Miley Cyrus is on TV, on T-shirts, pens, backpacks, jeans, toys, everything a teenager’s eye could spot. Miley Cyrus is not just a simple Hollywoodian name. It is a phenomenon that started four years ago with the first shooting for Hannah Montana.
After a difficult preselection, Destiny Hope Cyrus became a Disney darling, starring as a typical teenager by day and rock star by night on the show Hannah Montana, which also co-stars her father, country singer Billy Ray Cyrus. And so, the famous Miley started to take the path to adulthood, a long and difficult paths filled with controversies, unforgettable mistakes and regrets. Miley though does not regret anything. Only her fans are disappointed by the transition, as they feel they are losing their idol. Miley’s appeal among fans age 13 to 17 has dropped, according to E-Poll Market Research, a brand and celebrity research firm. Of those surveyed online recently, only 24 percent said they liked or liked her a lot, compared with 45 percent in 2008.
Nevertheless, Miley is still dominating every major medium. Everything burst out two years ago with a ubiquitous radio airplay, a record-breaking movie concert and an Oscar appearance. Her movie concert Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds opened to $31,000,000 over Super Bowl weekend, the highest grossing total ever for a Super Bowl weekend and the highest grosser ever for a concert movie as well. She released her first solo album, Breakout, she got included in Time magazine’s 2008 Top 100, she provided her voice of “Penny” in the animated film Bolt whose theme song, I Thought I Lost You, also sang by her, brought her a nomination for the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song.
After she experienced international success in only one year, Miley started to shock everyone. Who doesn’t remember 2008’s pole dance at the Teen Choice Awards, and the 2009’s video posted on TMZ of her giving a lap dance to a 44-year-old film director? The overt sexualization of the teenage star Miley Cyrus seems impossible to stop. The sweet Disney actress is now untamed. She posed seemingly nude, a sheet draped around her chest, in Vanity Fair and released her post-adolescent anthem, Can’t Be Tamed, that tallied a mere 102,389 in its first week of sales, according to Nielsen SoundScan. That was 72 percent less than her 2008 solo debut, Breakout, and 33 percent less than last year’s Time of Our Lives, both of which were popular with teenagers.
Newsday reported that her sexualization “has been coming for some time.” Ian Drew, senior editor of US Weekly, said, “She already has this risque image, so it really wasn’t much of a stretch. That’s how Britney [Spears] took off. She was the good girl gone bad, and it looks to be working for Miley as well.”
However, her fans are hoping though that Miley will not change so drastically, that her path to adulthood will be wisely chosen and that she will not turn into another Britney Spears or Lindsay Lohan. After all, she has entered the forefront of American pop culture.