They Did What? – Miley Cyrus

They Did What? is a series dedicated to what the media does not broadcast about your favorite musical artists. I present to you, Miley Cyrus.

“Everybody makes mistakes, everybody has those days.” If you do not know where this quote is from then you have come to the right place. Who could have possibly said this? Well, it is Hannah Montana, a childhood icon from this generation, who happened to be played by Miley Cyrus herself.

If you do not know, Miley Cyrus was a childhood star who starred in her own Disney show, Hannah Montana, that started in 2006 when she was only 13 years old. The show revolved around a girl who was living a double life of being a famous pop star and living a regular life of going to school. This quote is one of her songs from the show called “Nobody’s Perfect.” If you listen to this song, the lyrics are actually a great lesson to teach everyone. Hannah Montana was obviously directed towards young children but this is a lesson that I think many people need to learn today. This song to me mirrors the life Miley has lived, yet it came out years ago before her career flourished. One lesson I took is that you learn from everything in life, even your mistakes and you can see that with Miley’s life.

Nobody’s Perfect.

Many people know Miley from her Disney days, her rebellious days, or know her for being in a long term relationship with Liam Hemsworth that recently ended. These are the things the media focuses on but there is more to Miley than what people may think. 

You may remember a time where Miley was twerking on stage at the 2013 VMAs and making lots of music about partying. People change and go through phases. Miley says, in “Carpool Karaoke” with James Corden, that who she was in the 2013 VMAs made her who she is today. It made her realize that if that many people will talk about her then she needs to bring good to the world so people will talk about that. Miley said that the VMA experience led her to become an activist. She does not think she would have even started her own foundation, which I will explain later on. She has learned to embrace her past because it is a part of her instead of running from her past like she was trying to do with this performance.

“I think when you are a teenager, young adult, you’re trying so hard to be cool or to prove something or to be something away from who you’ve been as a kid. And I guess as I’ve gotten older — even though it’s not who I am now, I’m not afraid of who I used to be.”

Miley Cyrus

The following year after her infamous 2013 VMA performance, Miley did something that touched the hearts of many. Instead of taking in all the praise and basking in the spotlight, Miley allowed for a formerly homeless man to accept the award she won for her song “Wrecking Ball.” The speech put into perspective how much money the music industry makes, yet there are so many homeless people right down the street, especially youth and young adults. Miley was making a statement to the world that we need to help those around us. Miley not accepting her own award shows her unselfish character and how big her heart is for others.

Being a Disney star comes with certain expectations and if someone acts “out of the ordinary” it will receive the attention that would not have happened if they weren’t a Disney star. In order to prove yourself, you have to step out of that box. Being Hannah Montana was the only way people knew Miley. Being this clean-cut teenage girl next door character. The minute she broke that stereotype, the world blew up. How can one expect someone to be the same their whole life or career? People change, people grow up just some people do it differently. Miley had to break the boundary of being just a Disney girl to being a singer, an artist who can make it in the industry.

There is more to Miley than the Disney star.

Miley Cyrus has a giving heart and truly cares for others. If you are not aware there were deadly fires in California this past year that took Miley’s house and many others Miley donated $500,000 to help other wildfire victims and asked for her fans and friends to donate to the Red Cross to help others. Miley could have put all her money into building or buying a new multi-million dollar home for herself. Instead, she was more concerned with helping others first. She knew that she had the money to buy a new home but some of these other people lost everything they had and may not be able to live in a real home for a while.

In 2014 she started her own foundation named Happy Hippie that is dedicated to helping the homeless youth of our country. She is dedicated to helping the homeless because her dad, Billy Ray Cyrus, was homeless before he had his big break in the music. According to the website, The Happy Hippie foundation has a mission to rally young people to fight injustice facing homeless youth, LGBTQ youth and other vulnerable populations.

“It is essential to our lives to do good for others! The only way we can truly be happy is if we are making others happy! That is this Hippie’s goal!”

