Miley stands up for people, animals and is proud to do it, just in her own, sometimes weird, ways.
This month Paper Mag stirred up a usual mix of wacky-weird and intriguing, picking the ever quizzical wild child Miley Cyrus. I'll admit my first read of this article was not a read at all, it was more of a eyes to iPhone experience, zooming in on what we have come to know as the #FreeTheNipple agenda. Out of context this spread is part 1980s horror dream mixed with a Grace Jones inspired aura, and yes, a lot of nudity (Oh sorry, this may be NSFW). But what we failed to make the connection in just viewing these pictures was suddenly illuminated in Miley's interview.
Paper Mag reporter Amanda Petrusich's interview is less of a conversation and more a thought process of figuring out who Miley Cyrus is and what her agenda is. In the first few moments of this phone conversation, Miley alludes to the fact that she has been a vegan for year, a lifestyle choice she made for animal rights, not dietary motivations. She states it in a matter of fact way, then jumps to chatting about her position as an influencer and the responsibility she feels in using her force for good.
I will acknowledge that Miley is not the first or second name you come up with when thinking of celebrities doing good - and there is a reason for that. She doesn't look like what we imagine philanthropists to appear as and she doesn't want to. She wants to be young, provocative and push buttons because what is the difference. Like all great artists, she feels the responsibility to change the conversation, and finds her body is an effective way of doing that.
After the release of Bangerz, her breakout album from Disney Princess to Downtown Diva, Miley was applauded by the industry and America for what was one of the most radical transformations to date. Cyrus says she saw an opportunity in that moment to leverage her attention and her first target was people being outcast because of their sexuality. Cyrus, who doesn't identify within the sexual orientation binary of hetero- or homosexual understands the struggles of coming to terms with one's identity and then being comfortable to express that. While gender and sexuality are different things, the reality is that most people, when they reveal who they 'really' are in either of those categories, don't break records like Caitlyn Jenner. Instead they are ostracized from their communities. This fact alone is why homelessness amongst LGBT youth is so high - and something Cyrus thinks we are addressing too little, too late.
This prompted the establishment of The Happy Hippy Foundation, a organization designed to raise funds and awareness for homeless and LGBT youth. By taking action, Cyrus hopes to change their life courses for the better and build a more accepting society. Her continued activism on this front and her new album are sure to raise eyebrows.
Moral of the Story: Influencers who push buttons, start conversations and change the discourse. Consciousness is not just about the environment, it is about respecting people, all people.
To Learn more about The Happy Hippy Foundation, click here.