Media treatment of Miley Cyrus perpetuates slut-shaming

The media’s critical treatment of Cyrus leads to toxic attitudes towards women

By Alyssa Anderson

Ever since the young age of 15, Miley Cyrus has been labeled a “slut” by the media.

The media’s attack on Cyrus began in 2007, according to Cosmopolitan.com, when photos surfaced of her almost kissing a female friend.

All because of an innocent photo posted to her personal Myspace account, an underage Cyrus  received a ludicrous amount of hate.

Click here for Cyrus’ slut-shaming history

This was the first step to Cyrus becoming the media’s very own punching bag.

Although Cyrus is now 22 years old, the media has continued to criticize her “inappropriate behavior.” Every magazine from People to Us Weekly has taken it upon itself  to criticize every aspect of Cyrus’ life, from her hairstyle, the way she dances to her clothing.

Cyrus’ treatment from the media is not unique: the media has a history of criticizing women, especially women who openly express the fact that they are sexual beings,  evidence of which can be found in this  article from Betches.com

Slut-shaming, the modern equivalent to the scarlet letter, not only makes women feel ashamed, but can also have dire consequences. A Huffington Post article explained several instances where rape victims were not helped; their peers simply called them “sluts” who were “asking for it”.

miley-cyrus-bogue-magazine

Satirical magazine cover criticizes Cyrus’ 2013 VMA performance

An article from the Washington Post by columnist Clinton Yates discusses how the media’s harsh criticism of Cyrus’ 2013 VMA performance exploited the issue of slut-shaming. Yates explains that many Americans are still hung up on slut-shaming after her performance was labeled “lewd, grotesque and shameful.”

“It seems that we still can’t handle what it’s like for a young woman to be able to perform, as she chooses, without layering in a heavy helping of insults as well,” Yates wrote.

Women experience a double-standard when it comes to sexual expression. “Slut-shaming tells women who want sex they are sleazy, dirty and bad,” explains an article on SheWired.com

The media’s critical attitude towards Miley Cyrus has created a toxic environment for all women, making them feel trapped and afraid to express themselves, their bodies and especially their sexuality.

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