miley cyrus magazine

i’m in my prime,
not withering and old.
but i refuse to play
your wicked games any longer.

i know this tether is unbreakable,
but you make me feel like i’m interchangeable.
you drew a target on my heart,
when did this become fatal attraction?

i don’t have the strength,
the energy,
nor the patience
to be held hostage by your love.

so baby please don’t despair
when i say that
i’ve found the courage to
let you go.

you were never meant to be tied down in the first place.

—  believing i could love you was my mistake, c.j.n.

People are weird about young, teenage, outspoken girls* in the public sphere. It’s either they are put down due to sexism or ageism or held up on this pedestal like they know best (and I realize that, in some ways, this blog contributes to that). It’s the problem with words like “woke” and “problematic” and “canceled” and the very creepy, narrow way it’s approached, especially on sites like Tumblr. There’s a lot of misdirected anger at a lot of these young girls when they do something perceived as wrong. Especially when they identify as “activists” (even though activism is not an identity but a literal demonstration of the verb ‘act’ and the adjective ‘active’, but that’s another issue for another day) and are in the business of publicly educating and dispersing knowledge. It’s like we’ve moved on from the former expectance of controlled young actresses and singers who never speak out and pepper teen magazines with aspirational and fantastical imagery, to expecting perfection in a different way—that these young girls must have perfect ideologies, perfect education, perfect execution. Maybe it’s partly these young girls’ faults for taking on these responsibilities that they are unequipped for. Maybe not. Flaws are still despised in female public figures. Perfection—variant kinds—is still expected. Maybe that’s (part of) the problem.

Amandla identifies as non-binary but is still publicly coded as ‘female’ (an adjective she does not completely reject).

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What’s crazy to me, and this is nuts, is that sexuality is still so offensive. Kids need to know about sexuality. Girls need to be comfortable in that. You know, people laugh and think it’s funny that I said I’m a big feminist, but what about me isn’t? I tell girls, be who you are. Do whatever the fuck you want.” — Miley Cyrus for LOVE Magazine (2014).