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Linda Mintle, Ph.D. is a licensed marriage and family therapist, author of 16 books, a national expert on family issues and the psychology of food and weight. She's an assistant professor in the department of pediatrics at Eastern Virginia Medical School, a national speaker, writer, and news contributor.

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The Rite of Passage and Indecency

Social media outlets have been ablaze with buzz about the gross and shocking “performance” of Miley Cyrus on MTV’s Video Music Awards.  I watched and was deeply saddened. 

While Miley bopped around the stage like a porn star, others were also pushing the envelope of decency.
Lady Gaga’s talent was lost on her clam shell thong outfit.  Awkward.  The male presenters did not comment on her creativity or her amazing vocal chops, but on her body.

Former Disney star Selena Gomez wore a dress with one side of her top practically see-through – pushing the envelope in what seemed to be an attempt to say, “Hey, I am all grown up!”

Miley seems to have gotten the memo.  In order to be taken seriously as an adult star, you have to shed the clothes and feature your body, not your talent. Miley blurred the lines of “decency.”

While she is getting all the negativity, one must ask, where did she learn to do this?  From her predecessors and peers who push their fame by selling “sex”, despite their talent.

Beyonce doesn’t have to gyrate on stage to showcase her talent.  But she does.  Jennifer Lopez seemingly felt compelled to sex it up during her performance on American Idol, a moment when I’d expect some parents were scrambling to cover the eyes of their young children.

Not to mention Queen Bee Madonna.  It’s a pattern that Miley had to notice.

It’s no secret that the transition from being a child star to a talent amongst adult peers is a hard one to make.  I know stars want to grow out of their teen idol status, but do they really have to take off their clothes or act lewd to do that?  It seems to be the Hollywood way.  To be taken seriously, to become a mature adult, become a sex object.

So, what does this all mean for you and your kids or grandkids?  Essentially, we, as parents, need to have a conversation with our children about what it means to be adult, to be mature. 

The rite of passage into adulthood should not include you having to turn yourself into a sex object. 

Women, especially, are being sold a lie.  This is not the way to showcase talent or become a woman.  This showcase undermines real talent and that was the tragedy of the VMAs.  Real talent was lost amongst the indecency.

Pray for Miley Cyrus, your kids and the generation growing up today.  Pray that they will see the value of decency and fully realize their self-worth. 

The root here is insecurity and lack of a true identity.  The corrective factor?  A relationship with Christ.  I believe God has the best for His kids, all of us.  The best part is that we don’t have to prove anything in order to be accepted and adored. 

Print      Email to a Friend    posted on Friday, September 06, 2013 5:10 PM

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