Let’s face it: Miley Cyrus is everywhere. It doesn’t matter where you turn, someone will be talking about her, tweeting about her, or listening to one of her new songs (which are pretty good, by the way). In fact, my cousin, who by no means is someone who follows pop culture, just texted me saying that he doesn’t want to admit it, but he thinks Miley is doing something right. From a PR point of view, Miley is definitely doing something right.
Her fame has increased exponentially in the past few months. First she cut her hair. Months passed. Then in March, speculation about the status of her engagement with Liam Hemsworth began. But Miley kept saying that they were together, whether or not she was wearing her ring. And this made me wonder- denial or strategy? This summer she released “We Can’t Stop” and everyone was slightly confused by her outlandish behavior, but still intrigued by her new image. She definitely received press coverage, but there wasn’t public outcry… Until the VMA’s.
Obviously her performance was shocking, and the press had a field day. To the untrained eye, Miley was losing her mind. I mean, did you see the buns on top of her head? But then, on the momentum of the VMAs performance, she released “Wrecking Ball.” Within 24 hours it was the number one song on iTunes and the video had over 19.3 million views on Youtube, shattering One Direction’s record by 7 million hits. She kept the energy going by leaking a risqué photo shoot, rapping in Mike Will Made It’s “23,” and continuing to twerk as often as possible.
But if you think about it, her strategy is brilliant. Anyone who is in between 18 and 25 can most likely identify with her antics in the “We Can’t Stop” video, and therefore, we can’t really judge her. And anyone who is younger than 18 will probably be banned by his or her parents from anything Miley, which will only make them want her more.
Now, after all of the publicity she received for her scantily clad performances, constantly sticking her tongue out, and her inability to wear clothes (seriously though Miley, you can still look hot in pants), she released the news that her yearlong engagement to Liam Hemsworth had ended. Shocking. Anyone with basic intuition could tell that they had not been together for months, but I know Miley wanted to save the news and release it at a time that would benefit her most. And what do you know; the breakup news came out a week before her album dropped. Coincidence? Definitely not. This was strategy at its finest. Even though she said she didn’t want her breakup to “distract people from her album” (code for “hey everyone go buy my album”).
Miley used controversy to her advantage. Whether you love her or hate her, you are still talking about her, buying her album, and reading the gossip. Last week, her album “Bangerz” was number one on billboard’s top 200, she was on the cover of Rolling Stone, and she hosted Saturday Night Live. If one thing is for sure, this “strategic hot mess” definitely knows what she is doing.
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