To continue my five-year anniversary celebrations, and in true music industry fashion, I’m re-releasing a few posts (the deluxe editions!) that stood out amongst the over 90 posts I’ve written. I start with my Most Commented Post – an open letter to Miley Cyrus on the release of her 2010 album, Can’t Be Tamed. I’d like to think I was a little ahead of the curve here in that this post predated the short, spiky haircut, her twerking episodes and all those tongue and ass photos. I was really pleased to see so many people weigh in on what she means, to pop culture, to their children, to the pantheon of women in rock. When my girls were younger, we listened to a lot of Miley – A LOT – and we really liked her. So what pained me most about her recent transformation is that she shifted the focus away (way away) from her singing. She has a lovely, strong voice and it’s a damn shame that she’s made us forget that.
So here’s the post, updated with royalty-free images. Comments welcome! 😉

Dear Miley,

Please Don’t Let Us Down

I’m writing to you as a mom of two young girls. We watch your show and listen to your music in the car. I ask my youngest daughter, age 7, why she likes you. She says you’re a good singer and you have good friends. She thinks you hang out with Emily Osment after work.

Last week my oldest daughter, age 9, and I went to a Mother-Daughter evening at school. We sat there with her 9, 10 and 11 year-old schoolmates – your devoted audience – as the school nurse explained puberty and all the changes these girls are about to experience. At the end of the talk, they were each given a discreet zippered pouch with a few maxi pads inside. They took away those pouches, slightly embarrassed but smiling, as if they had just joined a secret club. I’m sure you remember what that was like.

Think About These Girls

Your new album, Can’t Be Tamed, comes out this week, and no doubt you’ll be all over the TV, web and radio. The first video, ‘Can’t Be Tamed’ is currently the #4 best-selling video on iTunes and has been viewed on YouTube over 19 million times.

Gee, this looks pretty tame now, doesn't it? Credit: © Lucila De Avila Castilho |
Gee, this looks pretty tame now.
Credit: © Lucila De Avila Castilho |

The ‘Official Miley Cyrus Content’ on your website says that on your recent Billboard magazine cover, “Miley wears all black outfit (sic) and displays her new grown-up attitude.”

“I’m just at a certain place where I’ve changed a lot as a person,” you say. “I’ve grown up a lot, which everyone does.”

But Please Consider

I realize that you’re maturing and you want to try new things, but where does it say that grown-up = simulated orgies and faux, porn-style lesbianism, as we can see in your new video? It’s as if a three-way is some new right of passage, like getting your braces off. Is there a pop princess handbook outlining what you need to do when “making the often-murky transition into adult artist” (again, from your website)? And why does it so often include these rather tiresome displays of ‘liberated’ sexuality?

How far will it go, Miley? In her latest video, Christina Aguilera wears an S&M hood and a crystal bit in her mouth. Come on! She’s a lovely woman with a fantastic voice, but today in this ever-crowded pop culture universe, she feels she has to revert to being, as Jon Pareles of the New York Times writes, “… a sexbot: a one-dimensional hot chick chanting come-ons to club beats.”

What Would Justin Do?

Why does he get to keep his clothes on? Credit: © Featureflash |
Why does he get to keep his clothes on?
Credit: © Featureflash |

Have you considered a few career lessons from another Disney-alumnus – Justin Timberlake? Here’s a young man who can generate loads of heat just by sitting at a piano and singing, all while wearing long pants, a shirt and tie. He dabbles in music producing, fashion and art, and he leaves the bumping and grinding to Ciara. Heck, he made a video with Madonna and didn’t even take his shirt off!

I know you have it in you because I’ve seen you perform with Taylor Swift on an acoustic version of ‘Fifteen’. I’ve also seen clips of your recent concert performances, and if I may say so, you don’t look or sound terribly authentic wearing a cut-off Cheap Trick t-shirt while singing ‘Cherry Bomb’. Surely you realize that you can’t be punk while wearing black high heels.

So have a think about it – Are you country? Are you punk? Or are you just another sad Madonna-wannabe with the groping, gyrating videos to match?

You’re young, we know, and you may not want the pressure of being a role model. But the fact is you are, and we’re counting on you. The Moms out there trying to raise our daughters in a trashy, corporate sex-fueled reality are counting on you.

Once upon a time... Credit: © Carrienelson1 |
Once upon a time…
Credit: © Carrienelson1 |

It’s Not Too Late, Miley

It’s not too late to go to college.

It’s not too late to live in Paris.

It’s not too late to sail around the world.

It’s not too late to build schools in Cambodia.

It’s not too late to run a marathon.

It’s not too late to save Louisiana.

It’s not too late to master trigonometry.

It’s not too late to make a difference.

Please don’t let us down.


Thanks for reading! I couldn’t figure out how to re-blog this post to include the comments,
so if you’d like to view the original post, with all of the comments, please click here.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: