Miley Cyrus, Caitlyn Jenner & Using Your Voice

Miley Cyrus started her career with the hit children’s TV show “Hannah Montana”. Then amazingly she went through the process of, I think it begins with g… is it… growing up? That thing that all children do. They have birthdays and go through puberty and become someone who is very different from their pigtailed smiley tree climbing self.

Cyrus owns one of the most controversial and quirky Instagram accounts there is [@mileycyrus] posting uncensored images of herself nude and doing drugs. Miley Cyrus wants people to talk about her and her music. Not to mention the somewhat memorable 2013 MTV VMA performance with Robin Thicke. However, Miley’s 2014 MTV VMA appearance was much more important when her date for the evening Jesse Helt, a homeless youth, accepted her Video of the Year award for her.

Since then Miley has founded the Happy Hippie Foundation. In interviews she speaks about wanting to use her voice, platform and fans to make a difference. The Happy Hippie Foundation says its mission is “to rally young people to fight injustice facing homeless youth, LGBT youth and other vulnerable populations.” Check out the website to find out more here.

I think it’s great that Miley is using her celebrity status to put the spotlight on issues such as homelessness and LGBT youth and it is exactly what people of her status should do. I have had mixed feelings towards her in past, but the foundation is a really cool organisation and I can’t fault her intention to make the world a better place. Miley talks about the importance of being grounded and staying true to yourself and I think that that is a pretty good message to put out there.

Caitlyn Jenner recently went public with her transition, featuring on the cover of Vanity Fair following an interview with Diane Sawyer. Although Caitlyn received a lot of support, I was disheartened to read a lot of ignorant and negative comments towards her and her transition, especially regarding the ESPYs Courage Award; reminding me only that there is a lot more work to do. Although you may not agree with Jenner’s politics, lifestyle or the Kardashians and the overshadowing of the fatal car crash that happened in February. I still believe that Caitlyn’s transition is an important moment for modern day society. The Guardian reported in 2014 that “[In England] 48% of trans people under 26 said they had attempted suicide, and 30% said they had attempted to do so in the past year, while 59% said they had at least considered it”- a terrifying statistic that should not be ignored. Hence why again, a celebrity using their status to make tough and brave decisions such as publicly transitioning, like Caitlyn Jenner has, can make a real difference in terms of representativeness and raising awareness of more than Kim Kardashian’s wardrobe.

I really recommend that you watch the following short video called “Transgender People React to Caitlyn Jenner Coming Out”, where individuals signpost some really key issues and insights.

To conclude, celebrities can be complete idiots. People with status, power and money can be arrogant, make mistakes, commit crimes and live a life of luxury regardless of their actions. I believe that when they use their status for good however, and try to use their voice to highlight important issues, we should recognise that this is a good thing and that many more celebrities should be doing it.


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