There has been a lot of talk about Miley Cyrus lately, and not surprisingly, a lot of it centers around her father, Billy Ray Cyrus. This kind of talk is concerning; it’s as if the American public has chosen to express their disapproval of Miley’s sexual expression by implying that Billy Ray must be appalled. The public is crying, “That’s not my little girl.” And the thing is that she isn’t our little girl at all; she is a woman growing up and finding out who she is and how she wants to express that. Like any other woman artist (and human being), she has the right to do that without the country’s paternal protection or shaming.
I was relieved to see Billy Ray Cyrus on The Queen Latifah Show, because it seems that that the star’s father completely gets where I’m coming from. When asked, “is it tough for you as a dad to watch everything she goes through sometimes?” Billy Ray seems to be taking it all in stride. He understands that any popular artist will struggle with “that intangible of reinvention.”
He also recognizes that “she’s a very creative artist” and that growing up making music is difficult: “you make your music, you do your art and there comes a time where you have to figure that out yourself,” he explains. He does not plan to designate the direction of her work, noting that no one else can tell someone entering adulthood how to grow and become the person they want to be. And the ever-amazing Queen Latifah agrees, noting that she “really respect[s] her as an artist.” With the support of those around her, a female artist can truly find her own path and means of expression, and I look forward to seeing how Miley and other young adult women stars grow.
Watch the interview below, and let us know what you think in the comments!