What's Good Miley?
Oh man, someone reminded me of some bullshit I had repressed because I was too busy being pissed about the healthcare law.
These stories about Mikey Cyrus going clean and sober; I’m going to leave the commentary about the racial aspects of it to other people whose lane it actually is. But, OMG, the way the coverage has treated her and her “recovery” and the way she talks about it makes me want to punch everyone.
A (incomplete probably) list of my issue:
(1) They’re talking about her stopping smoking weed as though she was shooting up heroin literally on the Judge’s Chair on The Voice. Like, obviously I don’t know the full extent of her drinking problem or how much weed she was smoking, but she was clearly incredibly high functioning. Can we not talk about this like Lindsay Lohan or Lamar Odom sobering up and going clean (two names I have picked randomly out of my memories of “celebrities who have had dramatic issues with drugs, alcohol, and mental health in recent years”)?
(2) Despite the fact that the news stories are covering it as though she was snorting coke off Blake Sheldon’s ass on national television, the way Miley talks about it seems so freaking dismissive of the experiences of people actually struggling with addiction. Her quotes were like “it’s been so fucking easy actually; I love feeling clear headed for the first time in forever” and “I just feel so much more in touch with myself spiritually,” and so on and so forth. Like, I’m absolutely fine with her saying “hey so I decided to stop smoking weed because it wasn’t making me feel good anymore” but don’t try to get attention both on the one hand for going clean and sober but then on the other hand talk about it like it is this cake-walk that is just so easy for you because you’re in such a better place now (does the better place involve a Hemsworth dick? Because, let’s be honest, the better place involves a Hemsworth dick.)
(3) When she gave the big interview that came out about this, she told them she had been clean and sober for THREE fucking WEEKS. Again, bully for you, but it all just feels so performative. Frankly, just as her trip to the high-side also always felt pretty performative, this recapturing of her sweet and innocent (and white, LBR) feels incredibly performative too.
(4) The three weeks thing also bugs me because it goes against all common sense for good public relations strategy if you are *actually* an addict in recovery. Generally, celebrities in recovery are more like pregnant women, you wait as long as possible to make any announcements about it (if you make any at all) because the risk of relapse is real and once TMZ gets wind that a celebrity is an addict or in recovery, their goal in life will be catching you when you relapse. Because they are assholes. Paparazzi will not only stalk the shit out of you and harass you, they may very well try to stress you enough or trick you into relapse so they can get the “money” shot. And the public will eat it up.
Honestly, the whole thing feels like she gave an interview and got the cover of a magazine (one I’ve never heard of, but still) and got breathless articles on Buzzfeed and shit like that for announcing that she gave up caffeine for Lent or something.
All of this should be read with the understanding that I absolutely acknowledge that alcoholism is a serious disease and that, while I think “addiction” to pot is less of a thing, I absolutely think there are people who abuse it. I don’t know if Miley is one of those people, but every one of my bullshit detectors is going off with this. Because I just cannot imagine a publicist recommending to someone with a serious addiction problem that they handle it this way. And nothing in Miley’s career suggests that she would just go off and do this on her own; her career has always been well managed and strategic (even when it seemed a bit more like “strategery” rather than actual strategy, like when she humped a creepy, older, married man on national television.)
Anyway, so there’s a slim chance that this is just Miley being Miley but I find it much more likely that she has decided she wants to shed the weird mixture of flower-power wild-child white girl who thinks she’s down with black people because she twerked once and is doing so by performing the “I’m going clean and sober” act so people will be just.so.relieved that little sweet Miley has been saved from the big bad world and now they can listen to her cover of Jolene without having to feel like they are associating themselves with “those sorts of behaviors.”
And I don’t quite know where my strong feelings on this come from, but as a chronic pain patient who is constantly treated like an addict because of the medication I need and a human being worried about the opioid crisis, this kind of blasé and almost condescending approach to “recovery” kind of offends me. … Or apparently really offends me, considering how long this post has gotten.