Say what you want about Miley Cyrus — and there are plenty of opinions (seriously, type "Miley Cyrus is" into Google and brace yourself) — but at the end of the day, one thing is undeniable: you are talking about her. And that's exactly what she wants.
Words like "crazy" and "train wreck" are used with great frequency.
Sir Elton John called her a "meltdown waiting to happen."
The world sees "Girls Gone Wild-meets-Girl, Interrupted" when it should see "marketing strategy" in the brazen antics of a celebri-tart that's supposedly running off the rails.
But the 20-year-old pop princess has the world right where she wants it. Not convinced? Take a minute to recap.
- First, we have the garish performance at the MTV Video Music Awards. Shocking? Perhaps. Revealing? Certainly. Attention-grabbing? Of course. That was all anyone talked about after the program (at which, apparently, awards are given out). Mind you, given the context, it wasn't exactly the most scandalous thing ever, The Onion asks you to bear in mind. Realistically, this was the modern logical progression from Elvis Presley gyrating onstage in the 50s.
- Exhibit B is for those who didn't think they could be shocked again: Miley's video for her single "Wrecking Ball," in which she appears nude, swinging on the titular piece of heavy machinery and salaciously licking a sledgehammer. If the video wasn't risque enough for you, add to that the controversy around the director, Terry Richardson, who came under fire in 2010 amid allegations that he acted inappropriately with young models. Mind you, that tidbit came out after the video smashed Vevo's single-day viewing record with 19.3 million in 24 hours.
- Have you seen the trailer for Miley: The Movement, the documentary that follows Miley behind the scenes in the months leading up to that memorable VMA performance? The hour-long program sees release October 2nd and should give you a hint as to how much the whole thing was planned.
- The cover art for her upcoming album shows her topless, as if much is left to the imagination anymore. And cries were heard throughout.
For starters, she went into prepping that VMA performance with a camera crew on her for months; who allows that kind of access without a plan in mind? And speaking of the documentary, it comes out October 2nd. Guess whose album hits shelves October 8th, when the shock of whatever will be revealed will still be fresh in everyone's mind?
And that "Wrecking Ball" director? Do you really believe he was chosen solely for his artistic merits? Chances are Miley and co. decided to find the name that came with the most baggage. Do consumers actually believe that something like that would get by the folks vetting a director for one of the biggest entertainment products in the world? That's right, Miley Cyrus may be a person, but on a conceptual level, she is also very much a product this whole thing is her marketing plan. Do you know how long it's been seen "Miley Cyrus" wasn't trending worldwide? This crazy train is coming into the station on October 8th and is hauling a ton of gold with it.
Feel free to believe the hype, buy into the outrage, and say what you will about Miley Cyrus.
As long as you say it loudly.
That's what she'd want.