Have you heard? Miley Cyrus cut off her hair to raise money for cancer. Or was this just a clever PR stunt to finally move away from her picture perfect Disney-darling Hannah Montana image? Regardless her reasons, one thing is sure: she knew exactly what she was doing, and she played her little PR stunt by the book.
This radical transformation wasn’t for a good cause, like raising money for a cancer charity, as many fans speculate. It was just a clever PR stunt to distance the star from her Disney-puppet image. Miley is ready for something new in her life, and she’s not afraid to follow her sense of fashion.
When Chris McMillan took up the scissors, Miley Cyrus, aka Hannah Montana, was ready to rock her fans’ world. Like many other celebrities using Twitter for buzz, she didn’t need a magazine or a mainstream TV station to document her transformation. An iPhone was enough to capture the last day of the bun. Then Twitter welcomed Miley’s short, cryptic messages, accompanied by step-by-step pictures which soon went viral: tick tock tick tock, it’s happening. Miley counted on her fans to spread the news, and the headlines followed like floods.
In a way, this extra-short, platinum pixie cut, is not only a fashion statement, it’s a declaration of independence.
Never felt more me in my whole life ❤
— Miley Ray Cyrus (@MileyCyrus) August 13, 2012
But all extreme makeovers are bond to trigger controversial reactions. Fans and non-fans voiced their opinions: some cruel, some supportive, some extreme… Some comparing her with Draco Malfoy (J. K. Rowling’s fictional character, portrayed in the Harry Potter series by Tom Felton), others voicing admiration for what they believed to be a selfless act to support an unnamed cancer charity. All these opinionated voices did not change how the star feels about her new look:
@billyraycyrus used to tell me “opinions are are like ass holes every body has one” LOVE my hair ❤ feel so happy, pretty, and free — Miley Ray Cyrus (@MileyCyrus) August 13, 2012
Many rushed to compare the makeover with a Britney Spears-like meltdown. In truth, all Disney child stars have a slight tendency to go gaga after they “move on” with their careers. But Miley is not Britney, nor are her actions even remotely comparable. She’s as successful as ever, rich, and happily engaged. You’ll find her on the cover of Marie Claire this September, and you’ll soon be able to buy a new album. Yes, it looks like things are going great for Miley – then why such an extreme makeover? Because no matter how famous they are, celebrities need the occasional publicity stunt to keep fans and media interested.
When talent should be enough, truth is that there are too many talented, and untalented people, making headlines for all the wrong reasons. The age of social media disrupted the core of professional journalism. The tackiest things can pass as news if social media embraces them. Trending topics on Twitter become cover stories in magazines, and headline news on TV.
Was Miley’s haircut a carefully crafted social media PR stunt? It definitely was. You only need to follow the steps: she first created suspense, then revealed what was about to happen, and documented the transformation step by step. The conclusion of the story, her declaration of “freedom” and independence, is a clear message for the media and the fans: “this is the new Miley Cyrus.”
Miley Cyrus is one of the many celebrities represented by PMK-BNC Public Relations.