Miley Cyrus Missteps: Sex Doesn’t Always Sell

By Donna Miller, Contributing Writer

A recent Fox News article headline states, “When It Comes to Miley Cyrus, Sex Doesn’t Sell. . .” The article says, “She tossed her good-girl image in favor of a sexy bad girl, her album and box office sales suggest she also

tossed away much of her fan base.”


But, what is Miley’s fan base (or market), and why should her CDs and movies no longer sell? The former “Hannah Montana” Disney star’s market is tweens (10 to 12-year-olds) – and once upon a time the young Christian market. These children have to get their money from their parents – or their parents have to do the buying. Therefore, parental approval is the key to Miley’s market.

The Fox article continues, “With ‘Hannah Montana’ still airing on ABC Saturday mornings, her fans are confused by what they see on the program with what they see on an entertainment website, a magazine they see and/or hear their parents discuss. Many of her fans are too young to understand the difference between the actress as a real person and the role she plays on the show.”

What are her fans seeing (especially on the internet) to cause the confusion? Here is a progression of career and personal choices made by Miley that are more like raunchy Lady Gaga than Hannah Montana:

semi-nude photo shoot (at age 15) for Vanity Fair;

pole dancing at the Teen Choice Awards;

salvia bong smoking – a plant similar to LSD and marijuana;

lap dancing with a 44-year-old man at a party;

porn-like bump-and-grind videos from CDs;

sadomasochistic bondage stage costumes;

voodoo-inspired videos;

lesbian-like lip locks on stage;

lesbian movie role in upcoming movie;

underwear issues (or lack thereof) at concerts;

tattoos added almost weekly; and,

peek-a-boo breast fashions.

Is there anything in these choices that would endear her to the parents of her young fan base or Christian market? Since marketing a star and scheduling events take months to plan, Miley et al. committed marketing mishaps beyond belief.

Consumers do not like the bait-and-switch game, and that appears to be what they got with Miley Cyrus. She was promoted and marketed by Disney and her management team as a wholesome personality. What consumers received was a bratty, ultra liberal, “anything and everything goes” diva.

Miley’s career has been a miscalculation of such magnitude that it could kill her livelihood. Let’s hope her parents invested well. It may take years to re-reinvent her as something marketable.