Miley Cyrus

According to Happy Hippie, “1.6 million youth are homeless each year.” Furthermore, “40% of homeless youth identify as LGBTQ, and family rejection is the most common reason LGBTQ youth experience homelessness.” To make matters worse, about one in every three homeless LBGTQ face rejection at homeless shelters solely because of their orientation. Miley wants acceptance in this world. Being apart of the LGBTQ community herself this is an important issue that Miley wants to fight. Miley has been criticized for being a part of the LGBTQ community. She likes to think of herself as pansexual, which means you are simply attracted to people no matter who they identify as. You like someone because of who they are not their identity.

People will hate you for being different but what you make of that hate is up to you. Miley has pushed past that and embraces who she is. As human beings, we like to put things in a box and give order to everything because that is how we make sense of our world. It is hard for us to understand that there needs to be no labels. Labels come with implications that you may not fit into. There are people in the world who are not just one thing but multiple. In reality, we may all fit into multiple boxes. The acceptance in this world of the LGBTQ world is something Miley is trying to normalize.

Miley explains that her perspective on life has grown since her young adult days. In her cover interview for Elle magazine this year Miley said,

“After the fire, I thought about how we helped more than 120 families who lost their homes. We’ve served nearly 1,300 homeless kids in Hollywood every year since 2014. And last year, we helped 270 kids find housing and provided 32,000 meals. That won’t burn down. That helped me become much more disconnected from things.”

Not only has Miley helped the world around her but she never forgets to advocate to be true to who you are.

Miley has made it a point that she does not care what people think of her but when someone comes after her character she will speak out. As you can see on her Instagram post below. People accused Miley of cheating on Liam when they do not even know what is going on with their lives or know anything of that matter. When there has been a couple like Liam Hemsworth and Miley Cyrus that America has fallen in love with for almost a decade, it is hard for people to wrap their heads around on why anything like this would happen. Especially because not long after they got married is when they decided to split. People are so invested in the lives of celebrities but not in who they are as a person. How can you accuse someone of something if you don’t know who they are? The media is what prompted Miley to even have to write something to the world in the first place. There were false rumors being broadcasted that needed to be set straight.

Click here for Miley’s Instagram

While being in the spotlight Miley turns her hate into positive messages which I think is hard to do. Miley knows people have criticized her for her actions but she doesn’t really care much about herself. She uses that negativity to preach to the world that people need to put this negative energy into something good instead of criticizing her for things that don’t matter. In an NPR interview, Miley says,

“I’m doing what I need to do. I’m working in my community. I’m changing the way people view sexuality. I’m working with suicide prevention programs. I’m feeding people that don’t have food to eat. I’m doing my part as a human. You better go do your part if you’re gonna even have one little opinion about what I do. You better be doing some great things for your community.”

People only talk negatively about Miley because she is different than your mainstream artist. She is not afraid to show her true self to the world.  You have to remember that Miley grew up in the spotlight. Imagine all of the pressure that puts on a little girl. As you grow you are going to make mistakes but that is part of growing up. The whole world knew what Miley was doing and that is what is different from you to her.

Everyone needs to learn something from Miley. Being yourself is the most important thing you can do. If people put hate on you it’s only because they have insecurities about themselves. Do not let people tell you who you are or what to do. That is your own decision. If people are more accepting of others and their differences, our world could truly become a better place. Change is a good thing in which no one can be the same person their whole lives. Remember that “everybody makes mistakes, everybody has those days.” No one is perfect and what you do with what you learn in life is up to you. If you spread positivity to the world as Miley has, you can help change this world for the better.

Written By: Adrienne Murdock

Aztecs Come Up Short Against Utah State 23-17

San Diego State was defeated by Utah State 23-17 on Saturday night at SDCCU stadium. For the Aztecs, it was a classic case of too little, too late.

The Aztecs had multiple streaks snapped tonight. They had a 13 game winning streak in the month of September snapped as well as a 10 game winning streak against the Aggies snapped. 

