I Came in Like an…Emotionally Vulnerable Young Adult who Clearly Misses her Fiancé?

“Wrecking Ball” – Miley Cyrus

Yes, I’m analyzing this song. No, it’s not a joke, I swear. Just hear me out for just a little bit. Really.

In the first verse, from “we clawed, we chained, to a love no one could deny” we see Miley’s bright lipstick clash with the white background as she speaks directly to us, our audience. Nothing else is happening so that we can take in the sheer magnitude of her words of a lost love. Presumably about her ex-fiance, Liam, or about the love she shares with her acting career.

Segwaying into the next verse, the that starts with “don’t you ever say I just walked away, to I will always want you” we see that movement starts to happen in the view. Everything is chaos and the rush of sounds and voices as we see Miley licking a hammer–she is tasting the pain of loss of the wrecking ball that shattered her emotional state, and his simultaneously. It wrecked both of them, in fact. She is wearing white to symbolize innocence and purity; she wants to be pure again after he falling out, and she wishes to be whole again, but she knows that she can never be.

Then the chorus chimes in, “I came in like a wrecking ball, to Yeah, you wreck me” and this is where the shattering of the walls comes in. In cue with the lyrics, the wrecking ball smashes the wall behind her, which is meant to represent Liam crashing down her emotional “walls” and helping her to believe in the essence of love. But then he leaves her shattered and broken, as she continues to ride on the curtails of the wrecking ball, the remnants of him that she wishes to still reach out and touch him with at all costs. She is naked (a highly controversial aspect of the video and of the song) for the simple reason that she is vulnerable. She represents physical and emotional vulnerability and impressionability as most humans are/have. This relationship has made her both strong and weak as a person. As most choruses go, this is one of the high-lighted, most important moments in the entire song, as it is repeated multiple times.

“I put you high up in the sky…to and now we’re ashes on the ground” grounds out the aftermath of the relationship and provides some important context as to why she is so emotionally distressed as a direct cause of the piece. Then the chorus comes to light again.

Finally, before the chorus is repeated for the third and final time, we as listeners hear, “I never meant to start a war. I just wanted you to let me in” to the repetitious lines of “I just wanted you to let me in. I guess I shouldn’t let you in.” Which brings the entire song to a head and full circle, she just wants to make the same impressionable impact on his life that he has on hers; she feels as though this has been a phenomenon that only he has made on her, and not vice versa. She feels unimportant, and wants to make her feelings and her legacy known. She isn’t the only one who should remember the relationship for all that it was worth.

Personally speaking, regardless of anyone else’s opinion of it. I don’t believe the song or presentation is promiscuous at all, but just a bit risky.  Her intentions were to show her intense vulnerability, not her low self-esteem, or for anything for show business. It was something created to be realistic, raw, and true, but most people have perverted it because of her past reputation of being Hannah Montana, or that they feel that she has taken everything way too far, which in some cases, is a possibility.

That’s it for now. I can’t wait for next week!



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3 Responses to I Came in Like an…Emotionally Vulnerable Young Adult who Clearly Misses her Fiancé?

  1. Nicole says:

    Kyle and nutmeg, thanks for your feedback! I also agree that there definitely are sexualized aspects of the song, but I also wanted to point out aspects of the song that were a bit more innocent or symbolic, because most people get very carried away with the nudity and the pop style and ignore everything else. But again, yes, I do agree that there is both a sense of innocence, and also a sense of abundant sexuality.

  2. nutmeg says:

    I have to agree with Kyle. While there are definitely parts of the video where is is vulnerable and crying, I think it was mainly a sexual display. Miley has made a lot of money marketing herself as the Disney star gone wild, and I think this video is a continuation of that theme.

  3. Kyle King says:

    I like your reading, Nicole, but I can’t help but /also/ note the sexual aspects of the song. I buy the vulnerability and innocence angle to a certain point (the opening and closing close-ups of her face), but I think at a certain point, the symbolic aspects of the song become less important.

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