When my friend and I agreed to take our daughters (ages 11 and 12) to see Miranda Sings, I told myself to have an open mind and try to see Miranda through my daughter’s eyes. So, I prepared myself for some silly entertainment, but, honestly, I wondered if I would last through the first 10 minutes. Well, not only did I last through the show, but I laughed out loud and enjoyed every minute of it! I’m pleased to report that not only is this anti-bullying advocate now a fan of Miranda Sings, but she sees Miranda as a champion for oddball inside all of us.
Now, for anyone whose home has not yet been bitten by the Miranda Sings bug, let me provide a brief explanation: Miranda is the alter ego of Colleen Ballinger, a singer, comedian, and YouTube sensation. Unlike Colleen, Miranda can’t sing, spell, or apply lipstick correctly. Her fashion sense is questionable at best, and she always sounds like she’s in need of a productive nose blow.
So, then, how did I transition from optimistically-cautious concert chaperone to fan – aka: Mafanda? Well, it was like … magic:
(1) The Dinner
As we parked the car outside Chili’s, our daughters buttoned their shirts all the way up to their chins and reapplied their bright red lipstick in Miranda’s trademark way: smeared far outside the boundaries of their lips. Then, they walked into the restaurant with heads held high and smiles contorted. They ordered their food with nasally voices, eyebrows raised, and corners of their mouths pointed down. They told our (very patient!) waiter and anyone else who would listen to “Suscribe.”
Most of the diners either politely ignored them or said things like:
You girls look like you are having fun.
We’re on our way to see Miranda, too! Isn’t she awesome?!
Some diners stared at them and pointed. Some shook their heads at the moms who should have known better than to allow their daughters to parade around like that. Did any of that bother the girls? Nope.
As we exited Chili’s, the girls waved to the other patrons and said, “Hey, guys! It’s me, Miranda.” Most waved back and smiled, but I don’t think the girls would have cared if they didn’t.
(2) The Drive to the Concert
While we drove the short 2 miles from Chili’s to the concert, we started seeing other moms with their Miranda’s. The closer we got, the more of them we saw: girls with hair plastered to their heads, bobby pins securely holding back their bangs, and mouths stained with sloppily-applied red lipstick. We could spot them easily by their baggy red pants. Without hesitation, our girls rolled down the windows, leaned out, and called, “Hey, guys!” The other Miranda’s smiled, waved back, jumped up and down with excitement and replied, “See you there!”
Did they look ridiculous? Yep.
Did that matter to them? Nope.
Was I beginning to understand the magic that is Miranda? You bet!
(3) The Concert
The concert hall was teaming with Miranda’s of various ages, each one proudly wearing her long-sleeved, button-up shirt, baggy red pants (some displaying, “Haters back off!” on the backside), plastered hair, and red lipstick explosion. They greeted each other with smiles and waves and compliments about their perfectly imperfect lipstick application. In spite of how they looked, there was not a sad or lonely person in the building. Everywhere I looked, I saw instant friends.
Over the next hour and a half, Miranda regaled us with her hilarious and odd opinions about beauty, boyfriends, fashion, and self-esteem. Although the character does not seem like someone you might expect would be filled with confidence, Miranda couldn’t be more comfortable in her own skin. She thinks she is awesome, and I would venture that a healthy dose of Miranda Sings leaves her fans feeling like they are awesome, too.
The highlight of the show for me was when Miranda read aloud some of her hate mail. People criticized her singing, her speaking voice, her clothes, her hair, and her make-up. They called her names, cussed, ordered her to shut up, and said many other cruel things I can’t share. Some of it reminded me of what my daughter experienced when she was being bullied years ago.
Miranda’s response to these critics is simply, “Haters back off!” She tells them that if they don’t like her, then they should just stop watching. Then, she shrugs her shoulders and rolls her eyes in disbelief that they couldn’t figure out this easy solution for themselves. And then she continues to be herself – perhaps even more so.
Without ever saying it, Miranda communicates to her fans that they should be themselves and show their own quirkiness with pride. It doesn’t matter if others disapprove or don’t get you. This quintessential underdog oh so subtly suggests that her audience stand strong and encourages them to join her in saying, “Haters back off!” In other words, I’m going to be happy being myself no matter what anyone else says.
Isn’t that what we all want for our children?
Thank you, Miranda.
Note to Parents: Please do your own research to decide if “Miranda Sings” videos and concerts are appropriate for your child. This blog post should not be construed as a blanket endorsement. It is simply one parent’s view of Miranda’s subtle positive message to be proud of who you are.