Throughout the past few weeks, Miley Cyrus has revived her popular “Backyard Sessions,” a series of intimate, stripped down live performance videos she recorded in her backyard just two years ago. This time, she brought it back to benefit her newly launched Happy Hippie Foundation.
The foundation, a nonprofit organization founded by Cyrus, aims to bring together “young people to fight injustice facing homeless youth, LGBT youth and other vulnerable populations.”
Though, through her stripped-down collaborations with well-known female rockers and musicians, from Joan Jett of Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, Laura Jane Grace of Against Me!, Melanie Safka and fellow TV-diva Ariana Grande, one wonders whether the goals of her foundation are really met through these viral performance videos.
The energy between her and her special guest artists have each given a particularly resonant yet powerful message in each of her videos. And it’s clear that Cyrus not only proves that she can conquer all musical genres –– from pop, rock and country –– but that her genuine love of music can bring people together.
Cyrus wrote in a statement for her charity: “Pointless judgment and its effects are unfortunately something that is way too common. All humans have valid feelings and rights! I want to use my voice as a megaphone to young people everywhere and encourage human evolution.”
It seems that her videos have become proclamations of her love for people. In her collaboration with Jett in “Different,” Cyrus transcends age and offers up lines of comfort to individuals who feel a little different as she sings, “They treat you rough / But you’re tough enough / And we’re all different.” Further, with her collaboration with singer-songwriter Safka, we see Cyrus reverently looking onto the singer as she performs a heartfelt (and scarily relevant) version of her song “Look What They’ve Done To My Song.” In it, she sings lyrics that confess people messing up her song and messing up her brain, perhaps taking her true intentions out of hand, which is something we can only assume are the media heads within society.
Over the span of Cyrus’ career, we have seen her grow from innocent child star Hannah Montana to country sweetheart, only then to take ownership of her sexuality when she claimed that she won’t stop and “We Can’t Stop.” Her provocative image and controversial behavior, which range from appearing nude in a music video and smoking weed in another, has caused the public to question Cyrus’ motives.
But, with her music, Cyrus has been able to grab both the attention and hearts of listeners worldwide. Her carefree attitude, feel-good serenades and ownership of self as a female has made Cyrus not only a talented entertainer and woman but also an important individual who seeks to make positive change in the world with her voice.
With each debut of her videos onto Facebook, Cyrus provides a donation link to The Happy Hippie Foundation, which will go directly to help support and bring awareness to vulnerable youth.
Though, one wonders whether people are actually donating to her charity, as these videos are free to consume by the mass public. Many online viewers have shared their thoughts on Cyrus’ talent, motives and interesting clothing, however, mentioning her ability to surpass both the TV and music industry heads, as well as shine light on her inevitable talent and musician’s soul.
To generate money for her charity, I feel it would benefit Cyrus to release these songs on iTunes, as many commenters have willingly revealed they would buy. Though, as all music nowadays seems to be circulated for free, figuring out an innovative and genuine way to raise money for her charity is tricky.
Though, Cyrus is doing something that sets her apart from other public figures in Hollywood. She has actively created a public community in support of homeless, LGBT and other vulnerable youth, bringing light to their issues and presence to all of her fans.
“No one should have to hide who they really are, no matter what his or her name, gender, status or orientation. That’s why Happy Hippies are here to say that every life is valuable,” Cyrus wrote in her statement. “It is our mission to make sure those who question the value of themselves and their lives feel protected and loved by us … which they very much are.”
At 22 years-old, Cyrus has already accomplished quite enough, setting herself up as either a role model or punching bag to millions. Through her videos, viewers can see Cyrus at her best. In some songs, she jams out with friends; in others, she encourages another to take the spotlight; in later ones, we see her heart come through as she floods the song with emotions and tears. Wearing the true outfit of a “happy hippie” who is full of love and happiness, Miley Cyrus’ “Happy Hippie” Backyard Sessions can be found on her Facebook, Youtube, or on the Happy Hippie website. And I guess it’s up to you to decide if you want to actively side with her, show your support, or ignore it altogether.