miley cyrus magazine

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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