How Miley Cyrus Playing The Blame Game With Disney Sets A Bad Example

UPDATE: This piece has been heavily debated and a true point of controversy. The title has been altered because our team felt it was misleading toward the purpose of the writing. I would like to take a moment to clarify some details and apologize to anyone who may have been offended by this content. I sincerely apologize for anything that was understood in a way that appeared to put down the issue of body dysmorphia. In no way would I ever intend to shed negative light on any mental illness, or make accusations about the validity of these diseases. My main objective with this piece was to note the way in which our media and celebrity culture tends to shift the blame of issues and create a “story” or “excuse” for problems that many of us face. Celebrities should be focusing on positive advocation and defining what these issues really mean, instead of pushing blame onto other outlets or companies. We have created powerful roles within popular culture for them to use wisely, and I believe these figures should be speaking in a way that promotes positive acceptance and education. Thank you for your interest, and thank you for the conversations that have been had; it is here that the true potential of our voices are heard. I truly have read every comment with an open mind and hope that you can see my intentions were not to harm. If this has been triggering at all, you have my deepest regret.

As you probably have read in the headlines, Miley Cyrus has recently cried out to the public about how Disney Channel ruined her image of herself. Because, well, the most confident, outspoken, and in-your-face celebrity of our generation, could use a little bit of a ego rub.

To fill you in, Miley has blamed her years of work with the Disney network in an interview for Marie Claire, for causing her body dysmorphia. Body dysmorphia is, by definition, something that causes people to imagine defects with themselves. Hannah, as Miley quotes, “made me look like somebody that I wasn’t.” She also states that “From the time I was 11, it was ‘you’re a pop star! That means you have to be blonde, and you have to put on some glittery tight thing’ meanwhile, I was this fragile little girl playing a 16-year-old in a wig and a ton of makeup.”

I’m sorry Miley, but these magazine headlines, and interview quotes, just don’t have me sold. If being a pop star growing up was defined unfairly as wearing glitter, and being blonde, why do you still do it?

Welcome to the entertainment industry, Ms. Cyrus. I know you’ll have a long stay.

Celebrity culture is pretty effed up as it is, and I think we can all concur with that. We’re well aware of the pathetic way we worship people for the sake of having something on our TV screens and smartphones, but we continue doing it. We obsess over ‘public figures’ and dehumanize them until they become public goods. It feeds our media addictions, and you are the one cashing in.

You say that Hannah Montana was all a mistake? Well, everybody makes mistakes, but Disney had nothing to do with yours. These remarks about taking “a fragile little girl” and having her play somebody she’s not are incorrect, and I think you know that. Miley, the Hannah version, truly did show fragile, teenage girls, that they weren’t alone. That even pop-stars can be naïve, heartbroken, sad, and looking for ways to survive high school. That girl made us all laugh and aspire to dream big. You ‘played’ yourself in many lights, were a great role model, and spoke out about important, everyday topics. If you can’t agree with that, at least agree with the fact that you chose to become an actress. There is no denying that acting, means playing a role, and being someone you’re not from time to time.


You chose that spotlight, and you’re influential to many girls consequently. I have no doubts that you suffered with personal struggles, but don’t push the blame onto the cruel Disney machine. These are your problems now, not Hannah’s. You know the power of the media; you are a slave to it. I believe in so many of the wonderful things you do for humanity, but I don’t support the excuses and fingers you’re pointing at others for being the way you are.

Grab yourself a mirror and an old photograph. You may be confused with where things changed, and honestly, so are we. We don’t understand who you are or what you’re really advocating anymore. I get the feeling you don’t either. The best advice I can give you is to find the grace in that young, fragile 16 year old pop star, and don’t throw her under the bus for the important lessons she taught millions of teens.

You profited and matured as a person well after the time that Disney cut the show, and I do remember you desperately begging Disney to give you the role in the first place, despite their hesitation. Don’t turn your back on people that brought you to where you are, and for the sake of people suffering from illnesses, in war zones, and living with poverty? Stop playing the victim, and leave the spotlight open for those who deserve it. 

Featured image via “Miley Cyrus” by rwoanCC BY-NC 2.0


  1. I have to agree with B. I am looking at your lines and can`t believe that you expect a 11-year old girl to make the decision of beig an actress or singer by herself…. clearly there where powers involved and how should a young person or even a child should be able to protect oneself against the influence of a big company, personal environment (including family) ? And in the end you try to compare one person’s misery to persons suffering worse misery …. this is just not fair… everyone has the right to stand up for themselve and to reflect about physical and mental harm and that is just what Miley did.

    • Hi V*, I agree that young people are often hurried by their parents to grow up and make decisions. That was not the entire angle of this article, and of course there is much more to say about that topic. Miley may have very well been hurried as a child to become an actress or singer, but I believe as a grown adult, her choices are now hers. Everyone does have the right to stand up and reflect. I wish that Miley had taken the opportunity to advocate positively about what she is feeling, and defining body dysmorphia for those who many not have experienced the term before. Instead of spending air time pointing fingers at Disney, who in this stage of the game, did what they had to to provide us all the entertainment industry that we know and obsess over today. I see a problem with celebrity culture, and that is the theme that I wanted to get across here. I apologize for any misunderstandings in regard to my language used. Thanks for your comment

  2. You don’t get to decide if someone has a mental illness.. Or any illness. You can sit here and say “yes I know the facts” but you don’t. You have an opinion. But any opinion that goes against someone else and their way of living is a bad one. And I love how you tell her to get out of the spotlight… Have you not heard? She is actually one of the best role models? She teaches to be yourself and has started a foundation for homeless trans youth. Like no. And looking at Demi Lovato, another Disney star, who has had eating disorders and depression. She may not have flat out said I blame Disney, but doesn’t it make you wonder a little now?
    And I’m going to say this a thousand times because you really don’t get to say no you’re not suffering from that to anyone. You wouldn’t say it to a family member or a friend, have some respect.

    • Hi K-Money, just to clarify, I would never deny that Miley has struggled with a mental illness. Direct quote: “I have no doubts that you suffered with personal struggles” Thanks for your comment.


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