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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

“Miley: The Movement” to nowhere

Published: October 18, 2013
Section: Arts, Etc.

“I live in America, which is the land of the free, and I feel like if you can’t express yourself, you’re not very free,” states Miley Cyrus in her MTV documentary “Miley: The Movement.” Now say what you want about Cyrus, but she certainly has more balls than anyone else in Hollywood. In her new documentary, the notorious popstar makes it clear her recent changes of her persona are not a train wreck. To many, Cyrus’ appearance changes and blatantly sexual music seem to be the signs of her psychological breakdown following the end of her engagement to Liam Hemsworth. However, “The Movement” makes it clear this is no breakdown.
Throughout the documentary, Cyrus makes it known to all that this is what she was “born to do.” She references her time as Hannah Montana as the dark days, in which she was forced to be someone she was not. Her reflections on these dark days as a Disney employee make her sound as if her childhood was filled with psychological distress and oppression, the recognized scholarly components that mark the beginning of a social movement. Now you may be questioning, what exactly does Cyrus have to start a social movement about? Is her alleged oppression really enough to mobilize the “army” she so frequently refers to in the documentary?
While Cyrus’ recent actions are not enough to dramatically change the world, it’s clear (as she so forcefully states) that “every decision goes into a bigger plan.” Cyrus’ actions reflect the ideology that she is above just trying to fit in. She can do what she wants and be whoever she wants, and couldn’t care less if people judge her for it. This ideology may not be the grounds for the social movement she self-proclaims, but it certainly is a great motto to live by. She might be a little crazy, but just imagine how awesome it is to walk around all the time and not care about what anyone else thinks.

That being said, Cyrus contradicts herself a little in this regard throughout the documentary. She is shown freaking out about the public’s reception of her now-hit single “We Can’t Stop” on numerous occasions, and worrying that she picked the wrong song as her single. But overall her careless attitude holds true. She picks her own clothes for the runway, resists censorship of her lyrics and tweets whatever she’s thinking at the moment.

While Cyrus’ self-image is impressive and inspires confidence in her audiences, there are moments in “Miley: The Movement” that make her come across as too much of a diva. There is a scene where Cyrus has a slight cold, and she is extremely dramatic about what a strain and struggle it is to have to practice through the illness. Cyrus would do well to take some time to step into the shoes of others—the homeless on the street, the children who go without breakfast every morning.

“Miley: The Movement” is incredibly entertaining to watch, because it is a behind-the-scenes look at a girl who turns out, at her core, to be just like any other 20-year-old—but with a lot more money and resources at her hands. Cyrus loves her dogs, loves finding weird and wacky clothes to wear and honestly the only truly strange thing about her is that she believes she has started a colossal movement and that she likes dressing up as a baby clad with pigtails, onesies and unicorn slippers.

“BANGERZ,” Cyrus’s fourth studio album, dropped Oct. 8, and has risen to a coveted number 1 spot on both the USA and UK charts. That being said, the vast majority of the songs on the album are about her split from Hemsworth. The rest are about partying. While the music is lively and fun to listen to, Cyrus cannot start a movement without audiences knowing what that movement even rests on.