When I think of memoirs, I tend to imagine a former President of the United States or other noteworthy public figure sitting down at a large oak desk in his twilight years, looking back at his life and putting pen to paper in an effort to impart his wisdom to the world and help shape his legacy before he dies.
What I don’t imagine is a 15-year-old girl chomping on gum and talking about what it was like to grow up with a father who was a one-hit wonder and how it felt to win the Cosmic lottery by landing on a smash-hit Disney television show before she reached puberty. But that is exactly what is about to happen now that Miley Cyrus (a.k.a. Destiny Hope Cyrus, a.k.a. Hanna Montana – seriously, this chick has more aliases than a career criminal) has signed a book deal with Disney-Hyperion Books.
Did I mention the fact that she’s 15 years old? Because she is. She’s 15. She’s 15-years-old and she is going to write her memoirs (well, let’s be honest, a ghost writer is going to write her memoirs – I really hope it ends up being a middle-aged guy who doesn’t even have kids). What possible insight could she have to share with the world? What the hell is a 15-year-old doing reflecting on her life? “Fifth grade was an especially tumultuous time in my life. I was surrounded by cootie-infested boys and my parents, in an effort to keep me grounded, had refused to purchase the new Trapper Keeper I had my eye on …”
I’m not saying Miley Cyrus shouldn’t be allowed to write a book (or put her name on a book that someone else writes), but I just think it sounds pretentious to hear that a 15-year-old girl is penning her memoirs. I’m sure she has plenty of stories about her glamorous life filming a hit TV show, touring the country with a best-selling album and receiving royalties from the hundreds of products bearing the Hannah Montana name. People magazine reports that the Miley Cyrus franchise will be worth a billion dollars by the end of the year. Having such an opulent lifestyle is bound to provide you with some quality anecdotes, but it just seems a little premature for her to be writing a memoir now.
Granted, the definition of a memoir has changed. Gone are the days when memoirs were mostly written by politicians and military leaders sharing stories of their public service. These days, anyone with a story to tell can sit down and write a memoir (even if you don’t have a story to tell, you can just make shit up like James Fry did). But it still seems absurd for a 15-year-old to write a memoir.
Miley Cyrus is on top of the world right now. She’s still living in the moment. She probably takes for granted how wonderful her life is. To write a memoir now seems pointless – her life is great and, for all she knows, will continue to be great. I don’t want to hear from Miley Cyrus now, I want to hear from her in 20 years.
Right now, Miley Cyrus is in the “Britney Spears ‘Oops, I Did It Again'” phase. She has a Disney Channel background and a solid preteen following, but is starting to show signs of shattering her wholesome image once she turns 18 (as evidenced by the recent provocative photos of Cyrus that found their way on to the Internet).
Soon, if the pattern holds, she will get a taste of independence and will begin partying and drinking all of the time. Three years from now, she will be the new apple of the paparazzi’s eye and TMZ and Perez Hilton will feature daily updates on her late-night antics. Cyrus will crack under the pressure, develop a drug habit and eventually will blow through her vast fortune.
After several stints in rehab, she’ll end up doing one of those degrading celebrity reality shows in an effort to reclaim a bit of the spotlight that long ago passed her by. Eventually, she will adjust to her post-fame life and will realize everything that she has lost.
That’s the Miley Cyrus that I want to hear from. That Miley Cyrus, far removed from the limelight and hardened by all that she’s been though, is going to have something interesting to say. Her memoirs will be filled with poignant moments and reflections on the high cost of fame.
Then again, maybe I’m being too tough on the young starlet. The last thing I want to do is wish a rough life filled with tragedy and sadness on a 15-year-old. If her parents saw this column, it would probably be heart-wrenching to see the direction their young girl’s life could be headed. And lord knows, the last thing I want to do is break her father’s heart because it might blow up and kill this man.
Random Thought of the Week:
I’d like to tip my hat to singer Brooke White introducing the concept of the “do-over” to American Idol. I think more musicians should start songs over abruptly in front of live crowds (preferably with that same pained “deer in the headlights” look on their face that she had).
Joel Murphy is the creator of HoboTrashcan, which is probably why he has his own column. He loves pugs, hates Jimmy Fallon and has an irrational fear of robots. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.