A month ago, a lot of our Women's March 2020 playlists got a little longer thanks to "Mother's Daughter," a new Miley Cyrus track that demands "Don't f**k with my freedom." Now, Miley has released the perfect video to go with it: a blood-red, intersectional, fiercely feminist clip featuring a host of beautiful humans who endorse Miley's unapologetic message.
Here's a brief guide of who's who and why they're important:
Describing herself as a "Plussize Performer/Professional Fat Shaker," the LA model's Twitter account is a sea of body positive, Pride-saluting activism with a wink. In addition to a few acting roles, she's also made appearances in the music videos for Jesse J's "Queen" and "Up In The Air" by Thirty Seconds to Mars.
If anyone deserves a superhero cape in this video, it's 11-year-old Mari. In 2016, she wrote to President Obama to ask for assistance with the water crisis in her hometown of Flint, Michigan. When he showed up, their meeting went viral, thanks to Mari's joy at his arrival, her "Little Miss Flint" sash and her determination to get something done for her city. Since then, the tween has volunteered with Pack Your Back, a non-profit that provides kids in need with school supplies and bottled water.
If Amazon Ashley looks familiar, it's probably because Miley took the 6-foot-7-inch dancer and burlesque star out on the 2014 Bangerz tour and made a habit of "motorboating" her cleavage. Amazon Ashley is one of the regular performers at Beacher's Madhouse, a venue that prides itself on having "the atmosphere of a circus" and attracting celebrity guests including Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, David Beckham, Kelly Osbourne and, yes, Miley.
It's hard to sum up everything Mela Murder does in one paragraph, but she is most commonly recognized for her role as a struggling single mother in The Florida Project. It was more than just another role; in real life, Mela advocates for single moms at every opportunity, with her Let's Talk project, a support group for mothers going it alone, as well as with her short documentary, To The Surface, which provides a raw look at the lives of single moms, particularly those surviving on tiny budgets with little to no outside support. If that wasn't enough, she is also nursing a burgeoning music career, collaborating with the likes of Everything Is Recorded and Mother Brother, and working as a lead dancer and choreographer for Major Lazer.
Miley didn't name this trio of glamorous, leopard-print-loving mature models on her social media, but they too deserve some props for being age-defying badasses.
The striking and androgynous 23-year-old model with Swedish and Brazilian roots recently appeared in Playboy—a move that shocked those more familiar with her conventional modeling career for the likes of Sony, Smashbox Cosmetics and Pacsun. She has also appeared in other music videos, including G-Eazy's "Some Kind Of Drug" and Chris Lake's "Turn Off The Lights." In a quote recently posted to Miley's Instagram account, Vendela said: "I’m not afraid to be who I am and not who society says I should be as a woman. I don’t conform to the norms. Never be afraid to speak with your own voice and form your own opinions."
Pro-skater and queer activist, Lacey won the X Games in 2014 and the Street League Skateboarding Super Crown World Championship in 2016. Though they've been referred to as "one of the best female skaters in the world" and "one of the best female street/tech" skaters by Thrasher magazine, the message on Lacey's T-shirt in "Mother's Daughter," which reads "They/Them," makes clear they would prefer gender-neutral pronouns moving forward.
Aaron is a trans model living with cerebral palsy who has been hammering down barriers since signing with Elite Model Management at the age of 18. After appearing on the cover of Paper in a landmark photo shoot, Aaron told CNN: "There's still a great lack of visibility and attention towards people with disabilities in fashion. As of right now, I'm one of two physically disabled models in the entire industry... Hopefully, I'll do it so that other girls in my position don't have to—they can just live and do their jobs."
Casil is a trans model who has managed to maintain a successful career, despite transitioning in the middle of it. He's walked for Marc Jacobs and Coach, done campaigns for Kenneth Cole and Milk Makeup, and isn't afraid to speak up about his life experiences. He recently told Mic that while working as a female-identified model: "I’d have to go on liquid diets for months just to lose weight. The expectations for female bodies... they have unreachable standards even if they’ve been modeling for years.” He also noted: "The most important thing for me to let trans men know... I always do my makeup, I always wear dresses. It doesn’t mean I want to be a girl. I just want to be my own guy.”
A dancer, choreographer and actress, you might remember Paige from her roles in Step-Up: High Water, Netflix triumph Dumplin' or Ne-Yo's video for "Push Back." She is also an outspoken social justice activist, telling Miley Cyrus: "The only sure-fire way to ensure that I am personally represented is to use my voice... I must do more than just sign a petition here or there."
She's an actress, producer and mother of five, but Miley sums up why her mom is so essential here, in the song itself: "My mama always told me that I'd make it/ That I'd make it, so I made it/ I put my back into and my heart in it/ So I did it, yeah, I did it."
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