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Posted at 10:44 AM ET, 05/ 6/2010

Miley Cyrus’s new video: Too much too young?

By Liz Kelly

Miley Cyrus is now 17-and-a-half, so of course it’s time for her to step up that campaign to break away from her teenybopper image. I mean, the girl's got a career to think of and teen singing sensations are about as lasting as a set of braces. One day the Disney Channel-loving legions of tweens are all “We love Miley,” and the next they’re all like “Let’s kill Kim Kardashian cuz we luv Justin Bieber.” It’s a fickle market.

In that spirit, Miley this week released a new video for the first single from her upcoming album. It’s called “Can’t Be Tamed,” but should perhaps be called “I Am Some Kind of Sexually Predatory Bird Woman (And Please Ignore the Fact That I’m Still Underage While I Grind Against This Guy).” A mouthful, but it would be more accurate.

Have a watch:

For those of you who can’t -- or won’t -- watch, here’s the deal. A caged Cyrus, equipped with a 15-foot wingspan, channels “Toxic” era Britney Spears (and a little Beyonce) while executing some predatory dance moves and sporting a $25,000 bustier. Stylist Denika Bedrossian told, “Our inspiration for the video was exotic endangered birds breaking out of their cages; lots of sexy, dark, exotic feathers.”

The song is catchy enough. If Spears can chart with “Gimme More,” I’m sure Miley can do the same with her new material. The lyrics are predictably dimwitted, but also underscore a break with her teen image -- and core teen audience. Some choice lines:

“I go through guys like money flyin’ out their hands.”

“I’m like a puzzle but all of my pieces are jagged.”

“I can’t be tamed, I can’t be saved
I can’t be blamed, I can’t, can’t.”

Will it work? Does Miley – like Britney and Christina Aguilera – have the chops to trade in her teen sensation-ness for a legit adult career? Or, is it too much too soon?

By Liz Kelly  | May 6, 2010; 10:44 AM ET
Categories:  Miley Cyrus  | Tags:  Miley Cyrus  
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I'm pretty sure she was at one point doing the Thriller dance.

And now I'm going to go and bleach my brain.

Posted by: DorkusMaximus1 | May 6, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Dorkus... you stole my comment. She did channel thriller. But I did not think it was that bad. Why is it everyone is so out of their minds about Miley growning up? Not knowing her personally, I would guess she is probably more mature and stable than most 17 year old girls I hear about. She is growning up. Get over it.

Posted by: Ariabob | May 6, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Wait, it can't be bad. It's a country singer with a country singer dad. America's music. Now, if it had been a rock singer, that would be different.

Posted by: Sutter | May 6, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

While it may be becoming obvious that Disney might eventually regret having fostered her career as a child, I view Miley Cyrus in a very favorable light. This girl seems mature (in the sense of her wisdom and her ability to plan out her future) well beyond her years.

This is no Britney Spears. Miley Cyrus is no ditz. She is more like a young Madonna, and likely to be successful for many, many years. She knows how to use what she's got, and to my way of looking at it she's got a LOT!

Whatever will she be like when she turns 18? I for one am looking forward to it.

Posted by: FergusonFoont | May 6, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

What was that saying about a bird in the hand and one in the bush?

Posted by: hofbrauhausde | May 6, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

This video was like, supposed to be high art? Right?

Posted by: jlhare1 | May 6, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

I watched the video yesterday. It (the video) seemed kind of pervy. I also learned a valuable lesson, I don't need to watch something just cause Ryan Seacrest tells me I should.

Posted by: StuckatWork | May 6, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Wow. I'm speechless. And not in a good way.

This is way too "high concept" for a seventeen-year old. ANY seventeen-year old, much less one known predominantly for having a Disney Channel television show.

What was her management thinking? There are better ways to demonstrate maturity than this tacky waste of good feathers.

Posted by: pfallsgirl | May 6, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

More - too trite and too predictable

than too much too young - although that is also a good description.

Way to prove you are independent acting like every other pop star who wants to be thought of as an adult - strip down and sex up.

It's like proving you are mature and grown-up by having sex at 14. (That proves the opposite of your premise, honey.)

But who expected anything else from Miley? Now, we need to see how Taylor Swift matures - is she still a teen? Or has she managed to turn 20 without stripping down in her videos?