The Aztecs only scored three points in the first half and trailed by 17 at halftime.

However, a late game spark brought the Aztecs within striking distance. After struggling for most of the game, senior quarterback Ryan Agnew threw two touchdowns in the fourth quarter and cut the Aggies’ lead to six with just over five minutes remaining. He would finish with 281 yards and two touchdowns. 

One of his fourth quarter touchdowns was an across-the-body throw to sophomore Kobe Smith for 25 yards.

Quarterback Ryan Agnew attempting a pass.
(Photo: Justin Neeley)

“That was a miracle at that point.” Agnew said, “[I] Dropped back and they played like a prevent defense so nothing was really open. I tried to buy enough time, try and find the open guy and Kobe [Smith] made a play.”

The Aggies had an opportunity at a 42-yard field goal with 1:18 left in the game, but kicker Dominik Eberle missed the kick, which kept the margin at six points instead of nine. 

On the Aztecs final drive of the game, the offense failed to find the endzone and turned the ball over on downs.

“We had a play drawn up to get one across the middle,” Agnew said, “Wish I stayed in there a little longer [the pocket] and tried to deliver the throw, got to give the receivers a chance.”

SDSU led this one early with a slim 3-0 lead, but a crucial first quarter interception put the Aztecs behind the eight ball. Agnew was picked off by Shaq Bond who returned it for a touchdown.

The turnover was not the only thing that hurt the Aztecs. The team had six penalties for 61 yards, including an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. SDSU eclipsed their average penalties and penalty yards in the first half.

SDSU running back Jordan Byrd.
(Photo: Justin Neeley)

“Obviously the special team’s penalties always started us in bad field position,” Rocky Long said, “I haven’t seen them on film to see if they were legit or not, but we’ll find out. I think the only real bad penalty was we got a personal foul penalty and that’s ridiculous.”

The Aggies have racked up 1,330 yards in their first two games but were held to 375 total yards against the Aztecs.

“If you told me before the game we were going to hold them to 16 points on defense I’d tell you we were going to win,” Long said.

However, Long quickly critiqued his defense after the praise. When asked about how his defense played, Long did not hold back.

“Not good enough,” Long said. “It’s never good enough if you lose. We gave up some yards, but we made them kick field goals and I think they scored one touchdown on offense.”

The Aztecs were without contribution from senior running back Juwan Washington, who hasn’t played since week 1. He continues to suit up, but remains on the sidelines during games.

Asked if anything good came out of tonight Long didn’t mince words.

“Well, there’s no real positives because we lost,” he said. “I still believe our team can be a good football team and maybe we were okay tonight too because Utah State is pretty good, they got an NFL quarterback and that’s a hard thing to contend with.”

The Aztecs will look to gather themselves over their upcoming bye week and prepare for an away game against Colorado State.

Written by: Daniel Farr

Students Participate in Nationwide Climate Strike

Person holds "CLIMATE CHANGE IS REAL" sign while walking towards the Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union

Protesters took it to the streets to advocate for more green policies and bring sustainability to the political forefront.

Students gathered to join in on the world-wide climate strike at Hepner Hall on Friday. The march surrounding climate change concerns began shortly after 11:30 a.m. as speakers took to the steps in front of the Love Library and Hepner Hall. The march route made its way from Hepner Hall to Love Library, down the courtyard near the union, and out to the Campanile Walkway ending at the Student Union.

Members from various student organizations including the environmental fraternity Epsilon Eta and SDSU’s Sustainability Club were all in attendance. Other organizations included Veterans for Peace, the Sierra Club, and Lush Cosmetics.

The march had a variety of speakers that ranged from concerned students, faculty, and even congressional hopefuls. Senior, Environmental/Physical Geography major, Taylor Campbell Mosley was one of the speakers. Mosley said that her passion for climate change was centered around learning about non-sustainable agricultural practices and how it takes up two-thirds of the world’s arable land.

