Girls React To Miley Cyrus’s Evolution

Miley Cyrus, the Disney darling of Hannah Montana fame, has been stunning her mostly young, mostly female fans over the past few years with her un-Disney girl behavior:  from a puzzling Vanity Fair shoot to lapdancing with a 40 year old man.


According to the New York Times, fans of Miley are started to get a little fed up with her behavior, and are beginning to move on.


Ms. Cyrus’s appeal among those age 13 to 17 has dropped, too, according to E-Poll Market Research, a brand and celebrity research firm. Of those surveyed online recently, only 24 percent said they liked or liked her a lot, compared with 45 percent in 2008. Those who track preteens are noticing the shift. Tina Wells, a market research executive who consults with Fortune 500 companies, said Ms. Cyrus ranked No. 7 in April on its list of celebrities considered cool by children 8 to 12 years old. Two years ago she was No. 1.



Recently, we asked the girls of New Moon, a magazine and website dedicated to and created by young girls to build self-esteem and health body image, to tell us what they thought about the evolution of Miley Cyrus.  And these girls had a lot to say.


Jen – 11 – New Jersey


1. What did you like most about the character of Hannah Montana?

I liked Hannah because Miley did a great job at making the plot lines seem realistic and portraying her character well.  When she did this right, the show was fun to watch.


2. In what ways did you feel she was “like you?”

Sometimes the shows would be about her doing something in her Hannah Montana persona, in which case I couldn’t really relate.  However, I could relate to Miley and her boy troubles, friendship problems, and all that preteen/teen-ish stuff.  I figure the things that happened in the show were similar to whatever happened in her life, so it felt like real advice.  When I watched the show, she was also closer to my age because she was so much younger.


3. How do you feel about Miley acting more “grown up?”

I think some of the choices Miley has made have been not the greatest ones, and that is not something that made me have more respect for her.  I think Miley is shooting for a new audience, and some of Miley’s new music and movies are ones I enjoy more than the old Hannah Montana things.  I outgrew Hannah, but I think “the new Miley” is more appropriate for older audiences.  However, because of her past, many much younger girls still look up to her and may even try to be like her, so I think Miley should be more responsible.


4. Do you feel like you have anything in common with her now?

I think that because Miley is still a teen, I can relate to her.  I am a preteen, though, and since she is so much older, it’s hard to relate to her.


5. Is Miley someone you would to be like?

No, not really.


6. Why or why not?

Miley has made some bad choices, and that dimmed my respect for her.  She’s had a Twitter dispute and posted those bad photos.  If I was ever going to be a role model for little kids, or under the watchful eye of parents for teens and preteens and little girls, I wouldn’t want to be like that.



Esme – 12 – Oregon


1. what did you like most about the character of Hannah Montana? Not being a viewer of her show, and not being someone who is a fan, I can not say what I like about her.
I can, however say that from what I have seen and heard I feel a strong dislike of the kind of role-model she is for girls.

2. In what ways did you feel she was “like you”? Again, I do not know much about her, but I can say that from what I do know, I feel she is nothing like me.
I am very different then her, and feel no connection to her.

3. How do you feel about Miley acting more “grown up?” I do not know what this question means exactly, but depending on what she is doing, she might be sending girls bad ideas, then again, she is getting older.

4. Do you feel like you have anything in common with Miley now? As I have said, I feel nothing in common with her.

5. Is Miley someone you would like to be like? No, I am happy as who I am.

6. Why or why not? I am a earth loving, girl power loving, Sigourney weaver loving, animal  loving, tree lover, violinist, and happy to stay that way thank you very much, being like Miley would stink for me.




Kati – 12 – Connecticut


What did you like most about the character of Hannah Montana?

I liked how she always faced normal troubles that we all have- school troubles, friendship troubles, boy troubles- many problems that all girls have to face. It’s great knowing that even a celebrity can have these issues, too.


In what ways did you feel she was “like you?”

The way she has strong relationships around her (her Dad, brother, friends, ect.) make her a lot like me and a more believable character.


How do you feel about Miley acting more “grown up?”

I think it’s fine, but sometimes she goes too overboard. On her new CD cover, half her stomach is exposed. She may be growing up too fast.


Do you feel like you have anything in common with Miley now?

Not really.


Is Miley someone you would like to be like?



Why or why not?  I want to be me, not a celebrity who’s changed because of pressure and the media.



