Last week word hit the streets that Miley Cyrus, daughter of Billy Ray Cyrus, pop star/twerker extraordinaire was on her way to becoming TIME Magazine’s Person of the Year in the reader polls. As in, the definitive human being of 2013. Now on the one hand, you could argue that Miley Cyrus deserves this moment. With her music videos and live performances she’s sparked conversations about racial and cultural appropriation (and misappropriation), feminism (or lack thereof) in pop culture, and she even put Sinead O’Connor back on the map for a moment. So maybe she is the person of the year. But deep down, when we look at the other nominees for TIME’s list, we know there’s something wrong with that. So here are a few ways we can save our culture and make the world a better place, should Miley Cyrus actually become the Person of the Year.
Read Malala Yousafzai’s Book
Miley Cyrus being named Person of the Year is only disturbing in that it highlights the people she beat out. One of those people is Malala Yousafzai, the teenage girl who was targeted by the Taliban for speaking out for the rights of young girls in Pakistan. She survived critical gunshot wounds to the head and continues to speak out as a feminist, though her life is still in danger. She recently got a book deal, and we should all probably read it, whether Miley Cyrus wins Person of the Year or not.
P.S. There's still time to vote for Malala HERE.
Read Any Book, Probably
If Miley wins, it will be proof that we really are living in a time where people just aren't reading enough. If we value the Twerk Queen over some of the other folks on that list, we probably need to read up on those people. Or read anything. Seriously, there are many great books. The Old Man and the Sea, Beloved, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. There are many, many other great books out there. Let's take a step away from Twitter (just for a minute!) and grab a good ol' fashioned book.
Make Sure Any Child You Meet Who Knows The Name ‘Miley Cyrus’ Also Knows The Name ‘Malala Yousafzai’
Mileys Cyrus is the name on everyone's lips right now. Fine, whatever. But you can do your part to make the world a better place by making sure that any child (or adult, for that matter) who mentions or invokes the name of Miley also gets a little lesson in current, twerk-free events. Malala Yousafzai could serve as an especially good lesson.
Donate To Any Scholarship Fund That Isn’t Juicy J’s Scholarship Fund For Twerking
Because nobody out here should be supporting Juicy J's scholarship for twerking. Nobody. Oh, and because there are so many other worthy causes. Angelina Jolie, for example, recently donated a hefty sum to the Malala Fund. Not a bad idea.
Create Your Own Non-Twerking Fund
There are a million ways (big and small) to give back and make the world a better place. Why not use this Miley Cyrus Person of the Year situation to get inspired and make a change? Seriously guys. We can't just let this happen and do nothing.
Superproducer Pharrell Williams has come to the defence of his pal Miley Cyrus, insisting he's not worried about her new provocative image. The Get Lucky hitmaker became close to the singer when he collaborated with her on the star's new album Bangerz.
And amid the criticism Cyrus has garnered for her headline-grabbing public appearances in recent months, Williams is quick to stand up for the one-time Disney star.
He tells Complex magazine, "I'm not worried about Miley. I've seen her soul in action. I know her voice, her voice is crazy. I keep saying it to everybody: You gotta remember, she's 21 years old and enjoying her life. She's enjoying her freedom."
"When you see her, when you read her words and you listen to her musical choices, and you look at what she's wearing - I'm not talking about when she goes on stage, I'm talking about her everyday dressing - she shuts it the f**k down.
"Now, when she goes on stage, she's expressing something else... She's expressing where she is in her life and her freedom. So while everybody else is being judgemental, they're not taking into account that she's been basically locked behind a camera all her life.
"And by the way, for good reason. All them years with Disney, and all them years with Billy Ray Cyrus as her dad and Dolly Parton as her godmother, did some good on that voice. But, you know, people are just watching her evolution of a young mind, but an old soul."
Miley Cyrus' father has treated the pop superstar to a customised new set of wheels to mark her 21st birthday. Country veteran Billy Ray Cyrus reportedly handed the Wrecking Ball hitmaker the keys to a 2014 Can Am Spyder three-wheeled motorcycle, complete with her initials emblazoned across the front of the white bodywork.
A photo of the $24,000 (£16,000) vehicle, which was gifted to the birthday girl complete with a big gold bow, has been obtained by TMZ.com.
Meanwhile, Cyrus' birthday on Saturday (23Nov13) was made extra special thanks to a video compilation from her fans, who came together to send her their best wishes for her big day. The YouTube.com footage featured messages from devotees around the world and the singer/actress expressed her gratitude for the tribute on Sunday (24Nov13) by sharing the link on her Twitter.com page, writing, "My fans are the (bomb) I repeat. The (bomb)."
Cyrus spent Saturday perfecting her performance for the American Music Awards, which take place in Los Angeles on Sunday, but she managed to find some time to mark the occasion with friends and relatives, who presented her with a multi-coloured five-layer cake she labelled "the gayest birthday cake ever" on Twitter.
She is reportedly set to let loose after the AMAs by hosting a private bash at the residence of party king Jeff Beacher, the man behind one of the star's favourite Hollywood hang-outs, Beacher's Madhouse.
British pop star Robbie Williams fears Miley Cyrus is heading for a meltdown after enduring months of intense pressure as her career hit a high. The Angels hitmaker - who battled addiction issues after becoming a huge star as a member of British boyband Take That - admits he is concerned Cyrus will falter due to the public scrutiny she has suffered in recent months.
He says, "Miley's got the world talking and looking at her. And the spotlight that's now upon her is rehab-making. It has a detrimental effect on your psyche. I've had a similar light shine on my direction and it f**ks you up - for a long time.
