the one about thanking miley cyrus

Dear Miley Cyrus,

How are you feeling this morning? Do you have a headache from your performance last night, or is it just the rest of us who got to witness your artistry? How's the foam finger? I'm going to guess that it, like the rest of us, is still quite traumatized.

Many moms, bloggers, websites, critics, etc, are bashing you today for the spectacle you put on for last night's VMA's. I'm not going to do that. I'm actually going to thank you.

I'm a teacher, and in my classroom, I always show a good example and a bad example of the way I want my students to behave. The examples of poor behavior are usually the ones that stick in my students' minds, and we refer back to them throughout the year. We always talk about why that behavior was not a good example and what we can do differently.

I am also a mother, and as my daughters get older, I find myself using poor behavior examples as a way to teach them, too. When my daughter witnesses a child not sharing her toys, I use it as a way to discuss how she would handle that situation in her own life. When we see a child throwing a fit in a store, we talk about how that is not an appropriate way to act. When she acts poorly, we talk about what we could do differently next time. You see, I am not raising children. I am raising adults. Moreover, I am raising women, and last night's exhibition (for lack of a better word) has given me teachable moments for years to come.

Thanks to YouTube, I'm certain I will still be able to access last night's exhibition when my daughter is old enough to view it (though I'm not sure, at 29 years old, that I was old enough to see that).

When she's ready for her first school dance, and she's worried about what to wear, I will show her that a sequined leotard with a demonic teddy bear applique is not only unflattering but reminiscent of what some kids in her toddler gymnastics class used to wear (all of their undies used to splooge out of the sides, too). I will remind her that gentlemen aren't really into dating girls who are 16 trapped in a 3 year old's onesie.

When she's unsure about dancing and having cool "moves," I will prove to her that bending over, straight-legged, and having a butt seizure only invites large-bootied women wearing overgrown stuffed teddy bear backpacks to come and spank them. I'm sure I will still be having nightmares about that.

When she's feeling pressure to be sexy and suggestive (because all of the "cool kids" are), I will show her that crotch grabbing on anyone other than Michael Jackson (RIP) is just an emergency camel toe adjustment, and anyone who tries to tell you otherwise is just a liar.

When she's wanting attention from boys, I will let her know that the way to get it is not by using a foam finger as a loofa. The only attention you will gain by doing that will be from married men dressed as Beetlejuice, and, truly, ain't nobody got time for that.

I'm sure, if I could uncover my eyes long enough, I could find even more teachable moments from last night's episode (another fitting description), but I'm not ready to look any further at this point.

I don't blame you, Miley, and I won't blame you, if my daughters make some of your mistakes. I know that I am the one who is responsible for their upbringing, their morals, their education, their self-concepts, their everything. I wouldn't dare entrust that responsibility to you or anyone else.

I pray that I can be my daughters' examples of good in this world. That I can show them that intelligence, and wit, and strength, will attract the right friends and the right men. That I can show them that you don't have to be the best dancer to have fun at a party, and that everyone likes a good Macarena. That I can show them that sexy is having legit football knowledge in a group of guys or being confident in the body that has birthed a child or two or three. That I can show them that approval from a man is completely unnecessary unless it's your husband, and the fact that he married you is approval enough.

No one is perfect, especially even you, Miley, and our opinions of you really don't matter. Part of female empowerment is doing whatever you want to do, but if that, to you, means hanging your tongue out of your mouth like a dog in a hot car, it seems Gene Simmons already trademarked that.

So, thank you, Miley. Thank you for all the lessons I can teach my girls from your example last night. Thank you for making the mistakes so they hopefully don't have to.

And thank you for at least having underwear on, even if they did splooge out of your leotard.


The Mama

For anyone who is 1) not at work and 2) not around small children and would like to watch Miley's teachable moments from last night's VMAs, click here...with caution.

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