THE BLOG

Great Expectations

10/04/2013 10:46 am ET | Updated Jan 23, 2014

It's great to be passionate about an opinion, but when an opinion turns to brash criticism then the lines need to be drawn. We should all be allowed to have a voice, just not a voice that is used to bring people around us down. We don't realize that while we're building ourselves up, we're pushing someone all the way down.

From celebrities to someone you see every day, anyone could be the next victim. I've found that no matter whom it is, the pain is genuine and many of us are the cause. There's nothing more safe and secure than a username and a computer or telephone screen when it comes to surfing the web. The anonymity of this gives the opportunity and the constitutional right to say as we please without too much repercussion. Even when the repercussions may not directly affect us, it has a lot to do with how our society controls and views others.

When it comes to Miley Cyrus, all we ever get is judgment. Most people roll their eyes and others cringe while I merely smile at the name. I may be biased because I am a fan of hers, but I'm not surprised at all about who she has come to be today. I don't understand why people are so shocked by Miley now. Even during Disney, she was never as squeaky clean as the others. Bit by bit, it was obvious that Miley was going to do what she felt like doing and be who she felt like being and didn't really care what others had to say. If posing for a risqué Vanity Fair shoot in only a bed sheet or having private pictures of yourself released is your definition of being "squeaky clean," then someone needs to get me a dictionary and quick. She's doing what teenagers are supposed to do. We're supposed to do stupid things as well as try new things and see where we fit in with them. It's not that everything she's done is appropriate nor is it excusable but at the same time it's understandable.

Miley is living the way she should be at that age. All her life, it's been business and being the creator of this business empire. It's time for her to bask in that accomplishment. At 20, taking everything too seriously just causes someone to grow up way too fast and miss out on having experiences. It's possible Miley isn't trying to be someone she's not; she's trying to explore who she is now and what she likes. It may come off as strange or even forced but I think she's always been 100 percent genuine in her actions. Miley wasn't a stereotypical Disney kid, taking instructions from others nor did she was try to sell anyone this perfect persona. She was always that kid who messed up but never regretted it because it was what she wanted to do it. We shouldn't all follow Miley's lead and do what Miley does, but we can actually learn something from her. A lot of people say Miley is trying to break away from Hannah Montana but who wouldn't be? Why does she need to stay in the past? She's using the ground that Disney and Hannah Montana gave her and doing what she wants with it. It's her choice. It's her life. It's her world.

What I don't find understandable, is how every chance we get we use Miley as an example of what not to do. We exploit her, as well as others, to teach kids what to be and what not to be. I think the only person who should be teaching younger generations are their parents. What about the women out there judging Miley? What happened to girl power? You can still stand your ground about feminist issues without bringing down other women. You want to make a good example for your daughter, but is bashing someone else the way to do it? It's the same with celebrities themselves. Why judge Miley if you've worn risque clothing on stage and did the same crazy things she's trying out? Whether it's done in private or public, it was still done, so there's no need to be hypocritical about it.

Parents are always looking for a role model for their kids, and teen stars tend to fall into that category more than anyone else. Looking to them, to teach their kids guidance and so much more leaves little room for said stars to be themselves. As a society, we truly forget that they are people as well. They may have more people looking up to them than most of the population but they have just as many problems as we do, just in different forms.

This could be why so many of those same celebs end up in rehab or in jail. We pay attention to the problem children only to leave the ones who aren't on our radar to suffer in silence. For some people, role models aren't supposed to make mistakes and that relays back to some kids that they have to be perfect too. Why is it that to be a good person, one has to lie and hide the bad? The fact that they have problems makes them all the more genuine. Look at Zac Efron or Demi Lovato. Both of them started young and both of them held positions in successful franchises. How many of us actually thought they would end up in rehab? This is something we could argue about all day long, but at the end of the day anyone can do anything. Putting our standards so high for certain people seems to just bring them down further and further. How does that teach kids these days to do or to be any better?

I recently got the chance to read Miley's interview for Rolling Stone and I felt like it was the most honest and most genuine story ever. Miley shouldn't have to explain herself but in that, she did. She basically says how things got to be the way they are and how happy she really is. She's not trying to be sexy; she's trying to be Miley. That's the one thing people keep missing out on. Society appears to be trying to put her in a box. It's as if she's listening to rap and dancing a certain way, so she should be put in this spot and if she starts doing so-and-so, then she needs to be moved over there now. Society shouldn't work that way. She's not trying to take over or demean any culture and I think a lot of people are missing the point. It's not just "white culture" and "black culture" anymore. Everyone is so blended and interested in different things that we all fall into several different categories at a time.

The question is, where do we get the right to criticize these people so harshly when life isn't easy for them either? It's as if we feel entitled to it. We're encouraged to speak our minds and be honest but are rarely taught how fine the lines are compared to harsh judgment and even cruelty. We're allowed opinions as well as the freedom of speech, freedom to assemble and much more that allows us to create hate groups and bully others.

It's understandable why people think she's inappropriate, but what is not so clear is why people care so much. If you think her career is headed for a downward spiral, please take a look at how well her songs are doing on the charts. People don't continuously listen to her songs because of a VMAs performance or because she's doing something wacky or out there. Her audience listens because she gets what they're going through and she acknowledges them as well. She has a talent in singing and entertaining as well as understanding what people are going through. Just like people feel Taylor Swift is a great role model and just so real, Miley is the same way. She made mistakes in life, just like we all should. She's gone through things kids go through every day. If anything, Miley taught me how to be okay with myself and who I am. I don't wear revealing clothing nor do I smoke or anything of that nature, but I still learned from her. We need to stop looking at the bad and try to pull out the good.

People complain and get so upset when she makes the news, but we make her news. Her wearing some shorts and a midriff shouldn't be the main thing we talk about when there are so many other things happening around us that do need our attention. Miley won't be the last celebrity to do something shocking nor will Miley herself stop doing outrageous things, but it's up to us how we're going to handle it. As a society, we shouldn't put everyone on a pedestal just so we could knock them down when the things get tough.