“I was a computer science major when I started (at SDSU) and randomly in a religion class, we were talking about indigenous peoples’ land and how a lot of it is used for animal agriculture”

Taylor Mosley

Mosley explained that methane produced was a serious problem affecting our climate, and she made the transition from only caring about plastic waste to looking at the bigger picture altogether.

Common themes at the march included create and enforce an SDSU Green New Deal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030, establish a Chief Sustainability Officer position in the president’s office to elevate climate as a priority, and finally, design the proposed SDSU Mission Valley site to be carbon neutral.

Echoing chants from the crowd rang in the air, “SD-SU, fossil fuels are not for you” and “we don’t want our power dirty- carbon free by 2030.” Creative signs—most were made from recyclable material—like a surfboard inscribed with, “the oceans are rising, so are we.”

Another common theme of the rally was the disdain towards politicians and their lack of concern toward climate change. Junior Sustainability Major Gabi Medina had a simple message for politicians:

“How can you deny it when there is science that is evidence that this is happening? I also think they are just greedy, that’s why they don’t want to act. As Sarah said up there, it is about money and it’s a huge money game and it’s time that policymakers stop thinking as far as very profit-driven, and they start thinking environmentally driven”

Gabi Medina

Overall the climate strike was a great demonstration where people of all facets came to protest something that they hold very dear to their hearts. The climate may not be fixed by tomorrow, but by judging of the amount of support SDSU has shown for their cause, as well as the support worldwide on this issue, it appears that the future of our climate is in good hands.

The origin of this strike was centered around the efforts of a 16-year-old Greta Thunberg. Thunberg started this movement by going to her parliament each week and protesting by herself, her efforts have helped kickstart climate protests in over 100 cities worldwide. Thunberg made headlines when she sailed across the Atlantic Ocean on a carbon-neutral ship to speak at the U.N. Climate Action Summit in New York. 

Written by: Tom Derig

Sexcapades: Review of Life’s Work: A Moral Argument for Choice

Sexcapades

Sexcapades reviews Dr. Willis Parker’s Life’s Work: A Moral Argument for Choice, followed by a discussion on abortion.

Life’s Work: A Moral Argument for Choice is a memoir outlining Dr. Willie Parker’s journey to becoming an abortion doctor and reproductive activist. Seamlessly blending his strong Christian beliefs, love for medical science and the philosophy that a woman’s body is her own, Dr. Parker eloquently encompasses what it means to be a Good Samaritan. 

As an African American growing up in the Deep South during the height of Civil Rights Movement, Dr. Parker’s words strongly imitate those of Dr. Martin Luther Kings—a role model of his. Dr. Parker’s rise from adversities like poverty, racism, and being raised by a single mother was extremely moving. His tenacity radiated throughout every word, sentence and chapter. There was not a time in reading this book where I did not feel moved or was awed in some way.

As I mentioned, Dr. Parker has faced a lot of adversities. He grew up in Wylam, Alabama in a small, impoverish neighborhood. Many people who grow up in communities like his do not see a way out. While, Dr. Parker had a lot of role models to look up to but he also faced a multitude of racism and community doubt that he would succeed. For example, Dr. Parker was told by a guidance counselor to become a carpenter because he said he liked to work with his hands. Despite his doubtful environment, Dr. Parker was consistently dedicated to his religion and education. He has graduated from Brea College in Kentucky and has received degrees from the University of Iowa College of Medicine, the Harvard School of Public Health, the University of Cincinnati, and the University of Michigan. 

I was initially intrigued by how Dr. Parker’s Christian faith would factor into his profession and activism.

To be honest, before reading the book I thought Dr. Parker would completely abandon his faith when he began his practice of abortions and activism. I scolded myself after reading the book because that is a very ignorant ideology. Dr. Parker’s religion is not separate from his line of work and activism. It fuels and empowers it. Dr. Parker and his book showed me how he uses Christianity to empower women, their sexuality and dreams. His interpretation of his religion is beautiful, eye-opening and definitely differs from the way ‘pro-lifers,’ or antis as he calls them, use Christianity to push their controlling and hatred agenda. 

