Hollis Jane, one of the back-up dancers during Miley Cyrus' infamous VMA performance, says that being asked to perform just because she was a little person was one of the most degrading things she had ever experienced.
Jane performed as one of the background bears during Cyrus' performance, and says during the dress rehearsals, she left "shaking and crying" because she was being used basically as a prop.
On her personal blog, Jane wrote:
I was in Miley Cyrus’ 2013 VMA performance as one of the background bears. I had never done anything in a costume with a mask like that before. I mean, I dressed up as a Pink Power Ranger when I was in Kindergarten and I had a mask on but, I digress… 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. When I did the VMAs, I did feel like that. 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 was later asked to audition for Cyrus' tour, and after being chosen as one of the performers, she decided to turn the offer down.
When they asked me to audition for Miley’s tour, I was incredibly hesitant. The money was great and I would have gotten a free trip to Las Vegas. My computer had recently broken and my car needed (and still needs) multiple repairs. I could have fixed a lot of that with the Miley money. So, I sent in my audition tape. I found out I was chosen and was going to have to begin rehearsals the next day. In this whole process, I was never quite told what I would be dancing to or as with Miley. I began to get a horrible gut feeling. All of the VMA feelings came rushing back.
Jane said she couldn't stand the thought of her future children seeing her performing in that way. She said, "[I wondered] if it was worth that one day, when my future (possibly little person) child YouTubed Miley Cyrus and found me dancing onstage in a costume like that and said something like, 'But Mom, you don't let me do things like that,' and I had to explain that Momma did it to pay the bills. I wondered if it was worth feeling less than human again."
Image via http://holliseum.wordpress.com/