Charles Dickens probably didn't imagine Pip swinging naked on a wrecking ball; however, I believe that if Dickens was writing in 2013, Pip would be a girl with several tattoos, a constant need to be naked, an infatuation with her own tongue and a bleach blonde pixie cut.
There's no denying that we all had great expectations for Miley Cyrus. When I was a strange little preteen, I remember watching Hannah Montana and thinking how cool life would be if I developed an intense talent and a wig collection. Miley's portrayal of a surprisingly
relatable celebrity was refreshing -- especially considering that she dealt with many of the same things teenagers deal with, such as spending too much of her dad's money, an annoying brother, and a secret that she didn't want anyone to know. I think we all expected her to be as normal as her character... and it definitely didn't help that the character and the actor both had the same name.
I labeled Miley as a role model. An inspiration. On television, she was a successful celebrity who had never lost touch with the less popular members of society (a.k.a. me). However, I feel like many of the people that idolized Miley never wondered if she actually wanted to be an idol. This is the point in the story where she relates to Pip. Society played the role of Mrs. Havisham: instead of telling Miley she was common, however, we told her she was an inspiration and a role model.
Dickens narrated Pip's life down to the last letter, so we know that a huge turning point for him was when he decided that he was no longer going to be common.
But because nobody is narrating Miley's life, I think that now is an appropriate time to begin asking, "Did Miley ever have a moment where she decided she was no longer going to be a role model?"
Pip freed himself from his responsibility to be common with the acceptance of a generous monetary gift from a mysterious benefactor. I think Miley freed herself from the overwhelming responsibility of being a role model when she took a pair of shears and a bottle of bleach to her long brunette hair.
The moral of Dickens's Great Expectations is a pretty simple universal truth: Great expectations can really damage a person. It's been proven over and over again, but I think that Miley is today's best example. Pip never got a say in whether he wanted to be common or not, and Miley never got a say in whether she wanted to be a role model or not.
So here we are today, watching the music video with undeniably beautiful audio... yet with nearly pornagraphic visuals. The music video for "Wrecking Ball" can be closely equated to Pip's move to London, harshly thinking that he never wanted to return to anything that resembled commonness (a.k.a. Joe, his brother-in-law). Pip and Miley are both saying, "I am not common," and "I am not your role model," respectively.
And finally, here's my message: The next time you expect someone to be something they never wanted to become, beware. In a few years, you may find them swinging naked on a wrecking ball.
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