Posted by: amelia51 | May 6, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Bottom line (ha!): If 17-year-olds are going to quite intentionally market themselves as sexual (and sexually-active) beings, I should be able to have sex with them without being arrested. You can't have it both ways, i.e., pretending to like sex when it makes you money, then pretending to have been taken advantage of when a man actually sleeps with you.

Posted by: mr_bill_10 | May 6, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

really? That was it? I was expecting much worse (or better?), this seemed kind of mild after the write-up.

Posted by: rockotodd | May 6, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Mr_bill_10 just got put on some sort of government list.

Posted by: rockotodd | May 6, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Oooh Noooo, mr_bill!

Posted by: newengland1 | May 6, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

eww - this problem could have been solved by waiting until she turned 18 to release the video.

Posted by: lydandy | May 6, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Mr_bill_10 has that awesome sort of logic that makes Chris Hansen almost speechless with condescension.

That said, Miley is officially on "Olsen Twins are legal" watch. I am a respectable man after all.

Posted by: brandonesque | May 6, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Miley is sooooo HOT and this video puts her up there with the likes of Lady Gaga and Fergie.

Miley is the next rising female pop star and I approve of this video.

Posted by: HughJass99 | May 6, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Let's stop and think a minute:

Whose money/lifetime earnings would you rather have? Maddona's, or Maureen McCormack's? Mariah Carey's, or Melissa Joan Hart's? Miley Cyrus's, or Amy Grant's? Taylor Swift, or Christine Lavin?

They put on the overt sexuality because it sells. Period. Until we show them they're wrong and give more financial success to actresses and singers that just put out good music rather than financially rewarding the sexually-desirable and/or borderline-explicit, this will continue.

Posted by: LNER4472 | May 6, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

The thing that bothers me about Miley is that she herself doesn't care for pop music. Not that I expect a lot of artistic integrity in Disney stars or pop-tarts, but maybe I'd like them to at least like their own genre. And not just be all about "the brand."

Posted by: sarahabc | May 6, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

"Underage" varies by state. She's 17, which in many cases makes her entirely "legal"--except for voting, smoking and drinking alcohol, of course.

And somehow she doesn't strike me as a potential voter.

Posted by: Ralphinjersey | May 6, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

My IQ just dropped 10 points.

Posted by: jezebel3 | May 6, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Meh, she's no Lady Gaga. Can't sing, can't dance, and that video was so dark she couldn't be seen, which may not be a bad thing.
But what do you expect? She's got a whole family to support, poor thing.

Posted by: hlchappell | May 6, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone else find it ironic that the designer thought of "exotic endangered birds" as a theme and then went and killed however many birds to create the costume?

Posted by: mwalkerg | May 6, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

On its own this video isn't actually all that bad (putting aside the "what kind of role model is MC given her legions of little girl fans?" question). But -- it leaves me with some questions -

1) What kind of singer is she? Is she now Lady Ga-Ga/Britney/XTina or is she the Shania Twain/Country-leaning pop-tart she shows in the "Party in the USA?" I don't really think those two co-exist very well and she needs to decide which way she's going.

2) Her voice is REALLY highly digitized in this video, which helps - since I think her voice has a terrible tone - but she's sure not gonna' sound like that in concert. She might be better off going with the country thing where she can work with the way her voice sounds.

3) Is there any possiblity she'll realize that she isn't all that talented and that she'd be better off leveraging her experience as a producer, or in some other "Behind the camera" role?

Posted by: DCLocal20 | May 6, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Interesting comment above that Disney would later "regret" its development of Miley. My thought is that this is all part of the overall plan of Viacom. She was assigned to Disney to develop a following among younger demographics. She is older now, and has been passed along to the MTV end of the spectrum, with the full corporate expectation that the fan base (aging up as well) will follow along.

Posted by: AFanof47 | May 6, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Harumph! So much for Hannah Montana!

Posted by: ctenwith | May 6, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

She needs to be good looking before comparing her to Spears and Aguilera...

Posted by: dcdoug | May 6, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

How about "None of the above"?

It's not the worst thing I've sen, not the best, merely par for the course, a product of the music video marketing machine using sex to sell.

