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Lay off Miley and make sure kids get strong values and leadership from parents

As the hordes of besotted tweenies and teens invaded Dublin last night for the Miley Cyrus Bangerz’ gig, attention 
was focussed on the sexual nature of her performance.

We all saw what happened at the MTV awards. The former Disney golden girl raunched it out. I thought a twerk was slang for an idiot. I didn’t realise that it was a dance incorporating simulated copulation.

But we’ve always had dances with a sexual element haven’t we? Remember the outrage over Elvis’s hip-thrusting move ments. American TV networks banned him for a while.

What about Madonna? The mother of re-invention has gone through many fads. One of those was her sexually explicit book, Sex. Her Confessions Tour where she performed as near to naked as you can get, drew huge criticism. The choreography left little to the imagination. However, they all helped her to the top of the charts. And that was the point of Miley and her performance last night at the 02.

I took my Godchild to see Beyonce at the same venue two years ago. It was a stunning concert once you got over the shrill, ear-destroying screams of the tweenies. Beyonce is an amazing singer yet she still felt the need to perform half of her show in half of her clothes.

My point is this - lay off Miley, because if we are really serious about attacking the sexualisation of young teenagers, then we need to start at home.

As parents we set the template for our children’s self-esteem. If you instill in your child strong values and good self-esteem then it doesn’t matter too much what Miley wears or sings.

For sure, we know in adolescence that peers are important, but that can be over estimated. My experience is that underneath it all, kids want strong values and leadership from their parents.


Ask yourself why do kids imitate and want to be like Miley Cyrus? Because they want acceptance and are searching for identity. So let’s look at offering those gifts in ways that do not demean children and teenagers.

Talking and explaining about sexuality and love in an age-appropriate manner is far better than banning Miley Cyrus or whoever else will come along to take her place.

I think it is sad that a talented young woman feels obliged to get success by sexualising her act. Whatever happened to talent? Sinead O Connor has written powerfully to Miley Cyrus about being used by record company executives.

I would love to see the former Hannah Montana star doing an album which features her voice and true personality. Would she dare risk that? Would the record executives allow it?

Again to think that Miley’s performance has damaged our kids is a mistake. If we are serious about protecting our children then we must encompass all areas. This means paying close attention to who our kids hang out with, how they dress and socialise generally.

Blaming the new Princess of Twerk takes a very narrow approach. Look around you and see how some children dress.

Thankfully some major chains have desisted from selling the awful kiddie bras. But I ask you this - who buys them for the children, who lets them out in those outfits?

What about child beauty pageants? I have rarely come across anything which so distorts the values of what childhood should be. What message do these grotesque competitions give our children? Yet parents push their children into them. Don’t blame Miley for that.

My own hope is that some day Miley Cyrus will realise that her own value and self-worth does not come from the acclamation of others. If ever there was a song to be sung that it is the message we must get across.