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Baring It All: Before she gyrated and assaulted teddy bears, Miley Cyrus was one! PDF Print E-mail
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Friday, 30 August 2013 11:44
Oh, such a simpler time. Hannah Montana was made as a sweet, primly attired bear …
As compared to her raunchy interaction with a brood of bear backup dancers.
Back in her younger, sweeter days, Disney princess Miley Cyrus played Hannah Montana, seen here kissing a teddy bear.
Her likeness and character name were given to lots of teddy bear paraphernalia.
Build-A-Bear Workshop had loads of Hannah-friendly items for sale.
The boys of One Direction have remained scandal-free … so far. Their bear connection is popular with teens and tweens.
Zayn Malik, one of the 1D lads, serenades a Teddy.
It’s almost as if one can see the look of disgust and dread on this sad bear’s face as it backs up Miley.
The Miley routine was right up there with teddy bear discomfort exhibited in the movie flop “The Avengers,” starring Uma Thurman …
… and Sean Connery in a full-body teddy bear suit.
Rock and bears are not strangers to one another. The Grateful Dead always proudly paraded its dancing bears.
It’s been a long, strange trip in the music world. The Grateful Dead bears were made into plush toys. Will Miley’s twerking Teddies have the same fate?
Oh, such a simpler time. Hannah Montana was made as a sweet, primly attired bear …
start stop bwd fwd

What did a teddy bear ever do to Miley Cyrus? I know the whole cyber universe, plus the real-life flesh-and-blood world, are all angry about how conduct at the VMA show. Apparently, her gyrations were the equivalent of the “twerk that was heard and seen around the world.”

Frankly, I’m not shocked. I’m just saddened that Miley had to drag a hug of teddy bears into the mix. The MTV awards program has always been a launchpad for inappropriate behavior and controversial costuming. This time, however, Cyrus coupled her barely-there outfit with a bunch of bears who looked like they’d rather be anywhere else.

There have been editorials now by TV talking heads—from both sides of the political aisle—bellowing for MTV to fire its executives, put more guidelines into place, and do some in-house cleaning to make sure nothing so disturbingly dirty ever happens again!

From where I sit—and I’ve only seen the “dance” in rerun form, didn’t catch it “live”—it’s embarrassing, stupid, uncomfortable, and juvenile. What really makes it something to rail against is that the young “lady” doing the acting-out was a Disney star, once upon a time. It seems it was only three years ago that Miss Miley Cyrus was grinning broadly and rocking modestly on “Hannah Montana.” How could a supposed good girl go so, so, so wrong? The answer is easy: she was acting. Either Miley was never as sweet and pure and down-to-earth as her Hannah role suggested; or, conversely, she’s really not a tongue-wagging, pelvis-thrusting, pigtail-sprouting freak. Take your pick: Miley is a master at make-believe.

So, with that in mind, I wish she had kept her hands and other body parts off the teddy bears. With everyone else clamoring for lawsuits and litigation, the big bear manufacturers—Gund, Steiff, Merrythought, etc.—should band together in a class action suit. Their charge? Her interaction with the Teddies has damaged the nature of their goods. I, for one, would support that claim. It’s taking me a while to shake the graphic images from my head.

But Miley and her mohair accomplices aren’t the only examples of bizarre bear behavior. In the ill-fated big-screen adaptation of TV’s “The Avengers,” a group of villains donned teddy bear suits to hide their identities. Folks unfortunate enough to see this flick—and I was one of them—were treated to the sight of Sean Connery emerging from a full-fledged teddy bear torso. It was disturbing on so many levels.

I suppose teddy bears have a reputation for being tender and caring and sweet. It’s not an accident that the “Care Bears” are an actual licensed brand. Teddy bears just equal love and kindness and protectors of children’s dreams. That’s why so many teen idols and child stars are given the teddy bear treatment. This year’s popular boy band (One Direction) has a whole range of teddy bear versions of each cute band member. Girls can collect their favorite 1D’er in individual, brightly colored hoodies and T-shirts.

The girl of the hour—actually, a few hundred hours now since the VMA fallout—Miley Cyrus was marketed as a teddy bear when she was part of the wholesome Disney brand. There are even shots here in this blog of her hugging and gently caressing a teddy bear, not beating and molesting them like she’s been doing in her dance routines.

My, how times have changed!

When I was younger, I had attended quite a few Grateful Dead concerts, and the Dead Bears were always there on T-shirts, tattoos, patches, pins, and bumper stickers. When they were manufactured as actual teddy bears, I acquired a few. You might be able to take the girl out of the Grateful Dead tour schedule, but you can’t take the . . .  well, you get the picture.

It’s funny that when I was a teenager, I used to hear the grown-ups complaining about the merging of Dead Heads with teddy bears. The adults used to say that the Dead Bears had that goofy, openmouthed grins on their faces because they were all tripping on acid or were blithely stoned out of their teddy bear skulls.

I recall people looking to ban the bears as part of the Grateful Dead culture. The claim was akin to the marijuana argument—that it’s a gateway drug. If teddy bears were being shown as dancing, tripping toys today, what would be the next step two decades down the road?

Well, I don’t want to say that those nay-sayers from my youth were right, but, gosh, look at what has happened to poor Teddy this past month. The teddy bear was pulled into a televised strip show that was unflattering for everyone involved.

As a mom, a teddy bear aficionado, a onetime Dead Head, and a gal who loves pop culture, I was saddened to see Teddy in such a tawdry setting. But maybe the bear will rise from this twerking tempest and emerge with a whole new set of street cred: the teddy bear that was strong enough to survive a teen starlet scandal.

Let’s wait and see, and hope that Lindsay Lohan isn’t looking to visit Build-A-Bear Workshop anytime soon.