Miley Cyrus's Behavior?

Decent Essays
In September of 2013, administrators at Grand Valley State University removed a wrecking ball sculpture, also known as a bifilar pendulum, from campus after students started using it to recreate a popular Miley Cyrus music video. In her “Wrecking Ball” video, Miley swings around naked on a large metal wrecking ball, prompting the shock, scorn, and admiration of people around the nation and accumulating a record breaking 19.3 million views in the first hour it went viral (Kingkade). Grand Valley Students were no exception, using the pendulum structure to recreate Cyrus’s behavior in their own versions of “Wrecking Ball.” Jokes aside, the parodies of the popular music video all had one goal: to emulate the wild celeb’s behavior. The news headlines…show more content…
“I’m Beyonce!” she squeals as she shakes her hips in an attempt to copy the dance moves from the music video. “Why do you want to be Beyonce?” I ask. “Because she’s pretty” she answers simply. Ask any child what they want to be when they grow up and they will most likely say they want to be someone who is famous. Celebrities are our role models. Society places them on a pedestal as the ideal human beings; the media tells us that they are who we should be like. It is clear to see why people have long looked to celebrities as models for how we should behave, dress and look like. Psychologist and Stanford University Professor Albert Bandura’s social learning theory, as described in his book Social Learning Theory, can be applied as one possible explanation for why people so often want to emulate celebrities. Bandura’s theory is based on the principle that people learn best by observing and modeling the behaviors, attitudes, values and actions of models around them, especially those who society tells us are worth noticing. If we apply this theory it makes sense that we look to those society tells us are successful as models for behavior. By becoming more like…show more content…
in Bouchez). Similarly, Social Anthropologist Jamie Tehrani suggests in his interview to The Daily Banter that this phenomenon may have something to do with our evolutionary past, which in the same way “allowed our ancestors to recognize and reward individuals with superior skills and knowledge, and learn from them” (qtd. in Furst). These so called ancient celebrities were people who were used as models for survival behavior such as using medicinal properties of plants or improving the design of hunting weapons. Tehrani states that in the past imitating these “prestigious individuals” helped promote the spread of adaptive behaviors, and therefore celebrity role models in today’s society make us susceptible to “copying traits that are of no use in themselves, or which may even be harmful…it makes sense to copy whoever happens to be doing best at a particular time and place” (qtd in Furst). Celebrities are people the world tells us are worth noticing, whether it is for their good looks, talent or acting abilities. As a result we use them as role models in order to guide our behavior and shape our conduct. The problem however, is when these behaviors turn deadly or dangerous.
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