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Miley and Misogyny

Following a Tik-Tok trend, Shelby Hutchinson examines the subconscious effect of internalised misogyny on our unconscious minds

Did you ever hate something for simply being too ‘girly’ or ‘not girly enough’? I, for one, will admit that I have. However, a recent Tik Tok trend bringing light to this exact issue has helped me feel a lot less alone in this experience.

The trend involves people sharing the people and things they used to passionately hate, but have now found an appreciation and love for after recognising what many seem to believe is the common factor shared between each case; internalised misogyny.


is this controversial?idk

♬ Internalized misogyny – bella

Internalised misogyny has a way of slithering into your subconscious in an effort to deny what is widely recognised as feminine stereotypes, which have been deemed as ‘bad’ for simply being viewed as feminine. These stereotypes are largely based on a limited and restrictive view of what is and aren’t feminine, and can go both ways in fuelling hate towards things that are feminine, and things that are not feminine enough. Much like the video above, I can’t quite explain why I suddenly felt an aversion to the colour pink. I remember thinking that the colour was inherently girly, therefore bad.

The Tik-Tok trend has spoken for many topics, all of which have been associated with these stereotypes and have been widely hated at some point because of it. Even so, each topic is characterised by a change of heart later in life.

The most revolutionary change of heart that I’ve observed is how people feel towards Miley Cyrus, highlighted in the video below.


i love miley cyrus 🖤 #fyp #foryou #foryoupage #razrfit #mileycyrus #miley #heartofglass #hannahmontana

♬ Internalized misogyny – bella

In 2013, upon her release of Bangerz, Miley Cyrus completely separated herself from her previous career as a Disney star in the popular show Hannah Montana. Despite continued support at the time of the release, there were plenty of people who did not support Cyrus’ change, with her music video for We Can’t Stop receiving over one million dislikes. Of course, Miley Cyrus’ new, raunchy persona was a little shocking to those who remembered her from Hannah Montana. However, Cyrus was criticised by the public, along with other public figures, such as Sinead O’Connor, who wrote an open letter to Cyrus suggesting she should stop prostituting herself in order to appeal to men.

This era of sexual liberation and new forms of creative expression for Cyrus seemed to all become watered down to the blonde pixie-cut she happened to have, rather than any of achievements she received at the time, such as being nominated for a grammy for Best Pop Vocal Album. The haircut was used to characterise a demon that had ‘possessed’ Cyrus in a meme where she was compared to Katy Perry, who got a similar haircut in 2017.

However, in September, Cyrus’ cover of Blondie’s Heart Of Glass went viral, showcasing her insane vocals and highlighting her versatility as a performer. The cover, as well as her upcoming release Plastic Hearts on November 27th – which has been widely speculated as a rock album – brought light to the fact that despite her aesthetic changes all those years ago, and the criticisms that came her way, she is, and always was, a brilliant artist.

Obviously, I can’t speak for everyone, however, this made me realise something very important: I never thought Miley Cyrus was inherently bad. It was my own preconceived notions of femininity and womanhood that influenced any negative opinion I’d had of her.

I’ve observed similar revelations towards public figures such as Taylor Swift and Megan Fox through the Internalised Misogyny Tik-Tok trend. It’s strangely comforting to know that so many users have been just as negatively influenced by society in this way. It has left me hopeful that perhaps now that the influence of internalised misogyny on our opinions and actions is realised, we as a society can stop it at its root and prevent it from spreading negativity to people who dare to defy the long-outdated notions of femininity.

Feature Image by Miguel Bruna via Unsplash, no changes made


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