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May 29, 2017

Dear Daughter: The Postscript

How do you follow a post that received more than 2.5 million views in its first 36 hours?

First, you say “thank you.” Thank you so much for your feedback on Roadkill Goldfish. I am grateful for the dialogue that took place on the site.

For those who agreed with me, thank you for your support. For those who didn’t, I’m good with that. We can agree to disagree.

It’s perfectly okay to disagree with me. Prove your point with facts, and I’ll consider your argument. I conceded to those who raised good points I may not have initially agreed with, and I appreciate you gave me something to think about. That’s what conversation and debate is all about. Open-mindedness. Respectful interaction.

Dear Haters
Here’s what’s not okay: wishing ill on a child. You get the full wrath of every Mama Bear on the planet for this one. The whole idea of my post is that our girls are beautiful and valuable, and they shouldn’t cheapen themselves. Is there really a problem with this message?

Here’s another thing that’s not okay: F-bombs. Vulgarity is no excuse for a lack of a thesaurus. Yeah, I get that you’re passionate about allowing pre-teen girls to express their sexuality, but pick another adjective. Coincidentally, f is also the first letter of “facetious.” It means “not serious” or “in jest.”  As in, I was being facetious when talking about duct taping my child’s head. Give me some credit. I unconditionally love my kids and would never hurt them. I would go total ninja on anyone who did. Besides, they’ve used all the duct tape to make wallets and purses.

Why Do We Do This to Our Girls?
My daughter and I have talked about this topic many times before Miley made sports fans afraid to bring Number One props to football games. She gets it, but it doesn’t hurt to remind her (and thousands like her) that she is an amazing and valuable person whose worth is not dictated by her body or willingness to titillate. The VMAs brought a rush of maternal emotion to the surface. Was it harsh to single Miley out? Yes, but my daughter doesn’t have the same connection to the other performers. As a mom, my heart breaks for Miley and the countless girls who feel like they need to do these shocking things to be relevant or important or loved.  I want to hug Miley and tell her she is too precious to allow handlers to mold her into this caricature of womanhood. I would love to have a time machine to take her 20 years into the future so she can see with the benefit of hindsight.

Those of you who do not have daughters will never truly understand what it’s like to see that beautiful baby grow up and be constantly demoralized by a society that picks her apart. Oh my goodness, they are perfect! Ask a group of junior high girls what they think of themselves and you’ll hear, “I’m too fat,” “I’m not pretty,” “Everyone else has a boyfriend,” “I’m the only virgin,” or “Why doesn’t anybody like me?” Why do they feel this way? Because we as adults support a  culture that tells them that thin is sexy, that ugly girls are worthless, that there is something wrong with you if you don’t have a partner, virginity is a disease, and we don’t love you enough to spend time with you. No wonder these girls do whatever it takes to get someone – anyone- to notice them.

Girls, based on my blog, you have more than 2.5 million people who have noticed you and want to lift you up so you can live a great life.  Learn from us old ladies who made mistakes. Here’s what we’ve learned:

  1. It’s okay to be a lady. Really.
  2. You will experience a broken heart. Most guys will be distraught about losing you, but a select few will be complete jerks who frankly don’t care. Listen to your friends. If they say the guy is trouble, stay away.
  3. Men are not your enemy, nor are they your toys. Yes, each boy or man you meet has feelings, hopes, dreams, likes, dislikes and more. Treat him with respect.
  4. Love and respect yourself. Look at yourself. What’s not to love? You are a beautiful and unique creature, and there is no one like you anywhere else in the world.  I know there are times when it seems like there is no one out there for you, but be patient. Friends and boyfriends arrive when the time is right. There are people out there who NEED to know you, people whose lives would be better if they spent just five minutes with you. Know that about yourself. You are infinitely lovable. You are infinitely valuable. Never sell yourself short.
  5. You will never make everybody happy, and some people are going to dislike because you may think differently or you just happen to breathe air. That’s the lesson this old lady had to re-learn this week.


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96 Comments on Dear Daughter: The Postscript

  1. Kim, I 100% support everything you’ve said. As a mother of two little girls (aged 6 & 9) I am saddened to see how Miley’s parents have allowed her to go this far – in the name of “re-inventing her image” to discard her old Hannah Montana identity. I guess part of their apparent condonation could be that they want to believe her reasons because we all love our children and want to believe the best in them. But my guess is that they are biting their tongues in anticipation of the financial benefit all this media attention will bring. They’ve even tried to compare her to Madonna !!! Madonna was not a child and even in her sexiest performances she was still classy – something Miley Cyrus sadly knows nothing about. How can any parent condone these recent photos by Terry Richardson ??? They border on pornography ! I think that her most recent hit “Wrecking Ball” will turn out to be prophetic because in years to come, she will not be remembered as the girl with the beautiful voice who sold millions of records, but rather as the crazy girl who lost the plot and wrecked her career … And on a personal level she will struggle to find love and happiness, because while everyone wants a rendezvous with the easy girl – nobody wants to marry her. I’m sure that’s why Liam bolted. Men love having a sexy wife but the need some of it for their eyes only – not shared with the whole world. Of course there’ll also be many men professing their undying love for her – but it will be in a bid to jump on board for their share of the fame & fortune. Without a decent moral compass all I can see is disappointment and heartache in her future.

