Dear Booboo Girl,
Right now I’m sitting just across the living room from you – watching you in silent wonder as you sing along to your favorite Disney movie and giggle at the well placed jokes from a handsome cartoon prince. You’re seven years old. Innocent. Gracious. Rambunctious. Fun-loving. Outgoing. Inquisitive. Slightly tom-boyish. Happy.
In my eyes, you’re perfect.
I thought I’d take this moment to write to you about something that, when you look back on it in the future without context, might seem a little strange…but bear with me. Today I’m writing to you to talk about Miley Cyrus (and basically all young, over-exposed, and over-sexualized females in the media).
To give you some background, last week Miley performed at the MTV Music Video Awards show. I use the term “performed” loosely because what she actually did was simulate some pretty raunchy situations (which are usually done in private, not on a world stage) while clad in nothing but her own skin and a slap of paint – all the while, with a married man. Oh how Hollywood loves a scandal!
At 20 years old, Miley is an adult – I know this. That said, she’s still a very young adult. One whose vision and version of who he is – is well, slightly fuzzy still. Miley wants people to think she’s a liberated woman. But, liberated isn’t how I see Miley or other young girls like her. In fact, liberation, paired with respect, is the last thing I think of when I see young women prancing around, half-starved, mostly naked, playing up to super-sexual situations to sell records or to get themselves “trending”.
While watching the show, I cringed not only for Miley, but for her parents. For her siblings. For her fans. For the young girls who think this is how women need to act to be noticed. I feel sorry for her, really – which is why I will impart to you the following bits of advice to help you as you make your way through this world.
1. Be true to yourself
What I mean by this is simple – don’t let what you see on TV, in magazines, or in movies dictate your self worth. If something’s not to your liking, don’t do it. It’s that simple. Just because can’t beat the majority, doesn’t mean you have to join in. Be you. Be proud. And love each day you’re blessed with – and your place in the world.
2. Respect your body and your mind
Respect your body my girl, you only get one. Drink lots of water. Exercise for health. Eat well. Smile a lot. Laugh even more. And try to stay away from drugs, alcohol, and too much sugar. Moderation is your friend – but, in finding your balance, don’t become a prude. Always remember how to have fun! Know what you believe it, and stand up for it. If you feel uncomfortable or compromised, walk away. Lessons in life aren’t easy to learn – but with a firm respect for who and what you are, you’ll always walk away a better person.
3. Stand strong
I’m going to tell you the truth here – it’s hard to mute the din of voices around you that tell you how you should act, how you should dress, how you should think, feel, be. But, if you respect yourself enough to go forth on your own journey, and take people you trust along with you – then you’ll be fine. Stand tall. Hold your ground. Shelter others. Love without bound. And, most of all, enjoy the heck out of life. You only get one shot at it, and only so many trips around the sun to make memories.
You see my girl, the modern age, it really isn’t so modern. People like Miley think they’re really changing stereotypes when all they’re doing is solidifying them. Miley is regress, not progress. Don’t allow the media to pull you into some everlasting race to be the prettiest, the thinnest, the girl with the most boys following her. Boys are stinky and have cooties (even as they grow up and become charming princes!)
Most of all, sweet girl:
Believe in yourself.
Follow your own heart.
Listen to your beliefs. Hold tight to them.
And be proud of your mind, your body and your soul.
One more bit of advice, don’t be like Miley.
Twerking ain’t all it’s cracked up to be, babe.