Until the year 2013, we all used to know Miley Cyrus as Hannah Montana. Now we see her in a new spotlight as she breaks the fourth wall by showing off more of her independent side.
2013 was the year for Miley to really show that she was more than Hannah Montana. With her anticipated single of “We Can’t Stop,” we were able to witness the more risqué side of her as she performed it with Robin Thicke at the VMAs. After the performance, she released one of the most controversial music videos of that year called “Wrecking Ball.”
Miley Cyrus literally swung her way to a new twenty-four hour record for views on Vevo with “Wrecking Ball” as it racked up 19.3 million views in one day. In the video, we see Miley damaged and vulnerable by the outcome of a past relationship. The video starts with her as a single tear rolls down her cheek as she prepares herself to sing.
Through the first verse, we get to see the emotion and pain within her eyes on how the verse affects her. As we get to the chorus, we notice the entrapment she is in within the brick walls while carrying around a sledgehammer. The sledgehammer is a symbol of the secret love that she still holds onto. When the wrecking ball comes into play, we see how destructive this love was towards her as it breaks the walls down. Throughout the video, we see a constant back and forth motion between Miley’s face and how she tries to handle the destruction. She rides the wrecking ball in order to admit to herself how destructive the love was, but this is where it got controversial.
We find Miley stripped naked to expose how the love destroyed and hurt her. What made the video, if not this scene in particular, controversial is that it was something that you wouldn’t see a former Disney star do. But it was that vulnerable side of Miley that she doesn’t show very often, that makes sense to show her naked emotions. Getting further into the song, we see how the destruction really broke Miley from the close-ups of her face to her lying in the rubble defeated.
Being a Hannah Montana fan, I was surprised by her sudden change, but also I was inspired by the way she grew from Disney. It may not have been how I would’ve pictured it, but it was a necessary change for us to see that other side of her and what kind of person she can become. Now I will admit that she does some wild things, but isn’t that what life is suppose to be about? To try new things and experiment with the opportunities that lay in front of you? Miley broke the boundary from what Disney restricted her from as she explored herself.
To me, “Wrecking Ball” couldn’t have been expressed any better. We got to see the loneliness and hurt that Miley was going through as she showed her vulnerable side. When digging deeper into the video, the nudity does make sense to show how her love was stripped and how it damaged her. The portrayal in the devastation and inner turmoil brought to life the hidden truth to Miley’s emotions towards the relationship.
From licking the sledgehammer as a sign of how she still holds on to that love to riding the wrecking ball naked, she accepts the damage of her walls being broken. Of course, it will always be that video people remember as Miley being naked, but to others, it’s the expression of how love can really break someone and leave them in their most vulnerable state.
When released, the single was number one on Billboard Hot 100 for nine weeks. As of Nov. 2016, “Wrecking Ball” has over 860 million views on YouTube.