  2. You make a great point that “We as adults support a freakin’ culture that tells them that thin is sexy…” So my response to that is, don’t support this culture. It’s really not that hard, just do the opposite of what we’re doing, i.e. don’t watch the VMA’s, don’t blog about it, don’t post about it on Facebook or Tumblr. Do NOT click on the You Tube videos, and do not share them. The bean counters of the record industry will notice the hit count is zero or very close to zero and wonder what went wrong.

    As the consumer we control which products we see. If you want to see more positive role models in the public eye, then you need to support positive role models. Case in point, when Rhianna had her incident with Chris Brown and then forgave him, her record sales should have plummeted as a sign from the community that her choice was a horrible message to our youth, both boys and girls, that violent behavior was acceptable. Chris Brown should have launched a huge apology tour because not only did his iTunes sales drop but people were demanding a refund for prior downloads. Likewise, Rhianna should have seen a significant decline in her iTunes and concert sales.

    Well then who should we support? Funny you should ask. When was the last time you saw Jessica Alba in the tabloids? When was the last time Emma Stone was in trouble? Both of these women lead stable, relatively trouble free lives despite the fact they are Hollywood actresses. Both are thin and beautiful and successful, yet they don’t trade on their sexuality to get ahead.

    As a programmer and scientist, I’m a huge proponent of science and technology. I like Danica McKellar and her math book for women. On her website she says “You may feel tempted to dumb yourself down sometimes to make someone else feel better about themselves…especially guys. But this is dangerous! It’s one thing to be considerate, it’s another thing entirely to sell yourself short.”
    Cara Santa Maria who is a “science communicator and hard core nerd,” my favorite kind, appears on television and media talking about tech concepts and promoting science. These are both modern women who are sending a positive message to women, targeted toward science and math who don’t have the following of Miley Cyrus or Rhianna. This is our fault. I have completely disavowed modern and pop culture and I use my Geek rock band Scych to promote and participate in STEM and STEAM events. What are you going to do?

  3. Thanks Kim, and to all the Momma AND Dadda Bears that strive to keep our kids safe, sane, and confident in the love that surrounds them. We do our worst when we don’t discuss these issues or try to back-burner the situation.

    Parenting – it’s a ‘contact’ sport.

    • Thanks for the love. Please continue to follow Roadkill Goldfish.

      Amen to your comments about parenting as a contact sport. You’ve got to have lots of contact to do it right. You can’t do it without being present and involved.

  4. Hi Kim, I’m not a Mum yet but I hope to be in the near future and as a Mum I fully intend to raise my Daughter just as you have yours and my own Mother did me. That is to believe that my self worth is not defined by what others think of me, how I dress, how popular I may be or how many of the football team I have slept with but by the way in which I treat others and most importantly how I allow others to treat me. I see nothing wrong in what you have said in your post regarding Miley. My own Mother made sure she met EVERY SINGLE boy that I either went on a date with or where just friends – as an example of this, my boyfriend of 7 years was the first to EVER sleep under her roof and that was only because he lived 400 miles away – by the way I was 26!!! I see NOTHING wrong with her way of parenting and nor does my younger sister. So my point is Kim PLEASE carry on teaching your Daughter what it means to be valued just for being her even if it means “duck taping her head” as I can assue you a bit of self respect never did anyone any harm!

  5. Any parent who doesn’t think this was any big deal needs to realize that this is not acceptable behavior and by shrugging it off…it only SHOWS their kids – sons or daughters that they can behave that way. What they also don’t understand is that when they were growing up…somewhere along the line… at least during the IMPORTANT and INFORMATIVE years, we still had some moral integrity which unfortunately is NON EXISTANT in todays world where it seems anything goes. The kids of today (I sound like my mom) will not have had the benefits of seeing what morality is. They were born at a time when the antics of the Jersey Shore, the Kardashians, Honey BooBoo, songs like Blurred Lines…all seem to be fun, exciting and acceptable. Is this REALLY what you want for your daughters…or sons? Is this how you want him/her to come across to the world or better yet to the boys/girls when he/she becomes of age…Remember…you get back what you put out so…if you put out the kind of vibes Miley Cyrus was putting out…imagine what type of friends, boyfriends/girlfriends this will attract…Don’t you want your daughters to be treated with the utmost respect and to know true love? Also, let’s not forget Robin Thicke…is that how you want your son or sons to think they can treat girls …you need also to read “Dear son, don’t let Robin Thicke be a lesson to you” – a father’s letter to his son…the perspective from the side of a son…wonderfully written!! I am a grandparent who prays that when the time comes my granddaughters will someday meet someone who treats them the way that father explains to his son what a real man is defined as…it will melt your heart. As for my Grandsons…I can only pray that they be respectful of not only themselves, but also girls (women).

