Let me preface this by saying that I normally don't write letters to celebrities. Except for that one time I wrote a letter to Madonna in the fourth grade asking to meet her (I was going through a big A League of Their Own phase). Her official membership club sent me a brochure in the mail saying that for a $40 fee, I could join. Needless to say, it was a bit traumatic.
I don't listen to your music. Sometimes, when I'm at a party, "Party in the U.S.A." will blast on someone's iPod and everyone will go bananas. No, they are not six year-old super fans--they're college kids. I've never watched an episode of Hannah Montana and I don't understand the whole tiny-jean-shorts-cowboy-boots look that you love so much. My best friend is 21 years-old and named her cat after you. I walk into Target to buy mascara and tampons, and it's nearly impossible to not get ambushed by all the Hannah Montana paraphernalia. I guess you know you've made it big when your face is plastered on lunchboxes.
It's no secret that you've come under a lot of fire these past few years. There was the risqué Vanity Fair photo shoot. The Teen Choice Awards pole dancing. The whole dating a hot/Christian/underwear model older boyfriend thing. But don't worry, I didn't bat an eye (girl, I would have dated him too). After all, she's--you're just being Miley.
Let's get this straight: I have nothing against you. Because as long as we're being honest, we have nothing in common. You're a teen phenomenon who flies to LAX with a dream and a cardigan, and I'm a college senior who has never been to the West Coast, much less have my face on a lunchbox.
Your latest scandal was when a recent video went viral of you taking a bong hit of salvia, which is a legal herb sold in California. This happened after the news broke that your dad, Billy Ray Cyrus, and mom split up. I wonder if the two events had anything to do with each other--just wondering.
Then, I read the interview in GQ, where your dad says, "I'll tell you right now--the damn show destroyed my family."
When asked if he wished Hannah Montana had never happened, he answered, "Yeah. I'd take it back in a second. For my family to be here and just be everybody okay, safe and sound and happy and normal, would have been fantastic. Heck, yeah. I'd erase it all in a second if I could."
This made me angry. Why? Because every parent knows that the cardinal rule is that you don't blame your kids for your divorce. No, he did not say, "It's all Miley's fault," but he may as well have. By "the damn show," he meant your dream, which turned into your job, which turned into your life, which then turned into his. Way to guilt your kid, Billy Ray. Shame on you.
Coincidentally, I was channel surfing last week when I came across a Miley Cyrus special on TV. In an interview, you talked about how appreciative and grateful you were that your family packed up their lives so that you could fulfill your dream of being on Hannah Montana. You didn't take it for granted--I could tell.
You didn't ask for my advice either, but I'm going to give it you anyway.
First off, I loathe sounding cliche, but it's not your fault. I know you love your dad, but he was wrong for what he said. Even though his blame was not directed towards you, I know how I would feel if my dad said that: guilty.
Second, ditch the friends. Those people who took a video of you smoking and then sold it to the media? Yeah, they're totally not your friends (but you've probably come to that conclusion for yourself by now). I'm sure good friends are hard to come by in Tinseltown, but you need some good ones--the kind that will still keep calling even when you ignore them and will drag you outside when you've been hibernating under the covers like a grizzly bear in the winter.
Third, there are better ways to deal with this than salvia. This is what the shrinks like to call "destructive behavior" (read: drugs and alcohol). I know that salvia is legal in your neck of the woods, but when your life is somewhat turned upside-down, you're more likely to participate in certain activities that you'd normally abstain from. You repented in Marie Claire and your PR team has shoved it back under the rug, but to me, the problem isn't that you did it, but rather, why. You're cooler than that.
Pop star or not, this divorce thing sucks--that we have in common. It gets better though--you can totally write about it in your next book. Or write a song about it.
By the way, contrary to what your dad says, there's no such thing as a family being "normal." Besides, I have a hard time believing that even if your parents stayed together that your life would still be anything but normal.
One last thing: you're kind of okay. But don't tell anyone I said that.
Follow Taylor Trudon on Twitter: www.twitter.com/taylortrudon