Dear Miley Cyrus: We'll Respect You When You Respect You
Dear Miley Cyrus,
It's clear you wanted someone to write you a letter. Or sing you a song. Or give you a hug. Or just pay attention to you. We're sorry it took us this long, we've been doing other things like covering the news. But today we want to cover (up) something else: you.
You have it in your head that in order for people to notice you, you have to be a freak--here, there at the VMAs, on the streets. We get it. Freaks get attention. Freaks are made famous for being freaks. And when you've got nothing else to offer but your freakiness and your body, why not sell both to the lowest bidder (usually a man with a camera) for the rest of us to see? We remember the twerking. We remember the tongue which you can't seem to use for anything other than making a fool of yourself. We know, we know, ugly girls have to go fishing with dynamite. We remember when young girls looked up to you as Hannah Montana. Those were the days.
But how will you be remembered 10, 20 or 100 years from now?
If you keep up the parade of weird, no one will remember you, because there's no talent required to be a freak show. Anyone can take off their clothes. Anyone can twerk. Anyone can say they're "pansexual." And Miley, right now, that's all you are: a parade of weird, a young woman starving for attention and relevance. It seems like, for the moment anyway, attention is all you want.
But underneath the hunger for attention is a hunger for relevance. Hey, we all have a universal desire to be important. We all want to matter. We all long to thrive and do more than just exist.
The great men and women of history and of today are great because of what they accomplished, not in how they took off their clothes or what clothes they wore, or in your case, didn't. People who've earned relevance and respect have done something special and noteworthy that most people cannot do. Their accomplishments, great talents and forged skills are what make them great, Miley. Not their ability to stick their tongue out. No, that one poster of Einstein doesn't count.
Is it true that most people will toil in obscurity for all their lives? In a way, yes. Most people will never be famous. But Miley, there's more to life than hollow fame. Plenty of non-famous people are accomplished in their own lives, respected in their careers and accomplishments, loved and adored by the people who matter to them. And surprise, they're often fully clothed.
So the question for you, Miley (and anyone who aspires to be famous) is this: how do you want to be remembered and who do you want to be remembered by? Will you be yet another spoiled and obnoxious girl whoring herself for attention, who takes off her clothes to cause a scene? Or will you be an accomplished young woman of talent or goodwill, who may not be remembered by all, but cherished by some?
Welcome to the land of fame-excess. It's clearly not making you happy. We'd be happy to respect you if you respected yourself first.
So go read a good book. Go write a good song. Go do something worthwhile. Trust us, you'll be happy you did.