    • Dear Kim,
      I am totally 100% with your thoughts in this 2 letters… I have 2 little boys, and I do want them to be appreciative and respectful to women when they grow up! and just like you, I will might use extreme measures to make sure they understand my point! sometimes I joke with my husband telling him that when they hit their teenage years, if there are girls visiting them, I will right away call their home and let the parents know where she is and to pick her up asap! I was raised in Mexico and still, our costumes are pretty much conservative. To be a lady is not a thing of the past, it is not a fashion, and it is not a “boring behavior”! Being a “grown up” is synonym of “become respectful with yourself and to others”!
      So pardon me for the lack of good grammar, since English is my 2nd language. God Bless u !

  6. I have read both articles, and the comments on this one. There are two things that I find most awesome about how you went about doing all of this, Kim.

    #1 is that you sat down and talked with your daughter about what happened *before* you wrote your blog post.

    #2 is where you said that you would help her pick up the broken pieces if necessary.

    There are folks that think you have singled out the girls and let the guy get away with it, but I don’t see that. Your post was about a letter to your daughter…it just happened to get read by a lot of people.

    I can imagine you have already seen this now, as it has been a few days, but just in case you haven’t, a guy named Matt Waslh posted a letter to his son. (the article can be found at
    http://themattwalshblog.com/2013/08/28/dear-son-dont-let-robin-thicke-be-a-lesson-to-you/)

    I am father to a two year old boy, and I look forward to (and have already started) helping him grow up to a be a real man who respects and loves others, and knows how to value others for who they are.

    Keep up the good parenting!

  7. I loved your letter to your daughter and actually had a very similar conversation with my 12 (soon to be 13) year old daughter regarding Miley’s performance. I don’t watch the VMA’s and neither does my daughter so we were not aware of the performance until a friend told me about it. I looked it up and watched it by myself first, then let my daughter watch it so that we could talk about the performance. Needless to say, my daughter was disgusted that someone would get up on stage and humiliate themselves in that fashion, just for the sake of publicity. Her first concert was Miley Cyrus, and she was deeply disappointed that someone she looked up to as Hannah Montana, and the younger Miley, would perform this way.
    More often than not, I learn from other’s mistakes and use them as teachable moments for both of my kids. This was just another, in a long string, of teachable moments.
    For those that call this artistic expression, etc., please think long and hard about these questions: 1) Would you want your OWN daughter performing in such a manner in front a large crowd? 2) Would you want you daughter emulating this performance at a school dance? 3) If you think this behavior is okay, what message do you think your own daughter would be sending to boys/men, if she danced this way in public?

  8. Kudos to you all the way from Israel. I was mostly disturbed at the lack of conscience displayed by Robin Thicke. He is a grown man and a father to boot. As someone who grew up watching Growing Pains, I had a certain amount of pleasure in watching Jason Seaver’s son come into his own. Well, any nostalgia has flown out the window at this point. I’m just disgusted.
    As for Miley, just like Britney Spears rolling stone cover at 16, her Annie Leibovitz photo was the first sign of lack of proper parenting….
    Annie Leibovitz lost my respect at that point too. We MUST hold all these adults liable for encouraging the exploitation of children..and yes a 20 yr old is barely out of childhood.

    • Israel? I am so honored. Thank you for your feedback. I’m encouraged to see that others around the world are just as perplexed, angry, frustrated, disgusted and tired as U.S. parents. Thanks for making your part of the world a better place.

      • Thanks for your blog…I live in a neighborhood of ex-pat Americans, Brits and every other Anglo country on the map
        …and we are ALL disgusted with all the parties involved. I saw u on fox this morning : )

    • High School? I am going to be much worse. I am going to constantly remind her how valuable she is. I am going to totally harp on the fact that the is bright and beautiful, inside and out. I am going to get to know all her friends – and their parents. I am going to meet every boy who tries to win her heart, and he will have to sit down with our entire family for dinner. I tell ya, I am going to be a nightmare.

      College? There’s not much I can do except trust that she will do the right thing, and if she doesn’t, be there to help her pick up the broken pieces.

  9. let’s face it, if you have a blog about what should be private mother daughter moments, then you’re twerking (seeking attention) yourself and that’s not a good lesson for your daughter. also, what the hell was your daughter doing watching the vma’s? i didn’t let my daughter watch them. matter of fact, we don’t have a cable subscription. you know what my daughter has? a library card

      • you know what? i take it all back. do whatever you have to do to keep your daughter making a spectacle of herself like miley cyrus, because as parents of daughters, that is unfortunately major goal living in the society we do.

        my post not very well thought out initial reaction. please ignore my words except the part of cancelling the cable subscription. it’s pretty awesome.

