselves as well.  Her Bangerz tour has caused a lot of controversy among parents and venues being that it is extremely sexual.  Miley does not seem to care as she continues to tweet away and not worry about her image.

Miley’s explicit nature has gone so far that even other stars are commenting on it.  When asked about Miley’s image at the Hunger Games: Catching Fire Premiere, Jennifer Lawrence stated, ” Everybody’s got their own path and they’ve got their own way of finding themselves. For some people, that’s how they feel best, that’s how they feel sexy and that’s how they want to perform . . . to each their own.”  Lawrence is clearly not a fan of Miley’s ways, and others see her purely as the sex symbol she portrays herself as.  Miley recently cancelled some of her shows due to a said allergic reaction to medicine.  Some feel that this was a coverup for her excessive substance abuse after her dog died, but comedian and actor David Spade had a different thought:

Miley puts this image upon herself by acting in a sexual manner and having no filter.  When teen girls follow in her footsteps, people will have the same reaction that David Spade had.  This leads to slut-shaming and can even lead to prostitution in the long run.  If Miley can be sexual and show off her body, teen girls feel that they can too; which is why sex is becoming more casual and why outfits are becoming less conservative.

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Even before Miley went on her drastic image change and twerking fiasco, girls looked up to her.  At the Teen Choice Awards in 2009, a younger and less reckless Miley pole danced.  This caused a lot of controversy due to the fact that she was being watching by a teen audience and doing something of sexual nature.  It is clear that teenagers are greatly influenced by the media, and people didn’t want Miley being a bad example.  She has definitely changed a lot since then; rather than use a pole to dance on stage, she chooses to touch herself in front of millions of people.

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I am pretty confident that the Miley we once knew is not planning on returning any time soon.  The star has unleashed her inner animal and definitely “can’t be tamed.”  If Miley continues to show off her body and ride wrecking balls, I’m not sure how this generation of teen girls will turn out.  If Miley Cyrus can do it, they can too; twerking, nude photos and all.

 

 

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Author: Rachel Petty

Rachel is a Media Arts & Design (journalism) student at James Madison University.

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