The Kick-Ass Girl Power Message Of Miley Cyrus’ New Single, “Can’t Be Tamed”


Confession: I’ve never listened to a Miley Cyrus song before in my life, save the one time I watched her strut around a stripper pole while singing “Party In The U.S.A.” at an awards show last year. I always thought she was a cheesy Disney star with crap parents who have bad judgment. But now I am obsessed — no, make that OBSESSED — with Miley’s new single “Can’t Be Tamed.” (And it’s not just because I want a giant nest and peacock feather wings like she’s got in the video.)

The reason I love Miley’s new song is because she’s a young, 17-year-old girl singing, “I can’t be tamed, I can’t be saved, I can’t be blamed, I can’t be tamed, I can’t be changed … They try to change me but they realize they can’t.” And that’s a message teenaged girls of America — hell, the women of America — couldn’t hurt to hear. I wish a song like this had been popular when I was a teen.Sure, at least one of the lyrics of “Can’t Be Tamed” is outright sexual (“I go through guys like money flyin’ out their hands … “) which I’m sure everyone will flip the eff out over because she’s the little “Hannah Montana” star in many people’s eyes. But she’s 17 now, people. At 17, I for one, actually was going through guys at a rapid pace — though not having sex with them, just “everything but” sex.

But regardless of that one saucy lyric,it’s the rest of the message of “Can’t Be Tamed” that I love. It just speaks to the little rebel in my heart: the girl who wasn’t afraid to say no, talk back and be herself even if that person was very unpopular. It’s not easy at that age to speak powerfully about oneself. Miley’s singing that she can’t be changed and that’s the message a lot of girls could apply to their parents, boys, school, religion, and their friends. Where else will a girl get that message on MTV? Teenaged girls are growing up in a heavily commercialized society that’s all about changing them: you need better clothes, you need manicure, you need new shoes, you need a car, you need a new nose, you need new boobs, you need a boyfriend. (And why should a young woman’s sexuality be tamed, anyway? There’s far too much sexual moral panic in this country that only focuses only on women and girls’ sexuality — not on boys’ and men’s.)

I’m not saying that a Miley Cyrus pop song would exactly turn anyone into — at best —a feminist or — at worst — some kind of Molotov cocktail-throwing anarchist. But good for her for saying — no, asserting:

“I’m not a mistake

I’m not a fake

It’s set in my DNA

Don’t change me

Don’t change me

Don’t change me

Don’t change me

I can’t be tamed.”

Yeah, the song isn’t perfect, not with lyrics like “I always get a ’10′ cuz I’m built like that.” It’s still all about celebrating a woman’s sexual power instead of, say, her brainpower. But hell, when I was 17, Britney Spears was lipsynching enlightening tunes like “I’m A Slave 4 U” and “Oops I Did It Again.” When it comes to Top 40 station pop culture, I say “Can’t Be Tamed” is the new girl power anthem.

[Just Jared: Miley Cyrus “Can’t Be Tamed” Lyrics]

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