Yep, we’re still talking about Miley Cyrus’ performance in the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards. This is what she wanted all along, but that “anything for attention” approach may have done more damage than just tarnishing the foam finger for life.
An actress and little person named Hollis Jane recently shared Facebook and blog posts on her experience as one of the backup performers dressed as a bear in the VMAs show. That show left her feeling “less than human” and illustrated what she was no longer willing to do.
“Most of the time, getting a job purely because you’re a little person (in my opinion) is not a good thing,” she wrote on Facebook. “It is further fulfilling society’s idea that we are something to laugh at; that our value is simply to shock. We can all agree that right now all Miley Cyrus wants to do is make society’s jaw drop. So what’s more ‘weird’ or ‘freaky’ than having little people parading around in your show?” She continued, “I was a bear in Miley Cyrus’ VMA performance and it was my first time doing anything like that…anything where I was being used because of my height, not because of my talent. And I will be the first one to tell you that standing on that stage, in that costume was one of the most degrading things I felt like I could ever do. I realize not everyone shares my opinion and I might just be young and naive, but I feel like the acceptance of this kind of treatment has got to stop.”
She blogged that she’ll never forget the performance because it prompted her to draw her own personal line in the sand. “After our first dress rehearsal in the costumes with the crew, publicists, performers etc watching us, I walked out of the Barclay Center shaking and crying. Thankfully, my best friends, Kelly and Kerri, happened to be NYC to visit me. They were waiting for me and I walked up to them and broke down. I love being the center of attention, but that was something different. I was being stared and laughed at for all of the wrong reasons. I was being looked at as a prop…as something less than human. [...] For the first time I felt truly ashamed of being a little person. We were being used simply because we were little. It felt like society still saw us as a joke, despite the fact there is literally nothing different about me other than the fact I am small.”
She ended up declining a spot in Miley’s tour, despite her computer recently breaking and her car needing repairs. “I wondered if it was worth feeling less than human again. And frankly, it wasn’t.”
She ended her blog reiterating that she’s only speaking for herself, but “If the little person community continues to do performances like this, it is my belief that we will continue to only receive maybe 2% of the auditions and opportunities of our average sized friends. Society will think we’re OK with being laughed at because we still continue to do things that allow them to laugh at us or look at us as props.”
Read her whole blog for more. She’s definitely sharing a perspective we rarely get to hear, when the attention is usually on the lead singers and their own antics. Do you think Miley will take this into consideration, or is she too far gone down the path of “whatever shocks people”?