  10. This post is beautiful, and I mostly agree with it. And it’s so sad that many so-called ‘adults’ felt the need to say such hateful things about your daughter.

    However, I can also see why some people would feel uncomfortable with your posts. I haven’t read the comments yet, so I hope what I’m about to say isn’t repetitive.

    For thousands of years, females have been told that their human worth, respectability, self-respect, and moral character lie in their ‘sexual purity’- in their dressing and acting the way traditional society deems that a ‘lady’ should. This message is still alive, both in deeply religiously conservative countries and in our own. And that if a female does not conform to these norms- or openly rebels against and challenges them- she’s bad or inferior in some way, and it’s right for people to treat her in a negative way.

    I know this isn’t the message you’re trying to send, but I can see how what you’ve wrote can make people think about society’s slut-shaming problem. So many, many women and girls have been bullied/verbally abused and beaten, faced genital mutilation, and even been murdered because of this problem. With the exception of the murdering and genital mutilation. I’ve personally known many women and girls in my short 21 years on this planet who have experienced these things.

    That problem is also a part of rape culture- because it has lead to people justifying sex crimes and victim-blaming based on the way a female dresses, (in some cases not wearing a hijab) the way a female has danced, or the sex she has had before. I know people who have been through that too.

    I’ve liked and felt sorry for Miley Cyrus, because I’ve heard from many that she’s a nice person, and for years she’s been cruelly and unfairly vilified for her clothes and for being sexual, even with people threatening/wishing violence on her for it. I’ve always suspected that part of her reason for dressing the way that she does and these stunts that she pulls are not JUST for the attention and shock, but also as a response to all of the bullying she has faced over the years. I don’t think she knows how to respond to it any other way.

    I agree that her performance was ridiculous though, and she wasn’t even trying to be talented. (she can sing better than that) She was just trying to get press and prove how edgy she is, and that she can’t be controlled. Likely and hopefully she will grow past this need.

  11. Congrats on your article. So glad to see so many parents are not scared to be the parent. In the country I live (South Africa). I am constantly dismayed at the lack of parental control, moral standards and good values. We are doing our children a disservice. If they are not taught these things as teenagers, how will they be able to set boundaries for themselves as adults. Never be afraid to be the parent. I have 2 daughters (24 & 20) and a 14 year old son. The 24 year recently said thank you for setting all those boundaries, I now understand why you did it. There is no greater reward than your child acknowledging that you did a good job. Keep up your good work.

  12. Look, I agree with you that Miley Cyrus’s actions were reproachable, but I feel sympathetic toward your daughter. If I were her right now, I would feel humiliated that a letter like this went viral. And besides the fact that millions of people read it, the context itself is slightly immoral. Your words sound like you actually expected your daughter to imitate Cyrus. Without any provocation or rationale, you jumped to the possibility that your daughter looks at Cyrus as a role model. I find that quite unfaithful and cynical of you, and I’m sure your daughter does too. Wouldn’t you like to say at the end of the day that you trusted your daughter to be a respectable person on her own whim?

    • My daughter does not need sympathy. She is happy and well adjusted kid. She is not humiliated that my letter went viral (and yes, I did TALK to her before I wrote the blog).
      Kids should not raise themselves. They NEED boundaries and limits and love. They are influenced along the way. I’m influencing, teaching and loving her along the way.

      • I completely agree with your defense, Kim Keller. I have raised my children (one girl, 17; one boy, 14)’ with what I like to call,
        “Contingency Parenting.” Have a plan in place BEFORE your child has to deal with the situation. I fear that the people who oppose you are just letting kids wade through the cultural crap and deal with the consequences AFTER the damage is done -if they even Have kids…that’s an attitudinal game-changer! Here’s my observation -and the proof that I’m right is all over, including Miley’s situation: Society says you have no viability or relevance, unless you inject sex and sexiness into who you are. Children (insert MENTAL AGE, here), subscribe and “de”spire to that (my word, I just made that up), and then society BASHES them and makes them feel worse about themselves, than they did before they took on the sex and sexiness….hmmmmm, coulda predicted that happening, if I were that kid’s momma. Keep doing what you’re doing. I’ve been raising my kids that way since before they can remember and my daughter is already giving me a wonderful indication that she’s going to maneuver in our cultural cesspool just fine. Keep up your phenomenal effort. The world has enough Miley Cyruses, it doesn’t need one more!

