Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last five years, you probably know that Miley Cyrus is the girl who played Hannah Montana for several years on the Disney Channel show of the same name, as well as just about the most successful teen pop star who ever lived. With all the recent media attention focused on the fact that Miley Cyrus was recently caught on video smoking Salvia from a bong, it’s impossible not to wonder why it is that the American people have such a fascination with this kid, and every single thing she does. While doing drugs (oh, I’m sorry, I mean herbs) is obviously not the most productive thing for any teen to be doing, it is still mind-boggling that the video image of Miley Cyrus smoking Salvia from a bong trumps much more important world issues in the way of media coverage. So, why is everyone so obsessed with the video of Miley Cyrus smoking Salvia? (Which, incidentally, I mistakenly read as the word “saliva” every time I see it – irrelevant, but still humorous enough to mention. ) After all, it’s not as though teen drug use is a new phenomenon. I’ve come to the conclusion that there are a few very key reasons that the American public is tuning into news about the video that shows Miley Cyrus with a bong to such a degree that the story is mentioned no less than twice per hour.
One: It’s a little bit impossible to look away when barraged with stories that portray a child star self-destructing openly for all the world to see. We look at Miley Cyrus with a bong and naturally wonder if she’ll go the way of Brittany Spears and Lindsay Lohan. The video image of Hannah Montana getting stoned is intriguing and horrible, all at the same time. We wonder if the assumptions we’ve had all along, about a kid being given so much fame, power, and free-reign not standing a chance of being able to handle it very well, are going to sadly turn out to be correct. Again. So naturally, the media must pounce on this opportunity to lure in their audience with disturbing images. Dutifully, they flash video clips of Miley Cyrus smoking a bong just as often as they possibly can.
Two: As parents, we’re thinking about her parents. Whether we stand on the side of empathizing with Miley Cyrus’s parents, or blaming them for her current actions, the truth is that we, as parents, can’t help but think of them as we see video images of Miley Cyrus with a bong, smoking Salvia. Either we’re so sad for her parents, imagining what it must be like to see your kid getting stoned on prime time news for all the world to see, or we’re thinking back on previous stories of Miley Cyrus in sexualized photographs as a young teen, and wondering how on earth her parents could have expected this not to turn into a train wreck. Nevertheless, one of the main reasons Americans are so fixated on these video images of Miley Cyrus smoking a bong, probably has something to do with our curiosity about how her parents play into it all.
Three: Frankly, a lot of parents have drug concerns when it comes to their own teens. As a result, seeing Miley Cyrus on TV with a bong is a story that interests them. Many of us are thanking our lucky stars that it isn’t our kid with a bong today, video proof or no video proof. Additionally, we wonder how the video images of Miley Cyrus smoking a bong of Salvia will influence our own teens, if at all. Those of us with younger daughters, who just happen to be little Hannah Montana groupies, are also thinking about how to use this situation as an opportunity for educating them about how the world really works.
There’s no question that the media explosion over the video of Miley Cyrus smoking a bong will affect a lot of people, directly or indirectly. As we all sit back and ponder our own opinions and perceptions of the Miley Cyrus bong video, many of us are hoping that this isn’t the beginning of a downward spiral for yet another insanely famous celebrity, who also happens to be just a kid.