I am totally sick and tired of the “haters”, “trolls”, “armchair critics” and misogynist “slut-shamers” that seem to have nothing better to do than attempt to cut tall poppies down. Despite yards of skin visible on Red Carpets coast to coast (no objections from a self-confessed lover of the female aesthetic and no objectification either), certain individual celebrities who have their tongues firmly in their cheeks (or stuck out for all to see in a subconscious act of defiance), attract vitriol way out of proportion to that directed at all the rest combined. I just had to comment on a particularly nasty piece of envy based hatred that I came across this morning re Miley Cyrus, a talented entertainer, managed by her ever attentive mother, supported by her commercially aware father and a delightfully normal American family. In show-business since wandering onto the set of a TV interview of her dad when she was two years old and delighting the audience and performing ever since, there has rarely been an entertainer that has exceeded the sheer hard work, dedication and commitment applied to their art as exhibited by Miley Cyrus.
As a psychiatrist, I am all too aware of the explosion of vicious cyber-bullying over the last 10yrs and the horrible human toll that has resulted amongst vulnerable youth. When I come across it I condemn it in a variety of ways, depending on the audience likely to see my posts and the nature of the sites on which the hateful posts of these bullies are found.
Today, I wrote this:
“Sad, isn’t it? What some call “morality”, I call nonsensical, petty prudishness! Freedom of Expression means more than allowing people to speak or publish. It extends to freedom to dress and adorn as you wish. Adults can & must work out for themselves what is safe, what is not, what hurts others and whether that should change how one behaves or not, etc.
There’s a disease or condition very common in Western Democracies that chips away at our freedoms…..it’s called “love of rules, regulations and conventions” and it is a crippling disease. Add malicious gossip, envy fuelled trolling, slut-shaming and other hateful judgementalness……they are all actively damaging our freedom of expression. Miley Cyrus is a young, free woman living in a notionally young, free society, hurting no-one and bringing joy to millions (or billions!). Those criticising her appear to want to fashion her, to sculpt her into their template of who they demand she should be.
Freedom of Expression is the First Amendment of the American Constitution for a very good and carefully thought out set of reasons. America’s Founders didn’t place it First by accident! Those learned men knew how obsessed people could be in opposing the freedom of expression of others by chipping away at it. Haters of harmless entertainers and other celebrities, are saying “express yourself only as I tell you to”. Miley is very sensible to ignore them, as she’ll never cure them of their envy and low self-esteem but as a non-celebrity with my own freedom of expression intact, I say Fuck the Haters!! Thank goodness they do not have the power to prevent my protest!