Miley Cyrus has always been the leading voice for the outspoken, expressive generation. From her tear-jerking lyrics of "Wrecking Ball" to her twerking on national television at the MTV Video Music Awards in 2013, Cyrus has never been one to shy away from who she is. She lets her personality shine through whatever she does, and most of the time, it scares a lot of people. Her unconventional approach to life seems to remind the older generations of Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley. However, this promiscuous personality she emits seems to mask her cherished non-profit project, The Happy Hippie Foundation.
This foundation aims to "rally young people to fight injustice facing homeless youth, LGBTQ youth and other vulnerable populations." The work is directed through different social media outlets to create awareness of their mission. For example, Cyrus launched the "INSTAPRIDE" campaign, which featured multiple LBGTQ individuals and their stories. This made a massive impact on Instagram, prompting others to follow Cyrus' lead. Cyrus also launched "The Backyard Sessions," musical performances featuring some of her favorite artists, including Joan Jett and Ariana Grande, in her own backyard.
This did bring media coverage to the organization, but in my opinion, it was not enough to spark the revolution of change it needs. Again and again, Cyrus has been trying to capture the attention of the world by bringing on stage different youths who have struggled through their lives. Among these guests is Jesse Helt. Cyrus brought him on stage to accept her award for Video of the Year at the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards and let him give his own speech. The small yet impactful speech shined a light on the increasing numbers of homeless youth who are struggling to make it on their own. Though The Happy Hippie Foundation was still growing at this time, Cyrus had used this opportunity to talk about the issues that really matter while everyone was focusing on what doesn't: what she's wearing, whom she's with and (of course) if she's going to be twerking.
I write this article in hopes that this organization will receive the recognition it should have. The effect it's had on millions of young people who need encouragement and support is amazing. They feel safe to be who they are, and they are guaranteed the support with the help of Cyrus and her foundation. Through different methods — donations, buying merchandise specifically for the organization and sharing different stories to help each other — this continues to be an incredible movement toward helping many who ache for compassion and safety.
While you're focusing on how Cyrus is a bad influence to the world, you're missing her main point. Cyrus' manifesto for The Happy Hippie Foundation is: "People who say WE can’t change the world ARE wrong. We will make some noise and cause a scene! We will challenge each other and the world & will stop pointless judgment."
She might do crazy performances on national television or wear eccentric clothing wherever she goes, but that's who she is. She's expressing herself the way she wants to be viewed. It's not only encouraging to the younger generations who have always felt a little out of place but also refreshing to find someone in the acting/music industry who is down to earth (and to be honest, a firm believer in doing what you want to make yourself happy with who you are). But you need to realize the bigger picture. She is not being who she is to draw attention to herself but rather drawing attention to the masses of suffering LGBTQ, homeless, etc. youth who are calling out for help.
So, the next time you see Miley Cyrus on TV or on some gossip tabloid magazine cover, remember the real issue at hand. It's not about her personal life. It's about The Happy Hippie Foundation and the change she's trying to create. Please, if you can, listen to her words, listen to her speeches and listen to her advocate for what's really important. In Cyrus' own words, "It’s time for us to speak up for the people in our streets, our cities, our world. It’s time for us to grow our passion, shine bright and change the future."
To support The Happy Hippie Foundation, click here and take action!