      • Influence is one thing, but there’s a fine line between discipline and obsession. There is a certain limit to how much of a role you play in your children’s life. Being an active, supportive, and law-setting parent is definitely a necessity, but you must also show them that you trust them to be good people. In my experience, balance always produces the best result–a balance between discipline and freedom; a balance between attentiveness and trust. One day they’re going to grow up, move out, and start their own adult life, and if there’s one thing they should be by that time, it’s prepared. Prepared and principled. Principled and open-minded. It just seems to me that telling your daughter not to emulate Miley Cyrus in that antagonistic manner without her saying anything or expressing any sort of intent is… overbearing. And whatever the cliche might be, overbearingness is not necessarily a good thing.

  13. I translated your message to your daughter into Romanian and I have posted into my blog. Of course I mentioned the source. I hope you don’t mind…I’m still teen and I used to be one of Miley’s fans…now I’m just embarrassed that I still like her music and I sometimes watch her videos…I miss the old Miley and, yeah, R.I.P Hannah Montana…

    here is the article: http://buburuzabia.blogspot.ro/2013/08/draga-mea-lasa-o-pe-miley-cyrus-sa-fie.html

  14. Using Miley Cyrus’ performance as a means to lead a discussion was certainly a very appropriate action on your part. Unfortunately, making unfounded accusations of the performer’s state-of-mind and character was very unprofessional and rude, which more or less detracted from the case you were trying to make.

      • We’re standing with you.

        I have saved multiple screen capture of these posts you have written (the original and post script with your name on them for credit) so someday, if I have a daughter, I can show it to her. You’re a very smart lady, you obviously love your child very much and there is a sad lack of parents like you these days. We don’t have to accept it. Thank you for standing up for what you believe in.

        By the way, I am willing to bet that most of the flack you get are from girls around Miley’s age who feel rebellious. It may take a few years, but they will learn that you are absolutely right.

      • I’m definitely with you. I told my girls the same things and will tell my granddaughters too. My son listened as well and he is a stickler on what his girls wear and how they behave.
        This is a family that believes our actions should be God-honoring and anything less is unacceptable, sinful, and requires repentance. Thank the Lord for his forgiveness as we are none perfect.
        You are not being judgmental or legalistic. You are simply holding someone accountable for modeling negative behaviors to your child.
        The hatemongers neglect to think about your response as a protection for your child, whom you are responsible for.
        You are doing the right thing. Your stand on this speaks volumes to your little girl; it earns her respect, tells her what you expect of her, shows her what God expects of each one of us, and gives her an example of how to respond when confronted by such a display.
        I definitely stand with you.

  15. Thank you for your post.. My daughter and i had a huge blowout about her not wearing something she wanted to school last night. I printed off yesterday’s blog and let her read it… She returne with “mom your weird” first but then told me thank you. Then she asked if she could take the printout to show her friend at school! Thank you so much….

        • I was disgusted with Thicke’s performance as well. Did they choreograph all of that or was this a last minute idea to create the controversy?

          He is culpable, but I feel that Miley’s actions were far more damaging to girls. She’s the one who pushed her rear into his pelvis; she’s the one who ran the foam finger between her legs; she’s the one who climbed on top of him. Should Thicke have pushed her off? YES! Thicke’s actions scare me for what they said to boys. Hey, if a girl wants to grind up on you, let her.

          I have to remind myself that this is Hollywood. No one apologizes for bad publicity. No one admits wrong. They can’t. If they do, it invalidates them. Billy Ray can’t publicly diss his daughter, but I certainly hope he expressed disappointment in a private discussion.

          • Just wanted to let you know that I saw an interview with the DJ that went on at the end of the performance and he said that none of the grinding and vulgar dance moves happened at the rehearsal.
            Also I have a 14 year old niece in her first year of high school who I sent your post to. I’m hoping that seeing something like this will make her realize that boys aren’t everything and she doesn’t have to always have a boyfriend. I swear, when a relationship of hers ends, it’s like the apocalypse. One thing that drives me insane about teenagers is how easily they throw around the word “love”. Thank you for your original post and this post as well! .

  16. I have wondered what it would be like to have a post go viral. I am sure you didn’t expect it to be that one. They say the negative comments are the worst, we love what we wrote why would anyone disagree. I think you did a wonderful job dealing with the “haters”. I have seen a lot a press that has tried to say it wasn’t so bad and wonder what they saw that I didn’t or vice-versa. I am glad that you were able to so clearly convey why we would want our daughters (many have admitted to using your voice) to think about why this is not what we want for them. It was a teaching moment for parents and we can hope that they took the time to actually use it. Thanks for you thoughts.

  17. Inspiring, refreshing and spot-on. I enjoyed your wit and wisdom. You’ve acquitted yourself well these past few days and answered even those who deserved a “ninja” reply with dignity and respect. Keep up the good work, the terminally ignorant need to hear your voice.

  18. Just Curious – What does your daughter have to say about all this – I hope she knows how lucky she is to have a loving mother like you. Your grounded realistic honest approach to your discussion is refreshing. You obviously have a grip on reality. Hang on to it. Hang on to your girl. And young lady – hang on to your Mom – you are blessed to have her.

