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She isn’t a hurricane.


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Chances are, she hasn’t read the letters.

There are about 6,000 new “Dear Miley” letters sitting on the internet, with the prickly hope that they’ll go viral, and she won’t read a single one. She’s probably got a Mama that tells her nearly everyday not to listen to nobody. That’s a good Mama.

I don’t want to add to the pile of noise. I’m not going to write a letter to Miley Cyrus. I am not going to even pretend for a millisecond that I know the things she’s seen through that industry. I’m not going to preach. I’m not going to even open my mouth much more than this.

I’m just here to admit that I was wrong to say something in the first place. I’m sorry.

When the scandal happened, when she started traipsing down the stairs with her tongue lopsided from her mouth, I talked about it. I wrote a funny status. I got a hundred or so likes. I pulled in retweets.  It felt like that moment on the black top when you were suddenly included for some funny, little thing you said. And people were cheering for you. And you felt like you were a part of something. And that’s fuel to any fire, when you feel like you belong in a conversation. But it’s gasoline all over your hands, baby, when you use the shortcomings of someone else to get you there.

And so I made a few jokes, and I read a few articles, and I talked about it several times, and then I wanted to take it all back. I wanted to erase it. Not because it’s graceless. Not because it falls under the category of bullying. But because it makes me a hypocrite, to try to sit here and act like I am some saint who never thought her body, too, was just an object. I’m just lucky my moments aren’t going down in history or becoming the talk of everyone’s lunch break. But I am really not that different from Miley.

 

She isn’t a natural disaster.

Not a hurricane that wrecked through a town. Not a global issue. She’s a girl. A girl who is fumbling to grow up and out of a skins of a wig-wearing popstar that the world learned to worship her for. And she had a bit of a train wreck moment. And so no, I’m not going to write a letter to Miley Cyrus. I’m not going to write a letter to my future daughter either. I’m not going to hold my daughter and thank God that she isn’t like Miley. I’m simply going to do the best I can to raise her, and I am going to understand and still support her when train wreck moments happen. As they often do.

I’m going to try to understand her empty moments. I’m going to listen to her when she’s torn between body and brains. I’m going to try to understand if she doesn’t want to be a role model. I’m going to understand when she tries to change herself for men, and when she tries to morph her body for others, and when she finds herself in situations that makes her feel much smaller than she really is… Not because I want these things for her, but because I know there is no stopping a girl from learning what she needs to learn about her worth in a world that doesn’t give her much to follow but worthlessness.

I’m going to understand if the world and culture slip in the backdoor and give her some ugly half-truth that her body is nothing more than a tool she can use for leverage. Because I’ve been there before. Maybe not on an awards show that gets broadcasted to millions but I saw a strange and familiar sense of emptiness in that moment when Miley flung her body around that crowd. An emptiness I know of because I am a woman. And I’ve known that empty feeling. And my friends have, too. And so have so many others who learned to use their body as a tool. Because the culture tells us repeatedly, repeatedly, repeatedly that we should.

 

It took me years to understand this body of mine.

I’m trying, still. But it used to be just Limbs & Legs & Leverage. And it was said to be no big deal to be abandoned in a bed with flannel sheets. And it was said to be “social norm” for a girl to grow up and be everything Rihanna sang about.

And really, what’s a girl to do in the moment when the whole world sings crudely but daily– with some kind of harmony– about her body & only her body? Women’s brains were never thick in those songs. Our dreams were never powerful in those songs. But yet our hips never lied & our junk was in the trunk & always we wanted to get dirty in those songs.

Enough of it would make any girl start to believe it after a while… that she is just a “the captain,” just expected to “ride it good.” Someone labeled as the “wild one” “saddled up” and “just begun.” Begun like a workday. Wrecked like a war zone.

I’m not saying she’s right. I’m not cheering for her in this moment. But she’s not a criminal. Not a tragedy that hurt millions. She’s just a girl. Just like me. Who probably forgot, like the rest of us, what a fragile, radiant thing she really is. Made to be valued & designed with much worth. Brewed & brewed & brewed to be so much more than a body stapled & tied with an image of beauty that only runs ankle-deep when the whole wide world should flood out– tsunami-style– over the worth & weight of her.

If Miley is anything like me, then she’s been a fragile creature all this time. And she came here looking for love.

I wish it could have stayed that way. I wish it could have stayed that way for all of us. 

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26 thoughts on “She isn’t a hurricane.

