Miley Cyrus- You are Loved

Dear Miley,

I don’t know how many people know your given name is Destiny Hope Cyrus, and that Miley Cyrus truly is just the name of the girl on the Disney show.   Destiny. Hope. What a GREAT name. I think you should use it all the time, not just on your birth certificate and at family gatherings. It’s beautiful. Just like you.

So, Destiny Hope, I have to admit that after I heard the buzz I (I’m a news junkie of sorts) had to go to YouTube and check out your vid. And, I must admit again, that I, too, added a comment here or there on a few Facebook pages that were NOT to your credit. Please forgive me for that. I’m opinionated and well, I enjoy tossing my hat into the rhetoric ring once in a while.   The next day I began to really think about you, and the performance, and I realized that I had been participating in the UGLINESS (Yea, that rhetoric FB ring thing). As I said, I’m sorry about that, young lady. You are free to be who you are as a human being, an artist and a woman, without judgment from me.

I realized upon later reflection after my two FB posts that I had been looking at you through eyes veiled with judgment, when I really should have been looking through my “Momma Eyes” and my “Artist Eyes.”  See, I’m a mom of a 23-year-old man who has a 23-year-old girlfriend who is part of the family. Many of my closest friends are moms to girls just your age… with dreams just as big.  Young women trying, like you, to find their way in this big, crazy, fast-paced, over-sexed, over-commercialized, over-technical world. YIKES. It’s way scarier out there for you today than it was for me in 1987, for sure!

And, I’m an artist. Though now I teach special education to 10-year olds, once upon a time I earned a vocal performance degree from a university in Oklahoma. I had BIG dreams of making it BIG as a singer.  But now I find so much more joy in teaching little struggling readers and writers how to read and write. I just do the “music thing” on the side… weddings, funerals, etc. And, I have been a voice teacher for over 20 years. I’ve heard a few voices here and there!  I do consider myself an expert, by the way. 🙂

So, let me start out (sorry for that seriously loooooooong introduction to my boring self) seeing you through my artist eyes.  When you were Hannah Montana, your show was on regularly in my home. Guess what? My then 17-year-old and then 3-year-old were not the ones watching! Nope. I was. That’s right… a 39-year-old Momma tuned in every week to catch your cute little antics and hear your adorable voice.  As a voice teacher I knew this was only the beginning for you vocally. I thought, “Wow. A young singer with that much going for her vocally is going to have a long career.” And I meant it. And I would say that you today, still. Your voice has a wonderful, dramatic (and even edgy) timbre to it. I love that about your voice.  I would LOVE to hear you letting your voice SHINE just as it is; a little raspy, a little sweet, a little sultry. Your voice is COOL, girlie.  And you know where I’m going here… you don’t need all the theatrics to be successful with your VOICE. It’s very good. Use it. Enjoy it. Don’t thrash it. Please don’t waste it.  It’s a GREAT voice!

Now, through my Momma eyes. I’m not the mom of girls, but I am a girl, so at least I have that going for me here.  I am SO glad that the Internet was NOT part of my 20’s. I shudder to think of what I would have done or said online or in a video that might have UNDONE me. Sadly, we’ve seen that recently, haven’t we?  Young, innocent girls going out to parties to have a little fun… drink too much (of course, I ask why are underage kids drinking at parties, but I know that’s rhetorical at best)  and the next day there are pictures of them having sex with boys posted all over the Internet while they (the girls) are passed out. In at least two of those cases, those girls are gone. They’ve committed suicide. So tragic. So horrifying that people use the Internet for such selfish horrific acts of violence and then those they damage end up dead.  “Tragic” hardly describes it.

And so via this amazing thing called the Internet, I caught your “act”. And guess what? This middle-aged southern Momma could not see the art. I couldn’t find it anywhere.  It made me sad.  It just seemed so “not right” on so many levels. I saw this woman who is beautiful offering her gift to world as something entirely not beautiful (at least in my view).  Your mannerisms were odd, your face contorted and it was so dark and well, creepy (and maybe that’s what you were going for).  It looked like you were offering yourself to the world as an innocent lamb to the slaughter… as if you were saying, “I’m a slave to this crazy world of Hollywood, false glamour and money and I’m here not to take what I have earned by all my hard work, but to offer myself as a sacrifice on this vile alter of sex and greed and fear and desperation.”  I know that sounds judgmental and harsh. I do not mean it to be so. You are LOVELY.  Be LOVELY. Act LOVELY.  I want to hear your great voice and see your amazing talent and yes, I want it to be LOVELY. I realize I don’t know you… I have no idea how you see yourself. But, I hope that you can or do see yourself as I, a completely detached stranger, have seen you for many years, as a treasure.

Now, just in case you need to hear it,  I just really wanted to remind you that under all the publicity and negative attention, you are loved.


Natalie Jager