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Apryl Duncan

Miley Cyrus' Pole Dancing a "My Roots" Tribute

By August 11, 2009

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Miley Cyrus is proud of her pole-dancing performance at Monday night's Teen Choice Awards. Today, some parents think she crossed the line in front of her young fans.

Miley Cyrus at Teen Choice Awards
Miley Cyrus Arrives at 2009 Teen Choice Awards
Photo © Frazer Harrison /
Getty Images

The 16-year-old singer spent less than a minute on top of an ice cream cart with a pole attached. The performance Cyrus and her father, Billy Ray, planned together is being criticized for trying to pole vault the teen from child star into sexy adult star.

Still images of the performance make the 39-seconds she held the pole look more raunchy than it actually appeared on TV. However, a few suggestive moves made the pole more than a prop to hold on to while she was carted from one side of the stage to the other. In an interview with MTV, Cyrus said singing Party in the USA while dancing on the "blinged-out trailer park" set represents her Tennessee roots and she's happy with that.

Given Cyrus' choice for red carpet fashion at the awards, her bra-showing and short shorts attire during the performance and her recent nose piercing, parents of young children might be wondering if the Hannah Montana star is a good role model for their young children anymore. She's even being called the next Britney Spears, which Cyrus likes to hear.

"For all the people calling me the 'next Britney' THANK U," Cyrus posted through her verified Twitter account. "I couldn't ask for a better compliment."

While Cyrus' performance is the hot buzz and the most memorable moment of the 2009 Teen Choice Awards, it overshadowed her own big night. She took home six awards for her music and work on Disney's Hannah Montana. Instead of the young star's accomplishments, people are fixated on the pole-dancing controversy.

We see child stars, especially young girls, trying to make the transition from adorable starlets into adult actresses and singers. At what age this becomes acceptable depends on who you ask.

As a parent, do you think Cyrus' performance was inappropriate for young fans? Tell everyone what you think in the comments below.

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August 12, 2009 at 9:08 am
(1) Lilli @fluffymunky says:

I dont think she understands when people call her the next Britney. Its not a compliment…

She needs to understand that most of her fans are young children. I had an entire class of Kindergartners that want to do everything like her. Dress like her…dance like her… I would hate for them to think its ok to dance provocatively like a stripper.

She’s only 16 and for her father to be ok with her parading around that way is such a shame. They are both just after headlines and money.

August 12, 2009 at 12:54 pm
(2) Hailey says:

Her dad acted so offended when those photographs were taken of her. It looks like he’s in the driver’s seat for this pole dancing stunt. His stardom has come and gone. I’m sure he loves his daughter. He’s clearly exploiting her, though.

August 13, 2009 at 1:32 am
(3) ANONYMOUS says:

@Lilli, she doesn’t take the britney thing a compliment. It’s the other way around. Read between the lines. that’s why it’s written in capital letters.

Anyway, I agree with you that her fans are mostly children. And she should understand that she’s a public figure. But considering her side, I think she just wanna enjoy her teenage life the way other teenagers enjoy theirs. People should also glue in their mind that she’s Miley Cyrus and not Hannah Montana or whatever you’re expecting her to be. Dont expect too much for an artist. They are actors. It’s not their job to live their characters in real life.

August 13, 2009 at 6:46 pm
(4) Carrie Craft says:

Which it becomes our jobs as parents to explain to our little girls why Miley Cyrus is not a good role-model. (No matter what character she is playing as an actress.)

Why do young girls feel they have to tramp it up to be adult?

August 13, 2009 at 10:40 pm
(5) Mom says:

I really don’t see the big deal. She held on to a pole for support while on an ice cream truck. So let’s overreact?

She’s 16. There are people younger who wear worse things. She’s wearing things comfortable for her, and wearing what all teenagers wear. There isn’t a perfect teenage role model and there will never be. No teenager is going to act all perfect and fake. She’s being herself.

All of our daughters will wear things a little revealing when they’re older. Watching a current teenager not doing wearing any won’t make them not see their peers who will most certainly wear revealing things when they’re older.

August 14, 2009 at 12:55 pm
(6) Lucy says:

Pelvic thrusts while holding on to a stripper pole aren’t something any teenager should be doing. Period. An employee of Disney or Nickelodeon has a responsibility to her audience. She is not just an entertainer. She is someone very young children admire. The very same impressionable people who made her popular are watching.

By the way, Britney has the same moves with a stripper pole in her Circus tour. Do parents want their kids looking up to Britney now after all of her problems?

August 14, 2009 at 2:07 pm
(7) Mom says:

Lucy, I just saw the performance again. Nowhere did I see ANY pelvic thrusts.

August 14, 2009 at 3:27 pm
(8) Lucy says:

1:37 in, pretty clear what she’s selling.


I did not mention the 1:09 stripper squat since it’s so obvious Fox cut it out and went for a face shot.

August 23, 2009 at 10:37 am
(9) Amy Soldier says:

Big girls make big boys. Miley Cyrus is a big girl. The parent prudes need to grow up, smell the coffee, and find their kids some direction, purpose, and meaning to their kids life.

November 3, 2009 at 6:00 am
(10) David says:

I think everyone here has it wrong. Everyone keeps saying that she needs to understand that people look up to her and whatnot. I understand, that as a public figure and as a celebrity, she does have a large amount of public influence, particularly on the younger generation today, but what a lot of people fail to gather, from the very beginning is responsible parenting.

If you are not the ultimate role model in your child’s life, maybe you need to reexamine why your children are looking up to people they don’t know instead of the people who have raised them their entire lives.

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