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May 13, 2010

Britnification: Goodbye, Hannah Montana

Is Miley Cyrus trying too hard to grow up too fast? Looks like it from here.


A Los Angeles Times blogger calls it the "Britnification" of Miley Cyrus. Another publication says she's gone Lady Gaga. Entertainment Weekly says it's "Death to Hannah Montana."

Whatever one's perspective, we're certainly seeing a different Miley in recent weeks -- more skin, more sexy poses, more sultry pouting lips, and more questionable "image-making" decisions. Today's development: The 17-year-old's new album cover, Can't Be Tamed, which releases June 22. Dana Ward of Clevver TV says "it definitely showcases a super sexy, more mature Miley. Between the leather jacket, pouty lips and short top with low pants, this is not the Disney star we’ve all been accustomed to seeing over the last few years. She’s grabbing her belt buckle and staring right out."

More mature? Physically, sure. But emotionally? And who's counseling/guiding her on these decisions? Is this the daughter that Billy Ray and Tish Cyrus want the world to see -- or ogle?

I, for one, have long given Cyrus and her family the benefit of the doubt, trusting that her few missteps in the past have been relatively innocent, naive decisions -- including the very ill-advised Vanity Fair photo shoot at the age of 15.

Is this really a good marketing move for someone who has not only prided herself on being a role model for young girls for the last five-ish years, but has also long been outspoken about her Christian faith ("I do everything for Jesus," she says.) One could argue that the album cover alone is a bit of a misstep, but when you combine it with her sexy new music video (viewer beware: it's a bit steamy), a "lap dance" of sorts, bumping and grinding with a 44-year-old man at a wrap party for her last movie (The Last Song), and her admission that yes, she'd consider doing a nude scene in a movie, you can't help but wonder if Miley, who won't be 18 till November, has gone too far too fast. Or if she should ever go that far in the first place, considering her Christian beliefs. She hasn't gone as far as Britney or Christina . . . yet. But even their first steps into "maturity" beyond their Mickey Mouse Club days were relatively tame compared to all the booty-and-boobie-shaking videos they would soon be known for. Is Miley Cyrus headed down that same path? Pray, let's hope not.

What do you think? Is Miley Cyrus trying to grow up too fast? Trying to hard to distance herself from her sweet-and-innocent Disney persona? If you could advise her -- or her parents -- what would you say?


I agree. She's gone too far. A girl can grow up without that kind of extreme makeover.

It's too far. But then, I'm not really that surprised.

Given the opportunity, I think I would choose to ask, rather than advise:
"What do you hope to gain by this new image?"
"What do you expect to lose?"
"What's that worth to you?"

I'm also thinking how blessed I was to raise my daughter under the cloak of anonymity granted by Not Being Famous.

What do I think? Ah, a request to judge Ms. Cyrus! We are Christians, and if there's anything we excel at, it's judging (even without an invitation). So let's get to it!!


Unfortunately, in this direction that Cyrus seems to be heading, she is offering nothing new to what is already out there among many of the female singers today. Same dance moves, same style of music, same costumes, same type of Christian "witness." Am I judging? Sure I am and, as a listener of music and enjoyer of art, I have a right to critique the product. And she will still serve as a role model to many young girls and teens. But no longer to mine!

Pie, there is a difference between jugding her motives and judging her actions. None of us as believers should be judging her motives by saying she's not a Christian, or all she wants is money, or she's really rebelling, or whatever. That's for God alone to judge. However, we certainly can and should judge her actions as one who professes Christ. If her life is not honoring to Christ, or is not consistent with her profession of being a Christian, we have a biblical responsibility to admonish and exhort her, whether she is sinning or just being immature and stupid, and call her back to walk the walk if she's going to talk the talk. And since she has used her Christian faith in the public arena, as part of her public persona, then that process needs to happen in the public arena. I hope it would happen in her local church, but the church universal has every right to speak up. I'm not judging her motives, but her actions say to me that her music and path is not something I can support, and I will encourage other families with young teens not to support it. She is clearly acting as though she wants to appeal to a non-Christian audience where she can freely exploit her sexuality and body. That's not being judgmental. That's just fact.

