It's OK to not have an opinion about Miley Cyrus 

We Can't Stop

We Can't Stop

Miley Cyrus' April 18 show at Bridgestone Arena has been postponed due to "a severe allergic reaction to antibiotics" and rescheduled for Aug. 7.

Over the past couple of years, Miley Cyrus has surpassed Lady Gaga, Rihanna and Katy Perry as the pop star who armchair scolders love to hate. It seems that art-school aping, weed/domestic violence and whipped-cream breasts squirting out borderline offensive gay rights slogans are no match for the human tongue. Or the human butt. But to those music fans and pop culture vultures who rend their garments and scream to the heavens, "What's to be done about Miley?" I posit this: Sometimes it's OK to not have an opinion.

What exactly is the problem? Is it the cultural appropriation? The beats and the twerks and the dancers and the asses? That's a fair criticism — for a handful of people to make. But if that's the one thing about Miley Cyrus that disgusts you, hypothetical white reader aged 18-60, I'd like to introduce you to another famed artist associated with Tennessee. His name was Elvis Presley, and he also employed the conventions of black American music to, I'm told, great success. The styles may have changed, but the lifting remains the same. If you'd prefer a more contemporary example, isn't Jack White a well-respected bluesman? What's the difference?

If you're expecting the answer to be "She's a woman," well, you'd be right, but that's true of literally everything and an essay for another day. The criticism now (which happens to be the same one Elvis received) is that she is a Corrupter of Children. The children! So easily corrupted by electric sex teddy bears and hair buns, asking their parents if they can nakedly straddle a wrecking ball as a Halloween costume. Cyrus is due for extra scolding, however, because she was Hannah Montana of Disney fame. She made her bones suckering kids into buying that, and now she's flipped the script from wholesome to heathen.

But years are long for children. Peak Hannah was what, five years ago? Parents of the world, your 8-year-old Disney fans are now 13. And can you not remember your own fickle nature in regard to your idols? Whether it was Bay City Rollers, Boyz II Men or Backstreet Boys, did you like them for five continuous years? Probably not. If kids are growing with her, that's because they're growing up. They need to stretch their legs a little, and what better way to stretch than toward a woman who is obviously in some measure in control of her career? Besides, the little ones nowadays don't even know Hannah Montana. They have One Direction and that song from Frozen.

None of this is to say everyone should run out and be a fan. It's just that knee-jerk criticism that's been applied to Cyrus applies to dozens of different musicians throughout the years, and ignores a lot of interesting things. She's one of a rare group of people: those who started out as "Child of Someone" and managed to turn herself into the "Someone" while Billy Ray is now just the "Father of." That's interesting! Her visual style is interesting, some of her songs are interesting, her voice can be interesting. It's OK to have neutral vibes sometimes. Not everything requires your pearls to be clutched. As your kids would tell you, let it go.


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