Skip to main content

Would you take kids to see Miley?

By Kelly Wallace, CNN
updated 5:08 PM EST, Tue February 25, 2014
Miley Cyrus became a household name for families when her Disney Channel television show, "Hannah Montana," premiered in 2006. From there, Cyrus quickly rose to pop star fame and has been changing her appearance ever since. Miley Cyrus became a household name for families when her Disney Channel television show, "Hannah Montana," premiered in 2006. From there, Cyrus quickly rose to pop star fame and has been changing her appearance ever since.
HIDE CAPTION
Evolution of Miley Cyrus
Evolution of Miley Cyrus
Evolution of Miley Cyrus
Evolution of Miley Cyrus
Evolution of Miley Cyrus
Evolution of Miley Cyrus
Evolution of Miley Cyrus
Evolution of Miley Cyrus
Evolution of Miley Cyrus
Evolution of Miley Cyrus
Evolution of Miley Cyrus
Evolution of Miley Cyrus
Evolution of Miley Cyrus
Evolution of Miley Cyrus
Evolution of Miley Cyrus
Evolution of Miley Cyrus
Evolution of Miley Cyrus
Evolution of Miley Cyrus
Evolution of Miley Cyrus
Evolution of Miley Cyrus
Evolution of Miley Cyrus
Evolution of Miley Cyrus
Evolution of Miley Cyrus
Evolution of Miley Cyrus
Evolution of Miley Cyrus
Evolution of Miley Cyrus
Evolution of Miley Cyrus
Evolution of Miley Cyrus
Evolution of Miley Cyrus
Evolution of Miley Cyrus
Evolution of Miley Cyrus
Evolution of Miley Cyrus
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Many parents worry about the impact of Cyrus' performance on her young fans
  • Cyrus' VMA show another example of the sexualization of young girls, said some parents
  • Others argued that kids should not have been watching the VMAs in the first place
  • One upside to Cyrus' VMA appearance is that it may show strength, said one mom

Editor's note: Miley Cyrus kicked off her "Bangerz" concert tour just this month, and already she's spanked a backup dancer, smooched fellow songstress Katy Perry and slid onto stage via a giant replica of her own tongue. Cyrus' penchant for explicit performances has us at CNN Living wondering: Would you take your kids to see her tour, or is the former Hannah Montana persona non grata in your household? Share your opinion in the comments section and click through the gallery above to view photos from Miley's career and her latest tour. Below is a column by CNN Parents' Kelly Wallace on Cyrus' eye-popping performance at the MTV Music Awards last summer.

(CNN) -- My list of reasons why I'm glad my girls, ages 5 and 7, were too young to ever get into "Hannah Montana" grew exponentially longer after Miley Cyrus' unforgettable "twerking" in a bra and undies at MTV's Video Music Awards.

"Miley, what exactly were you thinking?" pretty much sums up the sentiment I heard from outraged moms and dads around the country who believe Cyrus, whose loyal fan base includes a huge chunk not yet old enough to drive, should know better.

"It's a damn shame that Miley is doing this to herself, making a vulgar joke out of her talents and her beauty, but it's a much bigger shame that she's doing it to her young fans and other young people (who) see her in the media," said Heidi Cardenas, a mom of two teenage boys, in response to a request for comment on CNN's Facebook page.

"It's the same thing as going to any street corner in America and selling herself for money," said Cardenas.

"I have to instantly think that Miley does not either a) care what her younger fans think of her or b) hasn't even bothered to think of what her actions (are) doing to her image," said Larene Grady, a mom of two whose tween was "absolutely infatuated" with Cyrus but isn't anymore.

Watch Miley Cyrus' shocking VMA act
Miley Cyrus became a household name for families when her Disney Channel television show, "Hannah Montana," premiered in 2006. From there, Cyrus quickly rose to pop star fame and has been changing her appearance ever since. Miley Cyrus became a household name for families when her Disney Channel television show, "Hannah Montana," premiered in 2006. From there, Cyrus quickly rose to pop star fame and has been changing her appearance ever since.
Evolution of Miley Cyrus
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
>
>>
Photos: Evolution of Miley Cyrus Photos: Evolution of Miley Cyrus
From teen queen to all grown-up

"She thinks Miley does not appeal to children (who) used to like her as 'Hannah Montana,' which speaks volumes coming from a 10-year-old who had two 'Hannah Montana' parties, everything from bed sheets, pajamas, bath soaps, toothbrushes and book bags," Grady added, also in response to a tout on CNN's Facebook page.

Miley Cyrus twerks, stuns VMAs crowd

"Hannah Montana" seems about as relevant to the current day Cyrus as a typewriter is to millenials.

The 20-year-old has every right to chart a new course beyond her Disney days, moms and dads said in comments on Facebook and exchanges via e-mail. It's just that the path she is choosing seems so wrong and dangerous, many said.

Sonia Prince of Nashua, New Hampshire, said her kids -- ages 9, 12 and 13 -- will no longer be listening to Cyrus' music. "There is enough fantastic music out there with people who have respectful behavior, especially women who don't feel the need to be sexual in public in order to be successful," she added.