  19. So… MAYBE you’re not going to replay to this (come on, you have 21 comments and it’s only been a day! And in the other post, you have like 1, 399. It’s really awesome), but I would love to give my opinion (or should I say my “thank you’s”?), about the beautiful letter you wrote to your daughter. I am 15 years old, and please ignore the dumb nickname I have in wordpress. I usually don’t use it to write comments (because I use blogger more than anything), so is not like everybody can see my nickname. So, yeah, let’s forget that.

    I think you’re totally right. I, as a teenage, saw Miley Cyrus as an idol when I was 8 or 9 years old. I used to idolize that gorgeus girl who was a normal teenage in the day and a rockstar at night. I remember thinking “she’s soooooo cool, she would never do anything wrong! She’s perfect”.

    Ha, now we see how wrong I was. Ignoring the fact that nobody is perfect, she passed from an elegant and mature young lady to a… I really don’t even know how to describe it. I try not to judge her decisions, but when I saw her in the VMA’s I was so SO dissapointed. Put in my place: This is a girl I used to watch everyday, the one that sang the songs I used to replay over and over in my room. The one that made me laugh out loud when I saw Hannah Montana. And now you see her and all I can think is: what has happened to you? You’re not an example anymore! And then I think: wait, for some girls, she’s an example and that makes me sad. She’s twerking all around, giving this message to the world where she’s saying (and please, forgive my words): F@*! IT. This is my life and it doesn’t affect anyone but me.

    Here’s the thing: It does affect others. I mean, the other day, I went to a dance at my highschool, and it was pretty cool. Everyone was having fun and smiling, having a great time… Until we saw a great friend of mine who was almost having sex in the dance floor. Naughty dances with her boyfriend and all I could think was that she thought she looked amazing and the horrible truth is that she just ashamed herself in front of the whole highschool. It was awful.

    Well, to finish, I really want to say thank you: thanks for opening the eyes of many teenagers that I’m sure that read your letter and thought it was right. Thanks for saying the truth, even if it hurts sometimes. THANKS for giving this message to your daughter, ’cause she’s going to aprecciate it someday. And please, continue writing and being the great mom you are.

    I now say goodbye, and forgive if I have some errors in my ortography. My natal language is spanish, so I don’t have the best writing ever xD

    I send you kisses and hugs♥
    Mel(:

    • Thank you so much for sharing! You have an amazing maturity. I am so glad you found this post eye-opening. I totally love all of you girls (and boys) and want what’s best for you. Thank you for letting me be a part of your life.

  20. Love this! I have a 2-year-old daughter, and I hope to teach her all the things you mentioned as she grows up. It’s so important that girls today realize how beautiful & valuable they are. Thanks!

  21. For the record, you didn’t single Miley out. She allowed MTV to do that. And I expect both parties have loved the publicity… There was also a ‘run’ on my blog yesterday. (http://wp.me/p11xOx-jE) And after I read it, I thought I probably should have written a blog about Mr. Thicke, as well. Maybe you’d like to tackle that – because I would love to hear it! 🙂

    • That’s exactly what my husband and I kept saying. We have three daughters and the oldest just turned 20…so, my husband said to me that not in a million years could he be talked into participating in such an action. As he finished his sentence, he shuddered in disgust. :-&

  22. Well said again Kim. As a father of three daughters and one son who have been taught, like yours, they “are fearfully and wonderfully made” it is worth fighting the battles and using teachable moments as you did masterfully with this one.

    May the Lord bless you and keep you.
    May the Lord make his face to shine upon you,
    and be gracious to you.
    May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you,
    and give you peace.

  23. Hi, I thought your post was excellent. I shared it on my Facebook page, and got many positive reactions. Today, however, I find that Facebook has taken down my post (with your link), because it was marked as “abusive.” I’ve complained to Facebook. Let’s see if it does any good. It’s a shame you are having to deal with moronic “haters” after trying to make a serious and positive contribution to the parenting dialogue. Hank

  24. Thank you for the follow up. The comments on the last post were just as much an opportunity for discussion with my 22 yr old daughter as your post itself. She was surprised by some of the venom spat at you. She told me she felt sorry for those people, because they must not know any better. You and your family are in our prayers and and real parenting does end up with really positive results. Thank you for your voice.

  25. Well said! I can’t believe there were haters to your original post. I didn’t see the video but I have been watching what Miley and some other stars have been doing since leaving Disney. I don’t understand why the Disney stars are so desperate to shed their Disney “image”. They are confusing being sex symbols with growing up. My heart breaks for them that they feel they need to act this way and for whomever is telling them that this is the direction they need to go in order to succeed.

