Miley Cyrus, Twitter, and the F-word
My goal in writing this is not to inspire controversy or insinuate that anyone is in the wrong… I just want to highlight with integrity and curiosity what has been happening and continues to happen in our society, (even? especially? more importantly?) at the celebrity-status-level.
Have you heard about Miley Cyrus’ situation on Twitter (another social messaging service to stay in touch with friends and family)? It’s a little wordy, somewhat hard to read, and complicated but here’s what happened:
Miley Cyrus tweeted that she shook her thighs and they jiggled for three Mississippi’s (count them: one, two, three) and there would be no more Lucky Charms at night for her. (I will break this comment down in a moment.)
Her over 600,000 followers on Twitter didn’t respond with only supportive, loving words. Instead, she was called fat and teased by a lot of them. Her response was heated and emotional (including passionate typos):
“talk all you want. i have my flaws. im a normal girl theres things about my body i would change but stop with calling me f*t in post. i dont even like the word. those remarks that you hateful people use are fighting words. the ones that scar people and cause them to do damage to themselves or others. people that are so okay with being so hateful diguist me and need to spend last time on a gossip website and more time a. reading your bible b. reading stories/articles about what happens when cyber abuse and name calling happens. kids hurt themselves. this is not something to be taken lightly. i know these "message boards" are "no big deal" to YOU but is to the victim. this has got to stop!!! oh and ps if your thighs don't jiggle go see a doctor. thanks. :)”
From there, it became a battle with those followers who were angry that she was putting down skinny people. She responded (more typos):
"wow. now im upsetting people cause im putting down skinny girls. @nicolerichie has one th tinniest most adorable bodies and i guarante u even HER thighs jiggle! everyones do!!! im not putting skinny girls down! i believe in exercise and treating your body like a temple :)"
In case you’ve already heard of this and wonder why I’m repeating it… well, there are two (2) reasons.
- I have some comments about what just took place.
- I heard about it on my favorite radio station, Radio Alice 97.3, on my favorite morning show: Sarah & Vinnie. And they had some comments too…
The Sarah & Vinnie Show
Before I share my comments, I’ll sum up what took place on the Sarah & Vinnie show yesterday morning and then tie it in to this very destructive, painful, and unhealthy mindset that permeates our society!
After recounting the Miley Cyrus Twitter crisis on the morning news, Sarah Clark and gang had their own comments:
- Anyway that’s what’s going on in Miley Cyrus’ world...
- Poor Miley, she can’t get a break...
- While the rest of us worry about our jobs and how we’re gonna feed our kids and whether or not we’re gonna have money for gas this week…
- Or health insurance...
- She’s worried about her jiggling thighs, or not worried about them, whichever the case may be…
Okay, summary complete.
On to the highlights and the curiosity…
Miley Cyrus tweeted that she shook her thighs and they jiggled for three Mississippi’s and there would be no more Lucky Charms at night for her.
This is acceptable isn’t it? This is “normal”. We expect this kind of talk from a 16-year old, a 26-year old, and sadly enough, 30, 40, and 50-year olds. Being thinner is better, right? We should appear ripped like the models and actors that surround us, pushing their make-believe impossibilities in to our real-life world, right?
Society has always dictated what beauty is… Decades ago, being curvy, sensuous, and white meant that you were in a higher class, wealthier, and much more desirable. After the era of Twiggy, free love, and sex appeal, that ideal has shifted, obviously. Drastically.
Also, the idea that food is the culprit and Lucky Charms must be the problem, (or maybe it’s that she’s eating them at night, or maybe it’s the combination) means we have to take the first step of action to prevent further fatness? Reduce food intake, of course! I shudder at the implications of how our “logical” train of thought is to stop eating… because that makes things better, right?
Nicole Richie has one of the thinnest, most adorable bodies! (paraphrased)
Do I really need to say more about this?
I believe in exercising and treating your body like a temple. (paraphrased)
I’m torn by this statement. There are a lot of people who will argue that without exercising, you are unhealthy or at least your heart is unhealthy. And I say that moving your body joyfully and regularly will lead to greater health, but not necessarily thinner results. Many people who are extremely active are also overweight and they’re healthier than the thin people who are or are not active. (See “Why Dieting IS Dangerous": http://hubpages.com/hub/Why-Dieting-IS-Dangerous.)
Treating your body like a temple (a Biblical term) implies that you’re not treating it like a machine, which is precisely what goes on when we try to burn a certain amount of calories out of us (like gasoline in a car) to compensate for those that we took in (one cookie = an extra 35 minutes on the treadmill!) in order to chisel our machine (er, body) to something more socially acceptable. Who made up these rules?
That’s what’s going on in Miley Cyrus’ world… while the rest of us worry about our jobs, and how we’re gonna feed our kids, and whether or not we’re gonna have money for gas this week,… and health insurance.
She’s just 16, some might say. Of course she doesn’t have anything better to worry about.
Sadly enough, her concerns with her body, weight, food, and thighs occupy the minds of all age-ranges and all socioeconomic statuses. Did you know that there are 50-something-year olds in eating disorder clinics? Startling.
I work with women ages 20-50, who are so obsessed with their bodies, it takes priority over every other concern. They still have to worry about feeding their kids and keeping their jobs, but they spend the majority of their time agonizing over what they’re going to eat or what they just ate and how to work it off or sweat it out or something… because frankly? It’s the biggest part of their world. And how can it not be? One glance around at the TV, magazines, and internet and we must all agree… beauty is not easily achieved now that the standards have been raised to near impossible.
The Real World.
I would just like to end with this story.
While I was growing up, my mom was on a lot of diets and the food in our kitchen would change according to the new diet’s rules. Whether Weight Watcher’s or McDougal, there was a constant striving. The conversations with friends, which of course I eavesdropped on, were all about losing 10 or 15 pounds and getting back to the weight she was in high school.
Somewhere down the road I stopped paying attention to her journey because I had started my own. Thin is in. I was thin. I made sure I was thinner than thin, so I wouldn’t ever have to try to get back there and spend my whole life dieting, like she did. But my path was dangerous, destructive, and life-threatening over the many years that it consumed me.
While I was on my way out of my unhealthy, disordered-eating lifestyle, and my mom was around 60 years of age, I heard her complaining about being too thin. She didn’t want to be seen as the “old, skinny lady”. Something inside of me shifted. I knew that I could potentially spend the next 30 years of my life trying to be thinner and then spend the last 30 years of my life trying to be curvier. I realized that that would be a wasted life.
It was a long journey… a journey I will always be on… and a journey that I now accompany other women on. I swear to you, life is more than jiggling thighs and low-calorie food options. I would like to encourage you to aim for freedom, self-love, and joy in your life!
In Peace & Health,
Get more free resources from Theresa Singleton, MA, at http://www.freedomfromdiets.com !
Cadey, Jennifer (2009). Twitterverses: Miley Cyrus Gets Called F*t on Twitter. E-On-Line: http://www.eonline.com/uberblog/b124487_twitterverses_miley_cyrus_gets_called.html
The Sarah & Vinnie morning show at Radio Alice, 97.3: May 19, 2009: http://www.radioalice.com