Cyrus' choice to wear next to nothing and strut around the VMA stage is yet another example, frustrated parents say, of the sexualization of our young girls, an issue we touched on at CNN.com just a few weeks ago in our piece on how too many tween fashions are too sexy, skimpy and short.

"I do think Miley wrongly represents the way girls should act today," said Steve, a CNN commenter who shared his first name and the fact that he has a 12-year-old granddaughter.

"The way they dress, act, not caring about how other people may respond to your actions," Steve added. "I think it is an oversexualization of young girls/young women."

Robin Belkin, a mom of three in Northern California, believes Cyrus' performance only adds to the already "damaging image of women-as-sex-objects."

"I just find it extremely discouraging and difficult to hold out hope for the improved status of women in this world when even the most entitled among us so negatively reinforce the worst stereotypes and misogynistic attitudes about women," said Belkin.

Opinion: Miley Cyrus is sexual, get over it

"Her behavior sets 50 to 60 years of women's forward progress back a long way when you consider that her huge fan base really only consists of young and impressionable girls and horny young boys, who, unfortunately on many levels, are our future leaders," said John Rodrigues of Boston, in response to a request for comment on CNN's Facebook page.

Miley Cyrus follows post-child star path
Miley Cyrus' performance shocks fans
Critic: Miley gave me nightmares

"Growing up under the impression that this behavior is not only OK, but acceptable, is such a terrible message and, in this case, I am happy I'm not a father trying to keep this away from my children," the 35-year-old single Army veteran added.

Eric Solomon, a father of two, watched the VMAs with his 15-year-old son. "I am so embarrassed and sitting next to my son and watching this happen made me even more embarrassed," he added.

Solomon said he has conversations with his sons about what's right and what's wrong, and said that they know Cyrus' performance was "not appropriate" and not the behavior of "your normal woman."

Mary Hogan of Cordova, Tennessee, doesn't have kids but works in education and says parents have a role to play.

"Parents need to explain to their kids that what she did is not OK, and should not be imitated," said Hogan, adding that parents who didn't like what they were seeing should have changed the channel.

"I think the biggest responsibility for a parent is to know what their kids are watching," said Mark Edwards of suburban St. Louis, who has three teenage sons. "The VMAs aren't appropriate for kids under a certain age and if some parents feel discomfort over what was aired, should they have been letting their kids watch the show in the first place?"

"The VMAs are supposed to be shocking," said a woman who did not want to be identified. "Why is Miley Cyrus such a big deal? ... I am more shocked people are watching the VMAs with their children."

Miley Cyrus upholds MTV VMAs tradition

After all, consider VMA highlights of years past when Lady Gaga donned a dress made entirely of raw meat and Madonna and Britney Spears kissed (mouths open!). It was, in fact, at the VMAs years earlier when Madonna broke out onto the national stage with her "Like a Virgin" performance.

Cyrus "took a page straight out of Madonna's playbook," said Ivan Baker, a father in New York City, on Facebook. "I guess I am jaded. Not very impressed or shocked."

While much of the online conversation post-Cyrus' national "twerking" episode was dominated by criticism, there was also a very motherly and fatherly response, parents who worry that Cyrus is a child in need of serious help.

"It's clear that Miley Cyrus' lifestyle as a young woman is expressing pain and is dealing with emotional problems," said Andrew Thompson, an engaged father of two boys in Country Club Hills, Illinois.

"Her mother and father have a responsibility to come to her aid and work out these social issues before it's too late," he added.

Some parents said there was only one upside they could see from the blistering reaction to Cyrus' performance and that is that it may show strength.

Stay in touch!
Don't miss out on the conversation we're having at CNN Living. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for the latest stories and tell us what's influencing your life.

"The fact that she doesn't play the victim and shows that girls can be as aggressive and bad in many ways might in some twisted way pave the way for (women) to play in a more level field with men," said Leigh Bordbar, a mom of two from Toronto who said she was personally disappointed with what Cyrus did at the VMAs. "In her performance, she seemed like the one in control and in the driver's seat, which sets her apart from the ways that perhaps Playboy or fashion models portray women."

Nicky Calvert, a mom of two in Marietta, Ohio, sees another positive.

"There is only one good thing that I can say about her performance on the VMAs," said Calvert. It shows her 9-year-old how she "should never act in public."

May I repeat how happy I am my girls missed this one completely.