"She's just a kid. She's a kid who looks as though she's rebelling against her father (Billy Ray Cyrus) and rebelling against the industry that put her in a Hannah Montana-shaped box."
Williams' comments come days after the former Hannah Montana star courted controversy once again at Sunday's (10Nov13) MTV European Music Awards in Amsterdam, Holland by smoking what appeared to be a marijuana joint as she collected a trophy on stage.
The 20 year old scored a big hit with her latest album, Bangerz, but has been a regular in the headlines for her saucy dance routines and provocative costumes..
Pop star Nick Jonas has reached out to fans online to assure them he is safe after landing at the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) terminal where a shooting broke out on Friday (01Nov13). A gunman opened fire on a Transport Security Administration (TSA) official at a Terminal 3 checkpoint at around 9.30am local time, prompting police to evacuate the building and its surrounding areas.
Authorities claim the suspect, who has since been identified as 23-year-old Paul Anthony Ciancia, used a rifle to kill one employee before engaging in a shoot out with airport cops, injuring at least seven others.
Earlier, unconfirmed reports suggested Ciancia had been killed, while sources now tell the Los Angeles Times that he is in custody and in critical condition.
All flights in and out of LAX were grounded as a result, and actor James Franco took to his Twitter.com page to reveal that his plane was among those affected.
Now Jonas has told fans of his experiences on Twitter after arriving at the LAX terminal which has been temporarily shut down.
He tweeted, "Landed at LAX... to the news that there was a shooting in the terminal my plane was supposed to deplane at... Currently waiting on the plane in a remote parking area. I am safe. Praying for the victims of this shooting."
Meanwhile, Glee star Mark Salling has been forced to scrap plans to spend the weekend (01-03Nov13) in Dallas, Texas after his flight out of Los Angeles was axed.
He writes on Twitter, "Otw (on the way) to lax and I hear there was a shooting at the terminal I'm going to. No Dallas for me this weekend, hope everyone is ok. I hate u (sic) LAX".
A host of celebrities, including Salling's Glee co-star Amber Riley, Alyssa Milano, Kelly Osbourne and Josh Groban, have expressed their shock and horror online, while Billy Ray Cyrus tweets, "Thoughts and prayers for all the victims and those affected by the shooting at LAX today."
"Everyone is all over me now like I'm supposed to answer for Miley. I admire her, I respect her, she's smart, and she's so talented. And Billy Ray and me will never say nothing bad about Miley 'cause Miley obviously knew what she was doing. She knew she had to go to drastic measures to let people just leave her alone 'cause nobody was going to let her grow up... I'm not saying nothing bad about Miley." Dolly Parton insists she won't be publicly criticising her goddaughter Miley Cyrus, no matter what she does to drum up publicity.
Singer Billy Ray Cyrus has risked the wrath of California authorities by allowing his underage daughter Noah to drive his car. Miley Cyrus' 13-year-old sister was photographed behind the wheel of a Fiat 500 on Thursday (24Oct13) with her dad Billy Ray sitting next to her in the passenger seat.
According to TMZ.com, the Achy Breaky Heart hitmaker let Noah drive him around on a quiet street in their neighbourhood in Toluca Lake.
In California, drivers must be at least 15-and-a-half to obtain a learner's permit.
Billy Ray Cyrus teamed up with Limp Bizkit star Fred Durst for an unlikely duet on U.S. TV on Thursday night (03Oct13). Durst joined the country star for a rendition of his song Lately on The Arsenio Hall Show.
Johnny Cash once sent a supportive letter to Billy Ray Cyrus, insisting the Achy Breaky Heart hitmaker was the next Elvis Presley. The country singer became a break-out star in 1992 with the song, which quickly became one of the most-hated sing-along tunes ever - but he knew he could always count on Cash to back him up.
And in an interview with Queen Latifah on her new chat show, he reveals that just months after the song was released, the music legend took note of Cyrus' success, and personally extended him a warm welcome to the country music community.
Cyrus explains, "In June of 1992, he wrote a handwritten letter that basically said it was good to be reminded where all good things come from - from almighty God above. And he said that I reminded him of his buddy Elvis Presley.
The letter read: "36 years ago, I was working with Elvis and saw him take the same kind of flak you're taking now. Congratulations on the way you're handling it all. In your case, as in Elvis', the good outweighs the bad. Let 'em have it. I'm in your corner."
Cyrus continued, "It was a great source of strength at the time and I always loved Johnny Cash. To this day, I'm his number one fan."
Billy Ray Cyrus is continuing to defend his daughter Miley from all the criticism she has been receiving of late, insisting he admires her creativity and intelligence. From the 20-year-old singer's racy routine with Robin Thicke at the MTV Video Music Awards to the video for her new song Wrecking Ball, in which she rides a metal ball while nude, Miley's antics have made headlines around the world, but she still can't do anything wrong in her dad's eyes .
On Tuesday (01Oct13), Billy Ray discussed Miley's upbringing with U.S. chat show host Queen Latifah, explaining that she grew up in a home where popular country artists like Waylon Jennings and Lynyrd Skynyrd guitar player Ed King would teach her their songs, instilling both a love of music and creativity in her at a young age.
So when asked if he found it tough to hear all the negative comments about his daughter, who is clearly heading in a different direction than most expected her to go in, Billy Ray replied, "It's like everything - there's an opposite and equal reaction. For everything that's good, there's gotta be a flip side to that.
"Miley's a really smart young lady. She's a very creative artist. That intangible of reinvention. That's the thing (Miley's godmother) Dolly (Parton) is so good at. You make your music and you do your art, and there's a time you have to figure it out yourself. You can't really count on somebody else to give you that lesson."