Molly – 12 – Colorado


What did you like most about the character of Hannah Montana?

I feel like she was usually positive and seemed to be pretty confident, although sometimes she seemed kind of shallow.

In what ways did you feel she was “like you?”

I couldn’t ever really connect with her, but I think lots of girls feel close to that character because she faces lots of the same problems as we do, and sometimes even handles them similarly.

How do you feel about Miley acting more “grown up?”

Do you mean sort of pretending she was older than she was? This, of all things, drove me the most crazy. I very strongly believe that girls should embrace their child- and teenage-hood, and she Miley never seems to do that at all.

Do you feel like you have anything in common with Miley now?

Very little. I sometimes feel like we come from different species. Maybe that’s the age or lifestyle difference, but I haven’t ever felt similar to her.

Is Miley someone you would like to be like? Why or why not?  No, she is not. Many girls I know aspire to be like her, and there are some things I admire about her, like her confidence, as I stated in question 1. I’ve never felt that way, though. There is a lot of media pressure these days for girls to be like someone other than who they are, between the superskinny models, makeup advertisements, and child stars, but in my opinion, the most important thing for all girls to hold onto as they grow into teens and adults is who they really are.



Gwen – 13 – Arizona


What did you like most about the character of Hannah Montana?

I liked how she wasn’t exactly one of the popular girls (I didn’t ever see an episode with her in school, but from the episode where Lily becomes one of the popular girls, I’m guessing she isn’t one). Not all girls are popular girls, and  I liked that she wasn’t one, because it shows how Hannah has two different perspectives (Hannah being one of the odd-ones-out, and then her being famous), and sometimes even showed the pros and cons of being popular.

In what ways did you feel she was “like you”?

I’m not one of the popular girls at my school, and I liked that about Hannah. She also has a tough kind of character, like when she fights (in a sibling way) with her brother, as I sometimes :| do. Hannah is tomboy, as I take it from the episodes of Hannah Montana that I’ve seen. She can be a girly-girl at times, but I don’t think she’s, all together, very girly.

How do you feel about Miley acting more “grown up?”


As I’m not a fan of her music, I haven’t heard any of her songs that are supposedly more mature or grown up. However, I’ve heard from other people that her songs are more about love and breaking up and dating with guys. I think that she’s going a little fast going from acting a younger girl character, who many younger aged girls watched, to singing and being a much more mature person.

Do you feel like you have anything in common with Miley now?


Not really. I personally, don’t want to be a singer when I grow up, and I don’t think I would go suddenly from acting on a show to singing music with very mature characteristics.

Is Miley someone you would like to be like?


Once again, not really.

Why or why not?


As previously stated, I don’t want to be a singer. Also, I would not want to be acting in a show from age twelve or thirteen (when she started) to the time I’m seventeen. I just don’t think it would be the most pleasant time, and I wouldn’t have a normal childhood.


Rachel – 11 – Wisconsin

What did you like most about the character of Hannah Montana?
I liked that Miley/Hannah messed up, admitted she messed up, and tried to fix her mistake. With every new episode, she learned something new about herself and always made the right decision in the end.

In what ways did you feel she was “like you”?
I could connect with Miley/Hannah because she was very “real” when she wasn’t on stage. She went through problems every girl goes through- family disputes, friend fights, boys, growing up, and bullies. She wrote songs about things that were important to her; “I Miss You” about her grandpa that had just passed, and “Butterfly Fly Away” about her and her dad. They felt real, inspirational, and I could really relate to her.

How do you feel about Miley acting more “grown up?”
Of course, all of us grow up. But, growing up doesn’t necessarily mean wearing skimpy clothes, and having inappropriate lyrics to her songs. Take Taylor Swift for an example- she’s about the same age as Miley, but you don’t see her flouncing around in super-short skirts, and revealing shirts, do you? And, Taylor Swift still has LOTS of fans!
Changing your style can be good, but I think that Miley has gone from inspirational and sweet to self-centered and foolish. Lyrics in her song “Can’t Be Tamed” seriously undermine girls! She says “Have to get my way 24 hours a day; cause I’m hot like that”, “Every guy, everywhere; Just gives me mad attention; Like I’m under inspection; I always get a ten cause I’m built like that” and  “If you can understand this; we can make magic, I’m on like that”. Her music video for “Can’t Be Tamed” is so terribly inappropriate as well, she is dressed in this skin-tight black swim suit type thing, and the male dancers are shirtless, and all of the girl dancers are wearing very little clothing, I seriously started crying when I saw it.