  26. Proud of you, my friend, for writing such a thought/conversation-provoking message! I was appalled to hear that there are such (ahem…) shall I say “bizarre” people out there who would wish harm on your daughter! I didn’t (thankfully) come across any of those vicious remarks, so am hoping they were reported and removed. As for the “duct tape” and ” knock her on her butt” comment, I get it…actually, I don’t see how someone doesn’t read the facetious tone of those comments…get a grip, people! God bless you, dear! – christen

  27. I read your original post to my daughter, and I’ll read this to her as well. She has no idea what Miley Cyrus did (she’s homeschooled and we weren’t home for the VMA’s) but she’s also lost all respect for her because of her recent behavior. It’s time that we stand up and be the role models that we want our girls to have…end of story! You, IMO, are doing just that!

      • Except no one appointed you as the speak for our girls. You can speak on the behalf of your children of course and no one should tell you how to raise your children or say they can overrule whats is appropriate for your children.

        But that said…you don’t get to speak for everyone. You don’t get to determine whats vulgar or unacceptable for anyone outside of your child.

        And I certainly think its messed up that in order to empower your daughter to act one way you have to put down another woman. I’m not saying you have to endorse Miley or support her but you certainly have to realize and acknowledge that she has the right to act that way and it doesn’t automatically make it bad that she’s acting in a way that you wouldn’t endorse.

        A lot of people do things or act a way I wouldn’t. That doesn’t mean they’re bad, wrong or I’m better than them. Live and let live.

        And I find it odd that in no point in your post did you give Miley any power over her decision to do this performance.

        “I want to hug Miley and tell her she is too precious to allow handlers to mold her into this caricature of womanhood.” You’re not allowing Miley any control here. She’s an adult and she’s perfectly capable to determine her own image. In fact, she has more control now over her own image than she did in her days in the Disney corporation. Yet, that image, which was more controlled and coordinated by handlers who were molding her into a caricature of womanhood is more acceptable? Simply because its a mold you approve of?

        “I would love to have a time machine to take her 20 years into the future so she can see with the benefit of hindsight.”

        I would image people said the same about Madonna when she first performed at the VMAs. She’s now the best-selling female artist of all time. I’m sure she totally regrets her VMA performance.

        Again, I’m not overstepping her rights to view this however you’d like. However, I would encourage you to treat it more as a conversation than a set down declarative like you did in your first post. Women have the right to demonstrate their own image, including their sexuality in their own right, just as men do. Maybe Miley did it the wrong way but by all accounts, she did it her way.

        And frankly, I think choosing to be a way that may not be approved of by the general audience is a lot better for growth then choosing to be something just because it receives approval.

        So I guess my point is this: maybe Miley handlers lead her to this image because it would sell well. But really, are you any better them when you set up an image for your daughter to reach rather than let her find her own image through trial and error? Wouldn’t it be better for her to have a Miley moment once in a while rather than constantly striding towards an image that other people imposed on her?

        • Chelle, I didn’t read anywhere that Miley’s right to do such a performance was in question, only her judgment. Kudos for Kim’s elegant writing on a subject needing attention. Also, why don’t you try making a living by trial and error. Or doing your hair. Or baking a cake. Indeed, there are recipes for success and having a conversation with your daughter, public or private, regarding how to live life well is in the best interest of the daughter. As a father of four daughters, two in their twenties, I can say I’m glad none of them have taken a “Miley moment”.

          • ” Also, why don’t you try making a living by trial and error. Or doing your hair. Or baking a cake.”

            What does that even mean? And why is your default here doing my hair or baking a cake? Way to pick some examples here that prove my point of sticking girls in molds.

            Additionally, Kim is not having a public or private conversation with her daughter on these blog posts. To say otherwise is kind of laughable.

            And my dear Steven, if your daughters are in their twenties and have gone away to college, I would image they’ve might of experienced their own Miley moment. (A Miley moment being anything that’s not in line with what their parents/society might of molded for them. A Miley is not simply dressing sexy or performing for a coward. Its a metaphor.)

            Unless you have a camera on them 24/7, you have no clue what they’re up to. That’s why you make it clear that having Miley moments are ok, so they feel comfortable talking to you. If you lay it out what you approve of and they accidentally slip up from that, of course they’re not going to thell you.

            And seriously, what does this mean? “Also, why don’t you try making a living by trial and error. Or doing your hair. Or baking a cake.”? Most people make a living by trial and error. You try things, sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t.

          • You also missed my point entirely. I never said you couldn’t or shouldn’t have a conversation with your children (both boys and girls because this topic isn’t exclusive to girls) about how to live a good life. My comment was based entirely on Kim’s statement that Miley’s handlers are responsible for how she acts now, when there’s no evidence that anyone but Miley was responsible and pointing out Kim’s hypocrisy for telling Miley to restrict becoming one mold of female which asking her to return back the person she was – an image that was even more shaped by a corporation than the one she has now.

            And as I was typing this, I realized that its pretty telling that you choose one sentence in my paragraph filled comment to address. That’s pretty sad – many you shouldn’t response if you don’t actually have an argument.