Mark, you said one word in your article that we really, really need to pay attention to - PRAY. For some reason the Lord has put Miley on my heart to pray for since she first rose to stardom as a young, Christian girl (I'm a middle aged woman).

It is true that she's probably making some ill-advised decisions but we who are her (hopefully) more mature brothers and sisters need to pray for her and those around her for wisdom and clarity that she would portray herself as who she is within the Lord and still retain her career as an artist that reaches a portion of the world that many of us have no effect upon whatsoever.

So rather than criticizing her, tell her publicly that you are praying for her for her choices and future. Tell your kids who are her fans to do the same thing.

sad to say, but i hope she stops saying she's a Christian. my daughter really liked her until the vanity fair thing and made the decision on her own to stop buying her product and watching the show (tho we both miss mitchell musso). now kids ask her, so, miley's still a Christian and she pole dances? and laugh about it. this frustrates my daughter and i'm sure other parents and kids. bottom line, is guess we need to pray for this family!

It's sad that child stars feel the only way they can show they are all grown up it show how sexual they can be. I thought that Miley Cyrus was more grounded than some of the earlier stars like Britney. When you hear her speak she sounds very mature and I could easily believe this decision to show her sexy side was not pushed by a record company but was hers alone. She is still underage and I would hope at the very least she would have waited till 18 before becoming like this. In other interviews she says she does not go to church much any more because it has become like a circus. I pray that she will find some godly influences in her life before it goes too much off the rails.

It is fairly obvious that Miley Cyrus is a 'christian' in name only. A true Christian has a 'real' heart change, and would not dare to do anything that would bring blame to the ministry:

We then, as workers together with Him also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain. 2 Cor 6:1

We give no offense in anything, that our ministry may not be blamed. 2 Cor 6:3

Anyone can claim to be a Christian, but Our LORD said:
"You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles?" Matt 7:16

A person professing Christianty will have fruit in their lives and will not want to defile their Christian walk in any way, shape, or form.

Mylie's public behavior does not speak of someone who has a changed heart. She flaunts, and entices. Anyone can say 'I'll do anything for JESUS', but the real question, is JESUS Lord. I would say in the case of Mylie Cyrus, that answer would be no for this reason:

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.
1 John 2:15-17

"Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'
Matt 7:21-23

I am sorry to see Miss Cyrus veering so far from her fun and sassy persona as the characters Miley Stewart and Hannah Montana. My eight year-old daughter is a huge fan of Miley Cyrus, but we won't be purchasing any more of her music or the questionable line of clothing at WalMart carrying her name. It's so sad to see another young woman negatively affected by fame.

She wants to be like Brittany? Well, look what has happened to Ms. Spears--she had a mental breakdown a few years ago and now her father has been put in charge of her life. I look at Brittany and Lindsay Lohan, and I wouldn't be surprised if both ended up like Brittany Murphy and Heath Ledger. I hope Miley's parents lead her away from this destructive path. She doesn't need to hypersexualize herself to prove how grown up she is.

Zelda, so real christians never sin? Real christians never end up going the wrong direction for a time? Well, by your standards, none of us are real christians. Yes, Miley is making some mistakes. However, only God can judge the heart. Just because she's in the spotlight doesn't mean she's less likely to sin than any of the rest of us.

I imagine it would be difficult for a young star trying to move into the adult world. Sex sells, and it is difficult to maintain a true wholesome image and sell records. Yes, Miley should have made better choices, but none of us are in her shoes. We have no right to judge her faith.

My heart goes out to Miley and her family. If they don't realize they've lost their way, they will soon enough.

My concern is, as Mark has mentioned in his article - WHO IS ADVISING THESE TERRIBLE DECISIONS? I don't know the ins and outs of the industry, but I'd be willing to bet that Disney is not completely out of her business decisions. Whatever or whoever... this is genuinely sad. I hope Christian people will continue to pray for her, and for current "Disney kids" who are outspoken in their faith.

