Why Miley Cyrus is Officially a Publicist's Nightmare
I could have sat down to write a post about how as a mom of a tween and teen, I was completely appalled at Miley Cyrus' performance on the VMA's this week. Except, I didn't have to do it because my own 14 year old was completely disgusted by Miley's on stage porn display. We wouldn't even allow our 11 year old to watch it and he's seen "TED" - yes, I am that mom. But I digress.
There have been plenty of parenting writers who have already shared why they felt Miley's performance was just plain horrific, but I've got a much different take on the situation. I'm looking at it through the eyes of a publicist. There are some publicists out there who just yes their clients to death even if everything they are doing screams train wreck and it looks like Miley has hired that agency. Obviously, Miley's parents are no longer getting involved in her career but someone, somewhere has to be advising her and allowing a 20 year old to make decisions that are turning her into a laughingstock in the music industry is not my idea of a good PR or talent management plan.
Between Miley's horrific hair style, to that teddy bear body suit to the beige underwear to that repulsive foam finger that was used in places nobody should show on cable TV, everything about Miley's performance was just plain cringeworthy. Now that she has become a trending topic in an incredibly bad way, what can Miley do to turn everything around? Here are some suggestions:
1. Stay away from the press. Whatever you do Miley, do not consent to any interviews where you proclaim the virtues of smoking pot and how you are entitled to being reckless at 20 and not care about how that can screw up your image.
2. Hire a new wardrobe stylist. Whoever decided a plushy teddy bear jumpsuit was a good idea should be fired on the spot.
3. Hire Paula Abdul or Kenny Ortega as your choreographer. Miley -- you need a way better dance routine and for the love of God -- please stop twerking so damn much.
4. Stay away from foam fingers for a very long time. Unless you use it at a baseball game, if I were your publicist, I would hereby ban you from using a foam finger in public ever again.
5. Do not try to be Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Madonna or Katy Perry: The public is used to seeing them do things that push the envelope and while they sometimes may even be controversial, they didn't grow up as Disney stars with legions of young girls idolizing them.
6. Find some girlfriends you can trust It would be so great if you hung out with Selena Gomez or Miranda Cosgrove - anyone with a great image who doesn't embarrass themselves in public. Sure Selena sometimes has to deal with the fact that her boyfriend Justin Bieber is a PR time bomb too, but she's taken the high road and so far, she's doing everything right.
7. Find a mentor stat! Whether it's Drew Barrymore, or Brooke Shields, or even Britney Spears, it's time for Miley to be mentored by someone who has been there, done that and has made it to the other side.
8. Have Billy Ray Cyrus take control of her life again. I don't care if they had a falling out. Her dad helped catapult her career in the first place and it's time he gets involved in his daughter's life again whether she wants him to or not. Sure she's upset with him because he cheated on her mom but he was doing a great job with Miley's career before she kicked him to the curb, cut her hair off and just became totally weird and out of control.
9. Move back to Nashville. Miley needs to get away from all the people in her life who are steering her in the wrong direction. And if that means moving out of Los Angeles and staying away from the people who are singlehandedly helping her screw up her life then sayonara Hollywood, it's been nice knowing you.
10. Go to college. Okay - this one is a stretch but hear me out on this one. Miley never went to college and some of the most successful child stars who are still going strong took time to get a college degree and then re-entered the entertainment industry. From Brooke Shields, to Jodie Foster to Mayim Bialik to the Olsen twins (who happen to be bazillionaires), sometimes it pays to get a college degree. And even though it might be a bit late in the game to enroll in a University, I say, it's better late than never.
Here's hoping that Miley finally turns her career around. No one is asking her to become Hannah Montana all over again -- we just don't want to see her travel down the same destructive path as Lindsay Lohan and Amanda Bynes. As a publicist and a mom, it's pretty tragic to see such talented young girls throw their lives away because they don't stop and appreciate how lucky they are. Miley - you were fortunate enough to have a dad who turned you into a superstar. Now you need to figure out how to rebuild your brand so that young girls and even young women can look up to you again. Being a role model is really not such a bad thing. Why not throw away those tasteless costumes and try that on for size instead?