Would you take your Hannah Montana fan, or even a teenager, to see Miley onstage? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 4:27 PM EDT, Fri October 24, 2014
Not again.
updated 4:06 PM EDT, Wed October 22, 2014
I happen to agree with Renee Zellweger that all the chatter about her face is "silly." But I, and many other women I talked with via email Wednesday, would add some other choice words to the mix to describe the non-stop attention about her appearance: nasty, cruel, hurtful, invasive and sexist.
updated 6:06 PM EDT, Tue October 21, 2014
I have long thought millennials, who expect flexibility in the workplace, would be the group that would bring an end to the stigma that is too often associated with flex time -- the belief that wanting a flexible work arrangement means you aren't willing to work as hard. But now I'm thinking it's going to be men who will get us there.
updated 7:40 AM EDT, Wed October 22, 2014
Say it with us: Kids today have it sooooo easy.
updated 2:29 PM EDT, Tue October 21, 2014
An Atlanta judge reportedly reprimanded an immigration attorney for bringing her 4-week-old to court for a hearing -- a hearing she asked the judge to reschedule because she was on her six-week maternity leave.
updated 4:18 PM EDT, Mon October 20, 2014
Monica Lewinsky tweeted for the first time. She called herself "patient zero" of cyber-bullying.
updated 3:43 PM EDT, Fri October 17, 2014
Meet Shyanne Roberts, a 10-year-old competitive shooter with something to prove: "Kids and guns don't always mean bad things happen."
updated 10:57 AM EDT, Tue October 21, 2014
"Breaking Bad's" Walter White may have cleverly dodged authorities during his career as a drug kingpin, but his action figure hasn't dodged the wrath of a Florida mother.
updated 9:50 AM EDT, Mon October 20, 2014
strawberry ghosts
We love Halloween season. Sweets. Sweaters. Sipping hot cider (maybe spiked). Halloween can certainly get you in the spirit, and nothing warms our hearts like these healthy Halloween treats that help you stay energized instead of stuck in a sugar coma.
updated 3:23 PM EDT, Fri October 17, 2014
Does your baby cry during long flights, causing you to want to disappear from the glares of fellow passengers?
updated 10:52 PM EDT, Thu October 16, 2014
Ask any teen if they suffer from social media anxiety and they would probably tell you no. But the truth is getting "likes" and the fear of missing out are adding stress to teens' lives.
updated 9:13 AM EDT, Thu October 16, 2014
Many photographers have taken it upon themselves to document stillborn and terminal babies' precious moments after birth.
updated 3:46 PM EDT, Tue October 14, 2014
As part of the insurance coverage offered to its female employees, Facebook is paying to freeze their eggs.
updated 2:15 PM EDT, Tue October 14, 2014
Amal Alamuddin was well-known in many important circles long before she snagged the world's most eligible bachelor. But Amal Alamuddin is now Amal Clooney, according to her law firm's website.
updated 12:42 PM EDT, Tue October 14, 2014
Trends in young adult fiction have shifted from wizards to glittering vampires to bloodthirsty "Hunger Games" and now, to teens coping with illnesses and realistic issues.
updated 8:56 PM EDT, Tue October 14, 2014
Before he died this year, 14-year-old Martin Romero wanted to do something for his community.
updated 6:33 PM EDT, Mon October 13, 2014
A 12-year-old girl called Dick's Sporting Goods out on its lack of female athletes in the Basketball 2014 catalog.
updated 12:36 PM EDT, Mon October 13, 2014
Before he was even born, Shane Michael Haley had already met the Philadelphia Phillies, been to the top of the Empire State Building and shared a cheesesteak with his parents.
updated 3:39 PM EDT, Fri October 10, 2014
I couldn't quite believe my eyes when I read the initial comments from Microsoft's CEO on how women who don't ask for raises will receive "good karma."
updated 10:02 AM EDT, Fri October 10, 2014
A photo series "From the NICU to the Moon" imagines premature babies in future professions with a series of imaginative doodles.
updated 1:33 PM EDT, Fri October 10, 2014
Jessica Dunne and her father Michael P. Dunne
"I don't think anyone is ready for grief. But when it hits you, it knocks you out cold," Jessica Dunne wrote after the sudden loss of her father.
updated 10:09 AM EDT, Thu October 9, 2014
Most moms will say they long for a day when moms stop criticizing one another, but most of us are guilty of tearing each other down.
updated 4:28 PM EDT, Tue October 14, 2014
When we think of terminal cancer patients, we don't imagine Brittany Maynard -- 29, vigorous, happy. But she will soon take a handful of pills that will end her life.
updated 10:04 AM EDT, Wed October 8, 2014
"Back in my day, we used to walk five miles uphill, carrying all our books in the blistering cold and the pouring rain..." Some schools have found a new way to making walking to school safer -- and more fun.
updated 10:02 AM EDT, Tue October 7, 2014
The death of a New Jersey boy, the first health officials are directly linking to Enterovirus D68, has parents wondering whether school is the worst place to send kids susceptible to the virus.
updated 10:22 AM EDT, Tue October 7, 2014
It's a heartbreaking time for three families, football teams and communities after three players died last week. Investigations are under way, but some parents are wondering, is the sport safe for children?
updated 1:26 PM EDT, Fri October 3, 2014
Here's what some schools are doing to create welcoming environments for transgender and gender nonconforming children.
updated 2:52 PM EDT, Fri October 3, 2014
Nothing could prepare this mom-to-be for what she learned at her first ultrasound.
updated 12:58 PM EDT, Mon September 29, 2014
A 15-year-old British schoolboy has struck a chord with his eloquent response to actress Emma Watson's United Nations speech encouraging men to join in the fight for gender equality.
cnn, parents, parenting, logo
Get the latest kid-related buzz, confessions from imperfect parents and the download on the digital life of families here at CNN Parents.
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT