For anyone who may not have noticed, let me state the obvious – there’s been a lot of hype around Miley Cyrus recently. I have so far managed to avoid writing about the issue, but now I think that I would like to have a say. I’m a little sick of the endless stream of criticism being channeled her way, so I thought I’d take a different approach altogether and focus on the positives.

You’re probably thinking, “What positives?”, which would be a completely understandable response. All we’ve really seen from Miley is a child star turned overly-sexualised young woman – one who has been employing the most shocking and boundary-pushing tactics that she (and her management team, no doubt) can think of.

While the general reaction has been to hail down judgment and call her a list of rather degrading names, I really just want to give the girl a hug. If she’s anything right now, it’s confused; and it would seem that there’s no-one in her life who’s willing to help (I am especially disappointed in her dad who, rather than running up and pulling her off the VMA stage, later told interviewers that she’s just reinventing herself). So rather than join the girl-bashing that the media thrives on, I would like to focus on the good in her – one female to another.

So what are some of the good things about Miley? Let’s start with her talent. I typed “Miley Cyrus talent” into Google and sadly got a heap of results with the word “talentless” instead. But they’re wrong – whether you like her music or not, she can definitely hold a tune (refer to video above). Sure, her performances tend to leave you quite distracted from her vocal ability, but the fact remains that she is musically talented.

Also, with years of successful acting behind her – both the Hannah Montana series and a handful of movies – she evidently acts well too. This career may appear to be just turning up for the camera and looking pretty, but there would have been a lot of hard work that got her there. Not to mention a certain lack of childhood, considering she was already busy being famous by then.

And, although looks shouldn’t be important, I’d also like to point out that she’s a beautiful girl. Why is this relevant? Because her recent actions, far from highlighting this fact, unfortunately take away from this beauty (in fact, I don’t think I’ve heard it mentioned at all). So while she may have spent a lot of time overturning her pretty-innocent-girl image, and even more time drawing attention away from her face and to her physical assets, I’d like to try and look deeper, and remember that she still has her intrinsic beauty whether she knows it or not.

Even though our culture likes to push boundaries, we like to maintain at least one scapegoat of the moment: who we can vehemently criticise for taking things too far. Miley is our current scapegoat and yes, she has definitely taken things too far – well beyond shedding her Hannah Montana image. But, once again as a fellow female, I can attest to the fact that we all make mistakes. And seeing as she’s only 20, I’m going to hope that at some point she gets herself back into a more fulfilling lifestyle.

Tamara El-Rahi is an associate editor of MercatorNet. A Journalism graduate from the University of Technology Sydney, she lives in Australia with her husband and two daughters.