On a day when so many proud Americans are stampeding into surburban shopping centers to get the greatest deals on toasters and ukeleles and whatever else people want on Black Friday, we’re taking a moment to celebrate Miley Cyrus turning 20. Yes, wrap yourself in a million white sheets, call Annie Leibovitz and schedule a photoshoot, because Disney’s favorite girl-gone-wild is officially two decades old.
While we’re all about making some age-appropriate virgin margaritas in the Crushable offices, we do have to admit that not everyone’s going to be happily celebrating the star’s 20th birthday. In fact some people don’t like Miley Cyrus.
Confession time: that used to be me. Just a few months I truly believed Satan sent Miley Cyrus up from Hell to torment me until the end of time. When she got engaged to Liam Hemsworth this past summer I actually accused her of performing black magic. I couldn’t fathom how this former child star convinced an up-and-coming Australian actor to marry her.
Guys, I honestly was one flaming torch away from pulling the “kill the beast” march on her house. But then something changed. I went from being horrified by her behavior to admiring her ability to get attention. She starred on a popular Disney show that ended before the majority of One Direction was even conceived.
Any other celebrity in her position would be clutching to the last few threads of fame. After a few years of releasing fragrances and launching failed clothing lines, they’d fade away into obscurity, only to re-emerge years later after getting arrested for a midday DUI. Publicists who specialize in former child stars would rush to the scene and spin the disaster into a guest-hosting gig during the fourth hour of The Today Show as well as a book deal.
Yet Miley Cyrus managed to avoid that fate. She managed to stay on top despite not staying on TV. She’s famous for being famous. While we tend to mock these celebrities in our culture, we do have to recgnoze what they’ve done. They make money by being themselves. How many of us can say that people pay us just to wake up every day?
Miley Cyrus cuts her hair and we can’t stop talking about it. Miley Cyrus shows up wearing a mullet dress and we spend entire afternoons trying to analyze if it’s a subtle gesture meant to hint to us that she’s pregnant. Miley Cyrus tweets something vague about relationships and we’re all rushing to our computers trying to figure out how she turned 140-characters into the opening line from the greatest love story of all time. She’s mastered the American publicity cycle before the tender age of 20.
What did you master before the age of 20? Probably tying your shoes and choosing an appropriately attractive Facebook profile photo. So while so many people are quick to crucify Miley for being Miley, I’m now first in line to defend her.
While we all debated between the merits of Emma Stone and Emma Watson, she emerged as a true American Sweetheart. A real embodiment of what it means to be beloved and be-stalked in America today.
Happy Birthday Miley Cyrus, may all your wishes come true!