Here we go again. Another young starlet who is looking to shed her Disney image. As a parent, I have to wonder what’s so wrong with having wholesome values and being a role model to millions of girls. The answer is that being conventional doesn’t make headlines and let’s be honest, sex sells. Case in point: Miley Cyrus’ VMA performance. While most say they found her act distasteful, to put it mildly, it’s hard to miss the buzz that the show raked in a 66% increase in ratings, her twerking set a Twitter record surpassing the Super Bowl black out, and the performance bolstered her album, single and video sales, sending “Bangerz,” to No. 5 on iTunes. What kind of message are we sending? This only further reinforces the behavior because we are rewarding her for her actions.
To start setting the right example I believe we need to make our actions match our words.
Only when celebrities and companies start feeling the backlash can we incent change. So if you were outraged by Miley’s performance, then don’t buy her album. If you were enraged that Rolling Stone featured Boston Marathon bombings suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on the cover, then boycott that (and further) issues. We have so many tools at our disposal today to let our voices be heard. For starters, let your pocketbook do the talking.
As for me, I’m glad my daughter doesn’t know who Miley Cyrus is and I don’t have to broach the subject. But sadly, there will be another Miley Cyrus looking to make a statement. So I’ll make a statement of my own. When my daughter is older and hears about someone controversial at school or sees a magazine in the check-out line at the grocery store, I will use it as a teaching moment to remind her of the values that are important to our family.
We can all start by setting the right example. Because our actions speak volumes.