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Is Miley Cyrus the best of the Millennials?

By Matthew

Last week Miley Cyrus released another of her backyard sessions videos. This one was with Ariana Grande and was a remake of Crowded House’s Don’t Dream It’s Over (our throwback Thursday feature today). It’s a fantastic cover that has both high production values and a simple arrangement that emphasizes the voices. It’s also got a very casual vibe with Miley flirting with Ariana as they sing in their pajamas. It’s sweet and really fun.

The backyard sessions are all in support of Miley’s new Happy Hippies Foundation which she launched to support homeless queer (LGBT) youth. Miley recently came out, herself, as queer (though she didn’t call herself that).

“I didn’t want to be a boy. I kind of wanted to be nothing. I don’t relate to what people would say defines a girl or a boy, and I think that’s what I had to understand: Being a girl isn’t what I hate; it’s the box that I get put into.”

She also revealed to the Associated Press that she’s had romances with both males and females. Essentially, how I’d define it is that Miley Cyrus is woke. “Woke” is essentially what people used call being enlightened. And it’s a commodity that’s highly valued among Millennials. It speaks to being awake to the complexities (and often the sham of the various labels) of race, sexuality, gender, religion, politics, and more. It’s being able to step outside of society’s conventions around these topics. For example, when you can see how gender is a construct that society imposes on you, and then as a male identified person choose to wear a skirt, you’re woke.

Miley Cyrus gets a lot of shit. But to me she represents the best of the Millennial generation. She’s got talent and uses it to do good, she challenges our perceptions of fame and gender, and she seems to be having fun the whole way through. Yeah, maybe she went in for shock value there for a while, and maybe she’s had some problematic racial stuff. But what I admire about her is her general Fuck It attitude and seeming ability to grow. 

I’m part of Generation X, and some of my people have shit on Millennials. But to me, Millennials give me hope for the future. They know there is always more room for more kinds of people. They simply put fewer constraints on who we are and can be. They accept difference and judge less. It’s almost like Millennials are the fulfillment of the hope of the 60’s, the original happy hippies.