Do you feel like you have anything in common with Miley now?
No, I feel totally separated from her. I can however, understand WHY she suddenly decided to change. Miley probably saw all the attention people like Lady GaGa are getting, and decided “Well, if I dress like that and have lyrics like that, people will love me even more!” Well, I know that I don’t love her anymore. A lot of my friends are also disgusted by her changes, and we all hope that she starts to see that she has dragged down her popularity with her fans.


Is Miley someone you would like to be like?
I would LOVE to be like the old Miley. She was one of my best role models! However, the current Miley is not someone that I look up to, or would like to be friends with.


Rebecca – 11 – Wales, UK


What did you like most about the character of Hannah Montana?

I liked Hannah Montana because she was always learning from Miley, her friends and her family.


In what ways did you feel she was “like you”?

She kept her identity a secret, like a detective might. No, we aren’t detectives, or Hannah Montana, we still have secrets. Though our secrets may not be as big as Hannah’s we still have them.


How do you feel about Miley acting more “grown up?”

Hannah Montana was a program for tweens and younger really, though you might not exactly put it on Playhouse Disney. But now she is older, she has grown out of Hannah Montana. I know that at least one of my friends will still listen to her music, but may not enjoy it as much. You can tell that Miley is making a brand new version of herself, by the song “Can’t be Tamed”. She has probably a few things on her mind at the moment:

Why nickname myself Miley? Why will everyone still recognize me as Hannah Montana?

These probably aren’t accurate, but even so, she will be thinking a lot of things, including her change.

I don’t really care that she has changed. I listened to her, but didn’t really think a lot of her.


Do you feel like you have anything in common with Miley now?

She used to be wild, crazy. I don’t really know her now, so it’s hard to tell.


Is Miley someone you would like to be like?

No, her life has been too hectic. I think I’ll just stick with my other dreams.


Why or why not?

Being a superstar is hard. Even though you have plenty of fans, there would still be people who would hate you. I don’t know her new personality now. She is a mystery. So for now, no. I don’t want to be like… like a stranger.


Also, some of the girls had a discussion about the lyrics from Miley Cyrus’s latest song, “Can’t Be Tamed. “



Jada – 16 – California


Miley Cyrus is a name we all recognize in the music industry. Her once quiet, southern existence transformed to a celebrity lifestyle including concerts, paparazzi, and movie deals.

Recently Miley has been trying very hard to break away from her Disney image. The now 17-year-old continues to become independent and create her own identity. This includes dressing older, ending her Hannah Montana show, and creating suggestive songs like “Can’t Be Tamed”. The lyrics along with the video have created much controversy.

While I was never a fan of Miley’s music, I clearly remember her early days and rise to fame. 

When Miley first came to Disney she was only 12 years old. I think the network had a fictional character in my mind before casting Miley, and they molded her to fit their theme. Her alter ego Hannah Montana was such a success that eventually her fans saw Miley and Hannah as one person. 

The songs lyrics are definitely not appropriate for Miley’s previous age group, and do not promote the healthiest ideals for young girls.  The teen star has repeatedly claimed she does not wish to be a role model for anyone; however, no matter how hard she tries, the 17-year-old will always be associated with Hannah Montana. She has to remember that while she’s under the public’s eye.

Keeping that in mind, the public needs to be a little more understanding toward Miley. Her behavior is not as wild as portrayed; in fact she acts better than most girls her age. The public cannot label her as a Disney has-been and should let her express herself as a pop artist.


Lena – 12 – Pennsylvania

I think this is an interesting topic. I agree with you that it’s unfair for her to always be seen as Hannah Montana, and it’s not right that she’s can’t grow up and is unable to break out of her Disney role. However, if she was a new pop star just rising to fame and had never had the Hannah Montana association, we would all be thinking that this was an inappropriate song and she shouldn’t be promoting these messages for girls. While I think it’s very sad that the media and the public aren’t giving her any room to grow, I think that inappropriate lyrics are inappropriate lyrics. Even if she’s singing for 17-year-olds, they don’t suddenly change their message into something positive.

I don’t have a problem with her wanting to dress older or end her Hannah Montana show, and these lyrics don’t even really bother me personally — there are sadly tons of inappropriate songs with bad messages out there today. I think you make a good point also, she should be able to change her ‘look’ and identity. But in my opinion just because she should be able to change doesn’t make this song ‘right.’


