“I will be the first one to tell you that standing on that stage, in that costume was one of the most degrading things I felt like I could ever do.”
One of the bear-costumed backup dancers from Miley Cyrus’ now infamous VMA performance has come forward to answer questions about the performance. Hollis Jane, the 24 year old actress who is also a little person was one of the dancers in bear costumes surrounding Miley on stage while she performed at this year’s MTV Video Music Awards in Brooklyn.
The actress posted her feelings first on her blog before taking to Reddit to answer questions from users.
She explained that she felt degraded from her experience and that she had been laughed at for being a little person overall slamming Miley Cyrus and the planners of the performance for mocking little people as nothing more than freaks, an experience that left her in tears.
“Most of the time, getting a job purely because you’re a little person (in my opinion) is not a good thing. It is further fulfilling society’s idea that we are something to laugh at; that our value is simply to shock. We can all agree that right now all Miley Cyrus wants to do is make society’s jaw drop. So what’s more “weird” or “freaky” than having little people parading around in your show?
“I was a bear in Miley Cyrus’ VMA performance and it was my first time doing anything like that — anything where I was being used because of my height, not because of my talent. And I will be the first one to tell you that standing on that stage, in that costume was one of the most degrading things I felt like I could ever do. I realize not everyone shares my opinion and I might just be young and naive, but I feel like the acceptance of this kind of treatment has got to stop.
“… I had never been in a performance where I was purely meant to be gawked or laughed at. I will never forget that performance because it is what forced me to draw my personal line in the sand. After our first dress rehearsal in the costumes with the crew, publicists, performers etc watching us, I walked out of the Barclay Center shaking and crying. Thankfully, my best friends, Kelly and Kerri, happened to be NYC to visit me. They were waiting for me and I walked up to them and broke down. I love being the center of attention, but that was something different. I was being stared and laughed at for all of the wrong reasons. I was being looked at as a prop …as something less than human.“
She answered some of the basics from Reddit users about the experience.
Was the money worth it? [link]
How has being part of this performance impacted your life? [link]
It’s forced me to learn where my line is drawn when it comes to what I will do for money. It taught me that no amount of money is worth my self-worth. (And I got to meet 2Chainz so…not all that bad).
Did the other LP performers share your views (i.e. did they regret agreeing to a performance where their height was being used as some kind of joke)? [link]
If any from Miley’s performance did, they haven’t mentioned it to me. The girls who are on tour with her now are really upset by what I have to say. But frankly, it’s just my opinion. If that’s what they want to do and they feel comfortable doing it, that’s their own business. I just feel that it’s not doing society’s idea of little people any justice.
Why would they be upset? Don’t they feel like they are being publicly ridiculed? [link]
They feel like I am bashing their line of work and “hating” on them. They basically attacked me on Facebook and seemed to refuse to understand that I was stating my personal opinion. I’m not trying to get an angry mob after anyone by any means. Just trying to bring an issue to light.
What do you think of Miley in general? [link]
I think she is a 20 year old kid who has been given a lot of money and freedom. To be fair, I don’t think anyone is super proud of how they act/behave in their 20’s, she just happens to have a platform to demonstrate immaturity. That being said, I think the girl can SING.