I’ve been a fan of Miley Cyrus since her Hannah Montana era on Disney Channel, when I was a 7-year-old kid. I bopped to all of Hannah Montana’s soundtracks in the car on the way to school, to my poor mother’s suffering. I watched “Bolt,” “The Last Song,” “LOL” and “So Undercover” as soon as they came out. Last year, I watched Cyrus’ “Black Mirror” episode and repeatedly streamed the song “On a Roll” that she performed for the show.
Naturally, as a well-established TikTok user, the algorithm knows I like Miley Cyrus, so Miley Cyrus content pops up on my For You page. A couple weeks ago, TikTok users started tagging Cyrus in their posts because she began to reply frequently. This trend snowballed and turned into users tagging Cyrus in posts, saying that they will complete some sort of action if she comments.
Some TikTokers promised to do very drastic things if Cyrus replied to their posts. “Shirlee wrote, ‘if miley cyrus comments we will get married.’ Cyrus didn’t shy away again and replied, ‘Hope it goes better for you two than it did for me. 💍☠️🖤 Congrats,’ referencing her divorce from actor Liam Hemsworth,” Yi-Jin Yu wrote in Today. “The 20-year-old’s TikTok post has been viewed over 17,000 times and liked over 3,200 times.”
There are countless other examples of Cyrus’ amazing comments, but luckily, I found an Instagram post with screenshots of some of her greatest hits.
A female user posted a video with the caption, “If miley comments ill get whatever tattoo she says,” which prompted Cyrus to comment, “How about the time and place of our first date?” Another TikToker posted a video saying, “If miley comments ill pierce my n1pple, nose and dye half my hair black.” Cyrus said, “I NEED TO SEE.”
These decisions by the TikTok community are pretty extreme. Tattoos take a lot of time and money to remove, marriages take a lot of paperwork to dissolve and pierced nipples and noses take a lot of time to close up. It seems impetuous to make these decisions because your favorite artist commented on your video.
Yet, a lot of users flocked to TikTok to tag Cyrus in their videos, hoping for a response and perhaps even permission to do something they were either afraid or hesitant to do. I remember how nervous I was before I got my first tattoo. If I finally took the plunge because my idol told me to, maybe I would have been less scared. Who knows?
The cynic in me views this as a PR stunt to promote Cyrus’ new album, “Plastic Hearts.” If it was a PR stunt, it worked like a charm. Cyrus trended across multiple social media platforms and fans and non-fans alike saw the TikTok content splayed across their phone screens. If you didn’t know Cyrus put out a new album before, you most certainly did during the height of this TikTok craze.
Users like me also wonder how Cyrus could have commented on so many TikToks, being a successful and undoubtedly busy celebrity. Did someone on her publicity team help her? Or did she do it all herself? Some of the comments were a little bit risky, seemingly something an intern or employee would avoid posting if they wanted to keep their job.
Cyrus never clarified if she was the one who posted every comment, but I want to think it was. It keeps the magic alive, letting us believe that Cyrus played an authentic part in the users’ lives, and makes the trend more meaningful. Even if it was a PR stunt, I don’t particularly care. It was still fun to watch and no doubt exhilarating for those who received a comment.
Next time you mull over a potentially impulsive choice, ask yourself, WWMCD? (What would Miley Cyrus do?)