Miley Cyrus as a role model?
According to British parents, Miley Cyrus is the worst role model for children. In a poll of 2,287 parents with at least one child under 10, 78% deemed Cyrus to be the celebrity they would least like their children to emulate. Nicki Minaj and Kim Kardashian came a close second and third, while the Duchess of Cambridge took the top spot for the role model parents would most like their children to aspire to.
As dignified as the princess formerly known as Kate Middleton is, and she is, marrying a royal is hardly a realistic ambition for parents to foster on behalf of their children. Given there are so few royals to nab, with the exception of a teeny tiny minority, most of our offspring are going to navigate a different path.
And while there is plenty to admire about the Duchess of Cambridge, there is something irksome about parents hoping the pinnacle of their child’s future might lie in marrying someone, looking immaculate and behaving impeccably. Certainly they’re extremely palatable qualities but don’t they also strike at the core of a lifelong battle most of us – and our children – will encounter: balancing what is palatable, with who we are?
Certainly for women the pressure to be beautiful, placable, polite, not too opinionated and marriageable remains potent. And this is where I have developed some newfound respect for Miley Cyrus. As unlikely as it might seem, there is actually quite a bit about the young celebrity I wouldn’t mind my daughters taking on board.
Not the drug use, not the gratuitous nudity and not the hyper-sexual performances and photoshoots. And certainly not the abusive outbursts at hotel staff. Treating fellow citizens with respect is not negotiable as far as I’m concerned. But. I’m not convinced Miley has no qualities that warrant some respect and admiration.
She is an individual who marches to the beat of her own drum. She doesn’t seem fazed by making other people comfortable. She speaks her mind, she dresses how she wants and seems resolute on forging a path on her own terms. They are all qualities I’d quite like my children to develop.
That isn’t the same as saying I want my children to follow in her footsteps or make exactly the same choices she has. I don’t. But there is a certain chutzpah about the way in which she makes her decisions that I like.