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EDITORIALS


Audiences should refocus their attention


By Optimist Editorial Board
Posted on September 3, 2013 | Editorials, Opinion | Comments Off

Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan and Amanda Bynes are well known for a number of catchy songs and classic movies. But more recently their fame, or infamy, has come from the tabloids reporting their all too familiar scandals.

A fairly new target of public ridicule and obsession is Miley Cyrus. After her performance at the VMAs, there’s no arguing she’s come a far way from Hannah Montana.

It’s easy to predict when an actress has made the switch from good girl to bad by looking for the symptoms shown to us by Britney, Lindsay and Amanda.

An early indicator is the hair. They always do something crazy to their hair.

Britney shaved her head. Amanda dyed her hair pink. Lindsay simply stopped brushing her hair.

Miley clearly fits into this category with her short blonde hair styled into giraffe horns.

Wearing clothes that fulfill their purpose no longer matters to them. Too many headlines have been written about these women’s wardrobe choices and malfunctions, and Miley is no exception.

Then someone usually makes a public cry for attention, and it works.

Britney danced with a snake. Lindsay went to rehab. Amanda told the world she was going to become a rapper.

Miley’s performance at the VMAs seemed to be the only story worth reporting that entire week.

Miley seems to be spiraling out of control, but several things we’ve done as the audience make us guilty as well. What we give our attention to matters. Obviously by consuming the media uproar about this scandal, we’re giving Miley the attention she wants. We’re contributing to the problem, not solving it by condemning her racy outfits and dance moves.

Even printing this editorial is an example of misplaced attention being given to Miley’s scandal. How do we stop paying attention to train wrecks and sensational news? It’s almost impossible to tear our eyes aways from the twerking and tongue flicking, no matter how disgusting it is, and we all want to give our opinion on the matter.

But maybe to become a more responsible audience, we don’t have to completely stop paying attention to train wrecks.

Part of the problem is what we’re not paying attention to. Deep down, there’s something that triggers this type of behavior.

While it’s too easy to point out women like Miley who have fallen out of public favor and have become the victims of endless amounts of criticism and judgement, it’s much harder to come up with men who have been ridiculed as loudly and as thoroughly.

First of all, there’s Chris Brown. He created a pretty significant uproar and was banished long enough from the public arena to record a new award-winning album.

Tiger Woods is a good example. But if he started winning tournaments again, I’m sure people would start to like him more.

And what about Robin Thicke, Miley’s partner in crime? He received some criticism, but the bulk of the condemnation was directed towards Miley. He shouldn’t be excused by the world because he’s a guy, and that’s something that commonly happens.

Another part of the problem is the way we express our opinion about what we focus our attention on. When our responses to these scandals are hate filled and condemning, we’ve accomplished nothing except create more negativity in the world and more attention for Miley.

editorialboard Posted by Optimist Editorial Board on Sep 3rd, 2013 and filed under Editorials, Opinion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.  - This post has been viewed 7472 times.

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