What I loved a lot about the book is Dr. Parker’s inclusion of stories of women he has encounter in his line of work. It is what I found to be the most de-stigmatizing of the entire book. These women have dreams to be successful too. According to Dr. Parker’s book, most women who are seeking abortions are women who come from a low socioeconomic background. These are the women who have to scrape every penny together to have an abortion. Their limited access to safe abortions is because they have limited access to good health care and insurance. Some women are likely to have no insurance at all, some have other children at home, some are beaten by their husbands and some are teenagers. What all of these women have in common is that they have dreams too, they have hopes, desires and realities.

Dr. Parker’s book puts it in perspective how detrimental restrictive abortion laws are to women who need them.

Dr. Parker calls out how unconstitutional U.S policies are on abortion and how lawmakers are shutting down abortion clinics making it harder for women to seek them out. Twenty-seven states in America have imposed waiting periods between twenty-four and seventy-two hours for women to get abortions. This waiting period is between the initial visit for counseling and consultation and the actual abortion appointment. Every minute a woman delays her abortion the price increases because she moves farther along in her pregnancy. Dr. Parker says policies like the waiting period is financially disabling women who may already be living under or around the poverty line. The book cites calculations from ThinkProgress that if a woman in Wisconsin wants to terminate a first trimester pregnancy after you factor in gas, taking off of work, child care expenses (if she has children at home), and the waiting period that it would cost her over one thousand dollars.

Financial instability causes a huge issue because some states may only allow first trimester abortions, thus, making it harder for women to receive an abortion. Due to the harsher and stricter policies being enacted by states some women are forced to bring a pregnancy to full term. These laws are robbing women of their reproductive freedom and possibly making them more financially unstable than they were before:

“According to data from Planned Parenthood, more than one third of women having abortions in the second trimester said they delayed because they needed time to raise the money.”

Dr. Willis Parker (102)

Mississippi has a ban on second trimester abortions, Dr. Parker tells a story of a young woman who was thirteen weeks pregnant and needed time to scrape together extra money. By the time he saw her again the gestational age of the fetus was sixteen weeks and one day. Dr. Parker was not able to perform an abortion because she was now in the second trimester of her pregnancy. The best he can do for women in this situation is inform them of other clinics that are allowed to second trimester abortions but sometimes they way over state lines.

A consequence of harsh restrictive laws are the dwindling number of abortion clinics in the United States.

In the states where abortion clinics are disappearing and there are more restrictive policies, surveys found that Google searches in DIY abortions spiked. For example, in Texas between 2012-2015 the number of abortion clinics has decreased from forty-one to seventeen. DIY abortions are extremely dangerous because these women may take illegal medications, homeopathic remedies and even worse trying to perform their own abortion with household items like a coat hanger. Dr. Parker says women who take illegal pills put themselves at extreme risks, especially if it doesn’t work. Dr. Parker says these laws force women into corners and then ultimately make the decision for them by making it a very public and political battle.

“It is extremely dangerous for anyone to take unidentifiable pills for any reason, and if one woman was brave enough to enter my office having pursued that course, then there are many others who are not.”  

Dr. Parker Willis (105)

As a feminist and a person that stands on the “pro-choice” side of the abortion argument, I believe that if a woman does not wish to be pregnant it is ultimately her choice to terminate it. I chose this book because I wanted to hear a perspective from an OB-GYN who perform abortions. Reading Life’s Work: A Moral Argument for Choice has changed my life and increased my beliefs that a woman reproductive choices are entirely up to her. Dr. Willie Parker is an inspiration and truly embodies what it means to be a Good Samaritan. I would totally recommend this book to everyone, even if you are not ‘pro-choice,’ it puts abortion in the perspective about it can empower and help women in our society. I believe because advocates like Dr. Willie Parker the stigmatization of abortions can be greatly reduced. 

Written by: Julie Cappiello
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