            I hope you taught your daughters that silence is golden – though, in this case, you didn’t demonstrate it.

      • Hi Kim,

        THANK YOU for being a public voice of sanity. I heard you on KXL Portland, and I support you and your heartfelt desire to protect our GIRLS – I’m right there with you. !!!!!NO!!!!! This is NOT okay!

        Some suggest that one must be “appointed” to take a public stand to advocate for others – as far as I know, in America it isn’t yet an appointed position. Just incase, I hereby appoint you Youth Advocate – now you’re official. Self-appointed advocacy and unsolicited care, by a wise adult, goes along way in building self-esteem, and understanding of appropriate/inappropriate behaviors, etc. in children and adolescents.

        It truly takes a village. If someone sees my children acting in a way that’s offensive, inappropriate, etc., I expect them to call them on it (and/or bring it to my attention), in a respectful, caring manner. Those caring words from another can change the course of a young person’s life.

        My 16 year-old daughter and I have had several conversations regarding the Miley episode. Today she brought up what I think is an excellent point depicting the backward thinking of some in our society…she said she doesn’t understand why many “hate on” Taylor Swift and ridicule her for expressing fallen relationships in her music, yet many stand up for Miley saying, “Leave her alone and let her express herself.” Hmmmm, which is healthy self-expression…Miley…Taylor…Miley…Taylor…Miley…
        Taylor…my vote goes to Taylor.

        I think it shows an interesting divide in our social consciousness.

        I appreciate you and your self-expression.
        Keep on rockin the world…

        Cheers!

        Valerie

        • Valerie,

          Thanks for the appointment, but this job is too big for just one person. I appoint you and millions of moms, dads and grandparents around the world as co-youth advocates. Never be silent. Always be present. Never give up.

  28. I had to reply, I thought your post was amazing. I do not have a daughter but I have younger sisters and a son of my own, I am maternal always giving my sisters advice and this is exactly the kind of advice I would give any girl. We all have to grow up and we all make mistakes. I made plenty of my own, but my mother did raise me to be a lady and I remembered that lesson well. I don’t believe in censoring but I do feel sad for Miley and others like her. Lindsey Lohan, Amanda Bynes etc. they started out beautiful innocent and it got lost, they lost control. It’s sad. I didn’t read all the replies to your original post but I did read one, the letter to parents from bethany. The hope is your child will grow up ok, make some mistakes along the way and pray they aren’t too bad, that you can get them through the rough patches of life and that they will thank you for everything you did for them, they will realize you did everything out of love and that your not perfect either you are human but you tried your best, hopefully your kids end up wiser and better off than you. It’s not always the case but its usually the goal. Thanks for your post. I felt the same way when I saw her performance. To those who freaked out on you well… I guess I feel bad for them too. I’m not saying they are wrong but there are better ways of disagreeing without being insulting.

  29. I just read the original article, and I agree with what you have to say. As a father of three boys, I feel it is just as important that we teach them also how to treat a lady as a lady. We should not focus the discipline only on the girls, the boys need guidance just as much.

    • I completely agree with you. I grew up with 5 brothers, and my parents demanded the same behavior and respect from them as my from my sister and I.

  30. Kim – I think we may be great friends. I have no daughters, but lots of girls I love and that I am blessed to be an integral part of their lives.This followup is even more impressive than the first piece that got my attention. I have sons and have raised them to seek out females who know their value. Each girl who calls me Auntie or Titi knows it comes with expectations and I don’t accept “everyone is doing it” as cause for accepting less from yourself.
    From the time they are little girls I avoid telling them they are pretty, not because I don’t think they are of course they are… but that is incidental… it is like telling them they have feet. I CONSTANTLY stress and point out to them when they are smart, kind, sweet, creative, thoughtful, athletic, generous, deep, graceful… people tell little girls ALL THE TIME how pretty they and then we are surprised when grow seeking their value in their appearance… when I tell them they look beautiful, they know I mean it but it is deeper than the surface. They have heard my little mantras their whole lives… Stupid isn’t cute… smart is sexy,… a little grace goes a long way… carrot, coffee or egg… tell the truth and you’ll never have to remember lies… don’t do anything you wouldn’t want me to see…you are stronger than you believe…and I will love you no matter what < anyone who doesn't love you just as much, doesn't love you

  31. Nice recap Kim but please note that, although I don’t have daughters, I have sisters and many nieces and Miley’s performance impacted me and my wife the same as you! She needs better guidance and is selling woman-kind short possibly without realizing it. It’s really sad because Miley is talented but for some reason nobody around her mentioned the possibility this type tactless performance could cause major problems and is sending the wrong message to her many young “Hannah Montana” fans! She is still young but learning these lessons publicly is likely to cause issues for her so hope she sees the light and improves. Sex sells but at what cost? It was wrong place for this type performance. Don’t let any haters get you down. I don’t like excess censoring but it was needed here.

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