It's not realistic or wise to try to push 17 year olds back into the preteen/asexual box. I'd think it would tend to make them act out. I am leary of commercializing adolescent sexuality, however, while they are still working through defining their identity. Given the precedents of teenage female pop stars and celebrities, I don't think this goes over the edge. Her family is well aware of the marketing machinery.

Posted by: j3hess | May 6, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Barbarella revisited

Posted by: captains2012 | May 6, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Barbarella revisited

Posted by: captains2012 | May 6, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

To LNER4472 - I've never been invited to a backstage knitting party by Taylor Swift.

Posted by: kbockl | May 6, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Barbarella revisited

Posted by: captains2012 | May 6, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Agreed, and I so wish Miley Cyrus would be met with the indifference she deserves.

Too much, too young can pretty much sum up her, or any pop tart's, life. I'm guessing it won't be long before she goes down the path of Britney Spears with a couple of kids and a couple of failed marriages behind her by her mid-20s.

Posted by: Californian11 | May 6, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Not exactly subtle in terms of the concept, but for what it is, it's quite good. A flawless, by the numbers performance from all involved. Yet she seems to hate the song, which makes it kind of funny.

For people worried about her artistic integrity... whatever. She's a kid. Whatever you think that is, you're just projecting it on to her. As long as she keeps nailing takes like these, she'll get to do whatever she wants, musically, creatively, or otherwise, when the time comes. So good for her.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | May 6, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Contrived & derivative...but then, that describes just about all pop. If Madonna became an icon with no talent other than that for self-promotion, Cyrus' chances of a sustainable career are pretty good.

The class of pop divas remains:
Beyonce - She can actually sing, dance and handle her stage presence like a pro.
Lady GaGa - She WRITES those songs w/ the tribal beats & big throbbing choruses. I find her stage act edgy/high camp; more in common w/ Alice Cooper's early stuff than w/ cheesy "Blond Ambition".

Posted by: nonsensical2001 | May 6, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

I don't really understand why young stars think that becoming overtly sexual is synonymous with "growing up" or becoming an adult. If they are really talented anyway, why do they feel the need to draw attention to their sexuality?

Posted by: Liggybee | May 6, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Well, I guess I have to say that the editing is what made the video seem more inappropriate than it was. I see a young, very immature girl acting. I think the song does her a disservice because it seems like a take off from someone else BUT she is only 15 years old. She will be 16 on November 30th. I am just sad she has to work so hard and still has very little money. Very little say in her life, as well. She knows how I feel. I will say it again. Drew, I know that you were called Drew for a little while until they named you something else. Your mother has no right to call you her daughter and whatever your name is Groupie Cyrus THE GOOD LORD WILL DEAL WITH YOU AS THE SPIRITS HAVE DEALT WITH EVERYONE ELSE. IN THE END I WILL HAVE MY SAY ABOUT THE TWIN DAUGHTER YOU STOLE FROM ME. I remember when I first met you lady in Kurtz's offices. You were with some driver or body guard You're a shallow lady YOU DIDNT JUST STEAL HER FROM ME You stole Allison from her twin brother and as a result you have extroverted one twin and introverted the other. You stole from a child not just a mother. Miley loves you because she knows no other mother. But, someday Jesus Christ will prove that you were a theif and you coveted someone else's flesh and blood. If AOL existed right now and I could post my son's photograph---- MEDIA WOULD HELP ME GET A STRAND OF HAIR FROM MILEY AND ONE FROM MY SON AND ONE FROM ME AND YOU COULD NEVER KEEP LYING LADY NEVER

Posted by: charityfortune | May 6, 2010 7:05 PM | Report abuse

This sexualization of young women has been going on for the past several years. Whaddayagonnado? Glad my daughter is grown. I can't imagine having a tween or teenager now.

Posted by: jlessl | May 7, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

I mean hello people this is miley cyrus, the hannah montana star that started doing her hit disney channel show in 2006, and she was a kind and sweet 13 year old then, and now you're making her do all this sex stuff, and in the music video she is half naked, and she rubbing on a guy, like she likes it, and she almosted kissed a girl on the lips, and it just nasting, and next thing yo'll know she will be having sex with a guy and rubbing on him, and kissing him on his butt, just to tell you can you please get her to do that with a guy in a movie in a bed.

Lisa Grzybowski,

Posted by: miequeez | May 10, 2010 8:23 PM | Report abuse

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