Britney Spears, Amanda Bynes, Lindsay Lohan, Justin Bieber - it’s not uncommon for teen stars to spiral out of control as they grow up. After Miley Cyrus’s disastrous VMA performance in 2013, media outlets were quick to add her to this list of teen stars gone bad.
As the prodigy of famous country singer Billy Ray Cyrus, it almost came as no surprise that she traded in her purity ring for a little leather and lace. Everyone has to grow up at some point, right?
From her scandalous on again off again relationship with Liam Hemsworth to her provocative 2013 “Bangerz” album, people really freaked out as Cyrus murdered her innocent Disney star persona. Although I agree that dancing around half naked in front of millions of people and lighting a blunt while accepting an award at MTV’s EMAs in 2013 is not doing anything positive for her public image, it doesn’t mean she should be deemed a complete failure.
In fact, Cyrus is doing a lot more good for the world than she is anything else.
In 2015, she founded her own nonprofit organization,The Happy Hippie Foundation, whose sole mission is to help young homeless people of all sexual orientations and backgrounds. The organization works to rally young people around fighting injustices that the homeless face everyday, regardless of who they are or what they look like.
This came just one year after Cyrus brought Jesse Helt, a young homeless man, as her date to the 2014 VMAs. During the award show, Cyrus helped raise over $200,000 for the homeless charity, My Friend’s Place, when she dedicated her acceptance speech for Best Music Video to “the 1.6 million runaways and homeless youths in the United States who are starving, lost, and scared for their lives right now."
But unfortunately, all the amazing things Cyrus is doing and all the positive causes she is standing for are overlooked because she is no longer putting on a blond wig and playing the part of a girl she never truly was to begin with.
Her career began when she secured the lead role in Disney Channel’s TV series, “Hannah Montana.” Just months after the first episodes aired in 2006, she became one of the most buzzed about teen celebrities.
Aside from being photographed with a bong on her 18 birthday and releasing her edgy “Can’t Be Tamed” music video in 2010, the only real controversy that Cyrus stirred before her cringe-worthy 2013 VMA performance was in 2012 when she traded in her long brown tresses for a bleach blond pixie cut.
Although the star’s new look fostered a more edgy lifestyle, after years of partying and creating music that left little to the imagination, Cyrus has taken a 180 degree turn to use her celebrity status to do good.
In addition to creating The Happy Hippie Foundation, Cyrus donated half a million dollars to the American Foundation for AIDS research in 2014. She also uses her strong presence on social media to promote LGBTQ rights and to show her support for the feminist movement, #FreeTheNipple, by posting pictures that fight stigma and discrimination.
In 2015 Cyrus became the face of MAC Viva Glam, a makeup line that donates all of its proceeds to help those affected with HIV and AIDs.Sure, she smokes a lot of weed and dances around naked, but so do millions of other college students. Besides, she’s doing it while giving back to the world. Expecting her to stay innocent and pure like the Disney star she once was is not only hypocritical, but down right absurd.