Sydney – 10 – Texas

BTW, great topic! I like Miley but HATE the song. The lyrics are really inappropriate and say the H word. My sis sings it and even says the H word. It’s really weird.



Shania – 12 –Pennsylvania


I think that her music is no longer for her younger audience because she is growing up.
I think also that she might want to break away from hannah montana because she is her but she just wants to be her.




I can’t thank the girls of New Moon more for their discussion, and hope to hear from them again soon on issues that involved young women.


To learn more about New Moon Magazine, please visit their website at

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Cheyenne Ziermann

What is wrong with her growing up? It is so disgusting how everyone is making such a fuss over her. I have never been a Miley/Hannah fan, but I feel so bad for her. She is growing up, what a stupid thing to be blamed for! How many of you walked around caring about "tween" issues when you were eighteen? I bet most of you wanted to grow up & leave ASAP. She is eighteen - she has the right to try & further her career, experience what she wants to, & move away from her Disney image. I'm sure many of you would hate having to act like a 13 year old while you keep getting older & older. There's nothing wrong with her maturing as she ages. People should start giving her a break - by the time their 12 year old daughters are 16, they wouldn't watch Hannah Montana anyways!

Miranda M.
Miranda M.7 years ago

ok. first, she turns 18 this year, so she needs to start acting more like an adult. second, yes she has made some bad choices, but i would like at least one of you to tell me that you haven't. i know have.
i think that Miley has done a wonderful job of going from child star to adult actress (which is a lot more than i can say for some *cough- Lohan- cough*)
her mama and daddy did a good job and should be proud of her.
her true fans are and you should be too.

Aseel F.
Aseel F.7 years ago

well,me myself im only 12 years old,when miley was young i used to follow her alot.But now i feel like i started hateing her because she is acting very grown up,her new CD "cant be tamed" the picture of her had her stomach shown,i've read alot of other blogs about her being to grown up.Shes giving a really wrong character to billions of people my friends at school and even me talk about her being too grown up.I am starting to kind of hate her right now for this,no effence.I actally like other celebs who give good rolemodels for me & others.

Dot Marshall
Dorothy Marshall7 years ago

As an older women I loved watching Hannah but now that she is no longer Hannah I am not that big of a fan. I know she wants to be viewed as a women but I feel that she is going about it the wrong way. That is too bad because I feel that she is truly talented. I really like her old stuff. If she went back to being more like Hannah she would still be that role model for young girls.

Tina L.
Tina L.7 years ago

I guess I can see why she wants to change her image. she's just doing the wrong stuff. growing up should be a gradual process

Patty G.
Patty G7 years ago

Cute girl, good voice, definately talented.Not someone I would want my young girls watching. Language a little rough for the younger set. Her recent escapades are a little too mature for a girl her age. Daddy aught to pull her back a little, she has a long time to be an adult and not much more to be a teen.

Jennifer Blan
Jennifer M7 years ago

It's nice to know these girls recognize that her new music is inappropriate. Whether she's growing up or not, she was Hannah Montana, and still is to many young girls. The new image should have been held off until she turned 18. But we also have to think about the life she lives. Sexuality is everywhere is the entertainment business. It is sad that her parents let her do what she's doing. They make enough money, she shouldn't have to show skin to sell records if she's really got talent.

Cathy C.
Cathy C.7 years ago

These young celebutants don't know how to deal with their sexuality and growing maturity, so they flaunt and parade it publicly. It's like a new car or new outfit, they want to share and show off! I remember taking my sex appeal for a "drive" around the block! How embarrassing! Then, I came to my senses and took stock of what I was doing, blushed and changed my behavior. They need to be criticized, but don't be surprised when they act out even more! They are at the "I will do what I want" stage. Lindsay, Britney, Drew Barrymore, Liz Taylor, Marilyn Monroe all did this, and there will be a steady flock of them in the future.

Joy Wong
Joy W7 years ago

Just be who you are, don' t have follow everything these stars do.

Jessica H.
Jessica H7 years ago

I don't care if your a celeb or not. Dress/Act like a slut, get called a slut. Nothing to do with "maturing". The media has exploited sexuality for soo long now that unfortunatly this behavior is common. Parents need to spend more time teaching their children instead of letting them watch this crap!