Dancing bear from Miley Cyrus’ VMA performance speaks out
A young woman who played a dancing bear at Miley Cyrus’ infamous VMA performance in August earlier this year has revealed her true feelings about taking part in the show. Hollis Jane, 24, is a little person and she wrote an eye-opening blog post about her harrowing experience. “I was in Miley Cyrus’ 2013 VMA performance as one of the background bears,” she wrote. “I had never been in a performance where I was purely meant to be gawked or laughed at. I will never forget that performance because it is what forced me to draw my personal line in the sand. After our first dress rehearsal in the costumes with the crew, publicists, performers etc watching us, I walked out of the Barclay Center shaking and crying. Thankfully, my best friends, Kelly and Kerri, happened to be NYC to visit me. They were waiting for me and I walked up to them and broke down. I love being the center of attention, but that was something different. I was being stared and laughed at for all of the wrong reasons. I was being looked at as a prop … as something less than human.” Jane is 4-foot-2 and has achondroplasia dwarfism.
Jane added, “For the first time I felt truly ashamed of being a little person. We were being used simply because we were little. It felt like society still saw us as a joke, despite the fact there is literally nothing different about me other than the fact I am small.” Jane is an aspiring actress based in Los Angeles. She was offered a position touring with Cyrus, but she said even though she needed the money, she couldn’t bring herself to take the job after feeling so degraded at the VMAs.
Jane answered questions on an Ask Me Anything! thread on Reddit about the show. On the thread, she said the other little people who performed with her have attacked her on Facebook for her point of view. She also revealed that Miley’s performance was very well-planned: “Everyone knew exactly what she was doing. Her mom was in every rehearsal I attended. She had a prop foam finger she practiced with.” Jane also said she decided to join the performance because it sounded fun: She did not know what her role was before rehearsals.