Given that our nation has nothing else majorly important to focus on right now, it's easy to get swept up in Miley mania and wonder where it all went so wrong. But before we chalk this all up to Miley just bein' Miley, it's important to remember that someone showed her the way—America's ginger sweetheart, Lindsay Lohan. So just who is taking the crown for baddest bitch of this millennium?
Miley: Miley y'all-ed her way into our hearts as a triple-threat in the adorable acting, dancing, Southern drawling genre with Disney's Hannah Montana. You couldn't throw a rock anywhere in America without hitting a Hannah lunchbox, Hannah hair crimper (Hannah hair glitter sold separately), or leopard print legging-ed Hannah impersonator.
Lindsay: Miley may have been adorable, but be real—Lindsay was the original Disney princess. In a twist of dramatic irony, baby Linds' "I have class and you don't" cemented her status as the child star to watch/emulate/love (sorry Hayley Mills, but it's true). Plus, she made it safe for redheads like Amy Adams to boldly display their true colors, and for that many a bottle blonde is thankful.
Bottom line: I can't even remember a relevant child star before Lindsay. Melissa Joan Hart? Ugh. Blossom? No thanks. Punky Brewster? Okay maybe. But after Punky Brewster, it's all Lindsay.
Lindsay: 1, Miley: 0
Both Miley and LiLo have relationships with their fathers that would make Elliot Stabler punch a perp into the wall of Interrogation Room B and then pretend it was an accident, so it stands to reason that this category may be a tough one to judge.
Lindsay: On one hand, you've got Michael Lohan's erratic behavior, drug use, multiple arrests, affairs, and illegitimate children. On the other hand, he inspires some of Lindsay's best work on Twitter:
And yet! Despite telling Piers Morgan in May that she was done with her dad ("Whenever I do try to bring him back into my life, he creates chaos for me and uses it to his advantage"), Lindsay and Michael were having a fun family Japanese food night just weeks later.
Miley: Miley and Billy Ray, unlike the Lohans, have been as close as any father-daughter duo with matching highlights—until this June, when, apparently not reacting well to the news of Billy and Tish's second round of divorce allegations, Miley issued a Twitter ultimatum to her father: "Since you won't respond to my texts, I'm giving you an hour to tell the truth or I'll tell it for you," along with a photo of Billy Ray's Chicago co-star Dylis Croman. The tweet was since deleted, but the damage was done. Miley and Billy are reported be in couples counseling (gross, weird, I can't even), so I'm praying for these two lovebirds to work it out.
The Bottom Line: Miley's life is clearly a trainwreck of bad decisions and poor parenting right now, but she needs about another decade of crazy before her relationship with Billy can beat the rickety carnival ride known as Lindsay and Michael.
Lindsay: 2, Miley: 0
"Artsy" Photo Spreads
Miley: In 2008, Miley, at the tender age of 15, posed for Annie Leibovitz and Vanity Fair looking like a character straight out of The Ring, all in the name of "art." (The photo shoot also included a vaguely creepy photo with Humbert Humbert. I mean, Billy Ray.) After the backlash Miley told People, "I took part in a photo shoot that was supposed to be 'artistic' and now, seeing the photographs and reading the story, I feel so embarrassed."
Lindsay: Three years later, but a whole decade older, 25-year-old Lindsay posed for Playboy in 2011. She too swore it was in the name of art (which, I mean, you can't see her vagina, so, sure), and definitely not for the money she needed to finance the cocaine habit she doesn't have.
Bottom line: Lindsay's photos showed far more skin, but let's be real: We've all seen that plenty of times. But sexualizing a teenager? In a photo shoot with her dad? Advantage Miley.
Lindsay: 2, Miley: 1
Complicated Relationships With Teddy Bears
Lindsay: Despite what recent media coverage may tell you, Miley didn't invent the teddy bear. Lindsay was pulling Teddy Ruxpin shenanigans well before this year's VMA's—not only did she pose for Vanity Fair in 2011 with an unexplained bear and a skull (uhhh, art, right?), but she also has been spotted carrying around giant bears apropos of nothing.
Miley: As literally every human being in America now knows, Miley went a similar route at the 2013 MTV VMA's. I don't want to spend too much time on the twerk heard 'round the world, but, I mean: She crawled out of a bear, while wearing a bear, and dancing with an army of bears, before stripping completely bare (semantics!).
The bottom line: Lindsay might have done it first—but Miley took to a whole new level. Advantage Miley.
Lindsay: 2, Miley: 2
Miley: Miley's first time hosting Saturday Night Live in 2011 with The Strokes was better than anyone expected. (Now that her pants have been reduced to booty shorts at pretty much all times, it's easy to forget that Miley's talent has always been charming you from the small screen.) Her best sketches, natch, were the ones where she got to—and, memorably, when she acted alongside Vanessa Bayer acting as Miley on The Miley Cyrus Show. Here's hoping her upcoming hosting gig goes as smoothly, but here's hoping even more that it doesn't, because you know, would 2013 be 2013 if Miley didn't just keep being Miley?
Lindsay: Her second go around on SNL may have been the disaster we were all secretly hoping for, but no matter how much Miley twerks Lorne Michaels into submission, she will never, ever top this:
The bottom line: Lindsay by association on this one. Miley's episode was good, but tame. Sure she addressed her salvia smoking ways, but Lindsay had to try to keep a straight face while Jimmy Fallon, Rachel Dratch, Amy Poehler and Horatio Sanz were all crying tears. Forget playing your own twin, holding your own with comedy greats is a real feat of acting.
Lindsay: 3, Miley: 2
Overall 'I Don't Give a Fuck's
Lindsay: For every interview that Lindsay gives where she's so done with the drama, she seems to slip right back into it. Did her 90 days in rehab change her for the better? Sure! Was she spotted partying with The Wanted the day after? Indubitably. Lindsanity is probably right—she's not addicted to cocaine, she's addicted to the drama. She had the gall to tell Oprah, our lord and savior, that she's turning her life around, but haven't we heard this story before? And more importantly, do we really want her to?
Miley: In recent months, Miley broke up with her boyfriend Billy, broke up with her fiancee Liam, and broke up with her good girl image. She has publicly proclaimed that this new trashy phoenix that has risen out of the ashes of the artist formerly known as Miley is honest y'all just Miley. "They're overthinking it … You're thinking about it more than I thought about it when I did it. Like, I didn't even think about it 'cause that's just me." Is this the Destiny Hope Cyrus that was hidden under the manufactured Miley all along? Maybe. Will she put her tongue back in her mouth and her crotch back in pants? Maybe not.
The bottom line: Close call, but Lindsay.
Lindsay: 4, Miley: 2
They may both be fallen childhood stars who once were our Disney angels, and yes Miley did make a strong last minute move in this race with her sledgehammer licking nipple baring ways, but Lindsay is the clear winner here. She's been pranking us all for YEARS. Miley just started this summer. Will I be doing a recount in a few years? Likely. Will both stars live to see that recount happen? Debatable.
[Image by Sam Woolley]