Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Not many big North American stars play concerts in Panama; Panama is small and the venue is not very nice.  So it's always a big deal when somebody does come and people get pretty excited.  But a few weeks ago when we heard Miley Cyrus was coming to town I didn't think much of it.  My husband said "you should take the girls," and I probably shrugged.  My girls are not huge Miley Cyrus fans.  Sure they've watched Hannah Montana and heard her songs on the radio, and my eleven year old is pretty fascinated by Miley's recent tattoos (we have some mother-daughter bonding over celebrity gossip--neither one of us can resist it).  But the expense and effort of a school night concert did not seem necessary to me.  My husband on the other hand, decided that they should go to the concert (he is the fun parent, if he could, he would take them to every concert and event that came to town).  I thought he would forget about it, he's a pretty busy guy and the girls were not begging to go or anything.

Then, in an odd convergence of events, he and I were at the mall together, on a weekday morning, doing an errand.  There was a big Miley Cyrus promotion going on: if you spent fifty dollars at the mall, concert tickets were half price.  Well, that was all the encouragement my husband needed, and within minutes I was in line with a lot of other parents for Miley Cyrus tickets.  Despite all my school-night, mom, trepidations and my total lack of desire to attend this event, I decided to just roll with it--I never do this kind of tacky, over-indulgent thing for my kids, and I thought it would be fun to surprise them.

So that is how is how I ended up escorting four preteen girls to a Miley Cyrus concert.
The concert was full of little girls and tiredish moms thumbing their blackberries.  I have to confess that I was fascinated by the spectacle.  Miley Cyrus is eighteen (I kind of suspect she feels much older) and her fans are mostly girls who've watched her as Hannah Montana.  Miley Cyrus is working hard to shed the whole Disney, teen-star image and cross over to regular, adult stardom.  However, her current fans are mostly girls, and stardom for a young woman is all about the male-gaze.  So there she was, in her leather underwear, covering "Smells Like Teen Spirit" for a bunch of twelve-year-olds in Central America and I could not look away.  Awkward  contradictions are my favourite! (I can't help it, I went to art school).  She did a Joan Jett medley complete with "Cherry Bomb" and "Bad Reputation" (two songs I love).  She sang her songs (how awful is that "Party in the USA" song?).  My girls seemed to enjoy it.  All in all it was a successful evening and not nearly as bad as I thought it would be.

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