Miley’s rite of passage

Lainey Posted by Lainey at August 13, 2012 18:26:12 August 13, 2012 18:26:12


Miley Cyrus cut her hair. Drastically.

It was a trending topic worldwide on Twitter yesterday, largely encouraged by Miley herself who first posted the before and after shots, and is continuing to post photos from every angle, much like we all do when we have our makeup done, or our hair styled, and can’t stop looking in the mirror -- only our mirrors don’t talk back; her mirror is an online audience that can and will throw sh-t back in the reflection.

You like it?

I LOVE it.


Every girl should do this at least once. And exactly at that age. Like a rite of passage. And, in her case, it’s totally textbook too, curiously parallel to the Britney Spears experience. Just, so far, much less extreme.

Miley, 19, is engaged to marry Liam Hemsworth. Britney hastily married Jason Alexander only to end it 55 hours later.

Miley chopped off her hair. Britney... shaved her head.

Two overworked child stars, not fully formed, trying to find an identity. Though Britney’s struggle with her stolen youth was compounded by mental health issues, the similarities are there. Some would say it’s simply a girl getting a haircut. At the Faculty Of Celebrity Studies, we might discuss this in Celebrity Semiotics class - haircuts and other physical transformations as symbols of transformation and/or turmoil.

Miley was receding for a while from the spotlight, seemingly to take a break from the relentless schedule she’d maintained for several years. I was down with that then. For a young woman who has only known the business, there’s no disadvantage to expanding her perspective and exploring an alternative. That... didn’t last, did it? Either we didn’t let her or she couldn’t do it.

This girl, like all girls at the threshold of 20, is still figuring it out. Like all girls who are still figuring it out at the threshold of 20, she thinks she knows everything. That’s why you’re so dumb in your 20s. Because in your 20s, you don’t know how to say I Don’t Know. F-cking up is the consequence when the first thing out of your mouth is always “I Know”.

I know. I did.

Miley’s bravado is classic. Her Twitter feed is a giveaway.


“Feeling happy in my own skin”

“Never felt more me in my whole life”

Or, you could say that there’s nothing like repeating how “me” you feel to show how obviously “un-me” you really are. It’s a universal behaviour but lived, as always, as though it was a unique experience. Have you ever met a 20 year old who wasn’t absorbed by their own originality? What happens when you add Fame to that Formula?

We get to watch.

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