Where is Billy Ray in all this Miley Cyrus mess?

Photo credit: Norrismoonlight
After Miley Cyrus thrilled some and revolted millions with her act at Sunday's VMA's, a friend commented that he felt bad for her father Billy Ray for having witnessed his daughter's provocative scene. I believe he compared Billy Ray watching Miley's performance with going to a strip club and finding out it's your daughter on stage.

Before I go any further, let me get a few things off my chest. Yes, Robin Thicke deserves heat for his part and yes, it is a commentary on America's permissive rape culture.  This clearly points out the double standard we have for our daughters and sons. And lest you think this controversy is all just pop culture nonsense and we need to focus on the impending war in Syria, I think your argument is short-sighted because of the messages pop culture sends our daughters about their worth. Regardless of how hard parents try, pop culture does matter for at least a few years to impressionable teens.

Moving on... a part of me wanted to agree with my friend. It had to be heartbreaking for Billy Ray to see his daughter declare her sexuality and independence so vociferously on stage. She's clearly wanted to shed the good-girl Hannah Montana image for a while, and there is no better platform than the VMA's when the Backstreet Boys will be sharing the same stage for the first time in several years.

But I can't agree with him. I think Billy Ray set himself up for this. Sure, I'm not a Billy Ray or a Hannah Montana fan, so I'm not as well-versed in Cyrus family dynamics as others are but it always seemed like he was too eager for his daughter to have a big career. Most parents want their children to do better in life than they did, but there is a fine line between that sentiment and hoisting the life you wanted on your kids because you couldn't achieve it yourself. I think he crossed that line and his daughter made sure she rebelled publicly so she could live her own life.

Every child rebels, it is a right of passage. Few have the stage Miley does and few have the reasons to use that stage as effectively as she did. I hope I learn how to walk on the correct side of that line for my daughter's sake and my sanity.

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