  1. If Miley anything like me, she’s so fragile that she’s able to break herself, all in the name of love that was, in reality, empty. It takes a long time and a great Jesus to put the pieces back together, forgive, and heal. I hope people start opening their eyes to how much we hurt and break when no one is around, and that this time, it just happened in public. She’s just a girl like the rest of us.

    • BM says:

      I agree with you fully as well. In the end, I think we all need to remember Miley is an entertainer, and she was not alone in coming up with that VMA performance. I don’t see anyone bashing the VMA producers for allowing it as much as they are bashing Miley. What about Robin Thicke? He also had to do w/ the scene. Why is all the attention mostly on Miley? As far as a ‘fall from grace’ … show me a child star that hasn’t… this problem runs so much deeper than a young lady changing her ways.

  2. Thank you for writing this. I didn’t watch the VMAs, but seeing the pictures the next morning I just knew that little girl cried herself to sleep. I was so brokenhearted to see the cruel jokes people made–she’s a child doing her best to transition into a woman, to find her place in this world, to feel love. Perhaps she’s a bit misguided but–as you mention–haven’t we all been? We just haven’t been flung in the middle of a stage with instructions to make an impression; we have less to lose. What she needs right now is love, support, and understanding…and what we need is to realize that.

    You have such a beautiful heart, Hannah. Keep on sharing your story.

  3. Hannah, you are such a light. This is beautiful and spoken with such truth and clarity it makes me want to weep. If one article could go viral, I would hope and pray with every fluttering heartbeat it could be this one.

  4. How powerful and extremely sensitive! A compassionate response to the coldness that Miley, myself, and every other girl (if they were honest) felt after her “train wreck” moment.

  5. I left a “tasteful” negative comment on my facebook wall which I regret after reading your blog. It’s totally out of my character to do that so I’m not happy with myself about it and I too am very sorry. I have to say that I wasn’t outraged by her performance as much as I felt sad for her and the example she was setting for all the young girls in the world. As a parent, I believe it begins at home. My 14 year old daughter did see her performance and she also witness my disappointment. I hope that she views me as her example and not someone like Miley Cyrus. I really don’t want to judge Miley for her decisions. I want to focus more on what happens under my own roof. It’s so hard because as humans we all have an opinion. I think society in a whole has created this complacency. And sex sells, it’s like a terrible train wreck. I do pray on this subject a lot. Bob and I work really hard to be good examples for our children. At some point, they grow up and make their own decisions. The best example we can be is someone who is loving, patient, understanding and non-judgmental. It’s not always easy. Thanks for sharing your blog post on this subject. It was very enlightening! xoxo ~ Dawn

  6. Love this Hannah.

    Even the “loving” posts I’ve read about Miley have seemed trite and smug.

    Like: only if “poor” Miley was wise enough to “get it” like the rest of us Solomons.

    Pssh. Let’s be real.

    We are all a mess.
    Just at different times.
    Perhaps.

    In secret. Most likely.

  7. With tears I say thank you. Thank you for your words that remind all of us that we are just as human as Miley is. I didn’t watch the award show but I did see news clips and it made me sad to my core. I’ve read so many harsh words and reading them has made me even more sad. I prayed that night for Miley and now I am reminded that I need to pray for her some more. Thank you! Off to share your post!

  8. This is why I didn’t want to touch the subject of Miley or anything else on my blog this week, because it broke my heart too much to watch people react. I laughed at first like everyone else, but when I actually looked at her performance, all I saw was pain, brokenness, and myself. I saw my broken years, the ways I’m flawed, and the pain I’ve acted out of in the past. The only difference is when I acted out on it all, there weren’t millions of people waiting to tear me to pieces for it and criticize me like they knew my life. This whole ordeal only broke my heart for Miley and all celebrities even more than normal, because they are the people group for whom I am most broken. Thank you for this.

  9. Rae says:

    love you woman, & love your heart here.

    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . *rae* // a u t h o r + b l o g g e r >>> chasing kite tails blog

  10. courtennn says:

    Hey girly. Love this. You’re an amazing writer. I wrote something very similar. I love that we have the same thought process on this. You’re beautiful!!!

  11. Sonia says:

    Thank you, thank you Hannah! You once again found the words to express what I was thinking. I hope more people would not only think like this, but act the part as well. Let’s just leave her – not without a hold out hand to her, but stop the hateful words send not only to her, but all the people around her.

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