I have seven daughters - five of them are over 16 and three of them are now over 18. They are beautiful girls (lots prettier than Miley) but they have chosen to honor God with their bodies by dressing modestly (not in sacks - in normal clothing that isn't torn or too low or too high or too tight and doesn't show their underwear). Not all of their friends have made this choice and it breaks my heart to see sweet young ladies dressing like... oh, I don't know... "ladies of evening"? I expect non-Christian women to use their bodies to get what they want out of men - but isn't the Word of God clear on modest dress and behavior for Christian women?

I thank God my daughters don't feel obligated to take the "sexy" route to adulthood. I hold Miley's parents responsible for what they are allowing their daughter to do... and when she says it is time for her and her fans to "grow up", what would make her believe it has to be the Britany/Agulara/Gaga route? Is she selling her soul for fame and fortune?

I really don't understand why people who don't like Miley Cyrus and say she has gone too far have bothered to comment. If you don't like something in the media, simply don't buy it or watch - nobody is forcing you.

Regarding children, if for whatever reason you wish to shield your child from something that you regard as inappropriate, it is your responsibility as a parent to make decisions - it is most definitely not right to expect Miley or other artists to change their image.

Personally, I love the new image.

I've tried to reason with myself as to why she's done some things, but I must admit, I find her "Can't Be Tamed" video clip a bit disturbing.
I'm not posting here to be judgemental, but only to encourage people to not stop praying for Miley, because with the direction she seems to be heading, she needs our prayer.

All she needs is an encounter with God!!

I am very sad for Miley. I feel a personal pain for the choices she is making because we are almost the same age, grew up in the same area and a friend of mine went to school with her. I totally understand that she wants to try out her "grown up" self and be successful but I am afraid that in a few years when she is no longer young and attractive she is going to lose the fans she has chosen to attract regret using her body as her main "selling point".
I definitely pray for her. No matter what she does she has a tough road ahead of her.

Wow, Wow, Wow. I remember a story about another Disney princess, Annette Funicello. She was an adult and smoking while dining. Some fans told her they were shocked she was smoking. Her reply was, "...and I have three children so guess what else I do?"

Some of you people are tripping me out. If you have children then you are having sex. Miley is comfortable with her sexuality. She is also comfortable with her faith, and has done nothing to make anyone think she will have sex before marriage.

Is she showing too much skin for you? GOD had no problem with Adam & Eve running around NAKED in the Garden Of Eden. If you condemn Miley for what she is wearing, you are putting yourself above God. Especially since he said not to judge people. Because you do not know her heart, but God does. I believe Miley is pure, and is a light in this sinful, wicked world. Unfortunately, much of the wickedness also comes from Christians. Which is understandable. As Miley sings, nobody's perfect. And as she sings on her new CD, it's all about "forgiveness and love".

As a Believer working in the entertainment industry I've been especially sensitive to the spiritual dangers that this life-style offers. Why do so many many celebrities (including those in the Pulpit) lose their way, even those who started out as professing Christians? The answer is Glory. Man was not designed to contain Glory. Glory belongs only to God, and when we take Glory (presented as fame & fortune) upon ourselves, it can and will destroy us. The Ring from LOTR is a good illustration, and Lucifer the prime example of this. The Bible says that they've exchanged the Glory of God for an image, and His Truth for a lie (Rom. 1). I've often had to endure the temptation being offered me by this business to compromise my faith, so I could get ahead in my career. You say "no" too much, and the fear is that you will "never work in this town again." And believe me, the temptation is great. I stand only by God's Grace. How much harder for a child to deal with that?

For those that have lost the way, there is a way back. Mostly it is the way of brokenness (Psalm 51, Jer. 18:4), for that is usually the place we see again as we should. "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man." Ecclesiastes 12:13

I pray for Miley, that she will find her way back to her Saviour, that she will find the courage to forsake all, but Him. "Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full into His wonderful face, and the things of the Earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His Glory and Grace."

I for one have been heart broken over the past years events concerning Miley. I do not know if Miley is a born again Christian, but I do know she has a rich spiritual legacy. I know she & her family must be one of the enemies biggest targets. I am comforted that other people feel the need to pray for her & that I am not alone in my prayers. I pray blessings on miley & that she will know where her identity comes from