When I heard that Miley Cyrus was hosting “Saturday Night Live” last weekend, I was skeptical about how the night would progress in terms of her performance. I was one of the many frustrated by the over-analysis of her performance at the VMAs. I was just as shocked and confused as many other viewers, but felt that Miley’s “twerking” did not need so much publicity. I tried to ignore talking about her haircut a few months ago because it honestly had nothing to do with me or how I lived my life. And although I have tried to avoid it, here I am talking about Miley Cyrus this weekend because “Saturday Night Live” made me realize a few new things about the celebrity.
One of the reasons why I still love SNL is because they tackle controversial issues through comedy. During the presidential elections, each candidate for presidency almost always makes an appearance, and whatever criticism they face is poked fun at to an extent. Miley experienced the same thing by addressing her “Hannah Montana” past self as one of the first skits. In this skit, the “old” Miley tries to warn the “new” Miley about her performance on the VMA and whatnot. In Miley’s opening monologue, she jokingly said “We’re not doing anything on Hannah Montana tonight but I can give you an update on what happened to her; she was murdered.” This got a decent chuckle from the audience, because it was to an extent the big elephant in the room. A lot of Miley’s criticism has revolved around the fact that she was promoted as a good role model for girls through “Hannah Montana” and it is concerning for many parents to see how she has changed so much. SNL tackled this topic in one of the first skits of the night.
Although current many of Miley Cyrus’ songs are confusing and unnecessarily provocative, I understand that she is trying to tell people that she is not a kid anymore. Her performances bring up the question if we would be so invested in the growth of Miley Cyrus had she always performed this way and we did not first associate her with Hannah Montana. After all, there are many other performers who overdo sexuality and youthful revolution against society. Because of this, it’s almost a catch 22. Society is questioning her evolution from Hannah Montana, which is resulting in her feeling the need to prove that she’s different now. But would she need to prove herself if she didn’t face so much criticism? This is exemplified in these controversial performances. And while I understand what she is trying to do in these songs, I personally find her performances unnecessary most of the time. This is why her performance on SNL stood out to me so much.
In using comedy and working with the other talented performers on the show, she actually communicated her message a lot better to me than she has done with any of her songs or live performances. SNL pokes fun at Miley Cyrus whenever they get the chance to, but SNL has always given audiences a chance to see every perspective. Because Miley was committed to the comedy in each skit instead of trying to show her rebellion, she got a lot of laughs, which resulted in a relatively successful performance.
Of course, there is so much else that could be talked about with Miley, but in just looking at her work and how she wants media to perceive her, I felt that she respectfully voiced her message on SNL in a much more successful way than she has through her otherwise controversial performances.