Team Miley

miley cyrus VMAs

I know, I know, once again I’m seriously late to the party with this little bit of commentaire. However, having spent the week since that VMA’s performance re-watching the video and delighting in the looks of sheer horror on family Smith’s faces (although I’ve since learnt this photo may have been taken during Lady Gaga’s set, go figure) and reading the many, many vitriolic articles lampooning Miley Cyrus I felt compelled to write a little something. Whatever this post title might suggest, I’m not about to come out and say I thought the whole thing was anything other than appalling. But it wasn’t the raunchiness of it all that got me, let’s face it, we’ve seen worse. There was just something so unbelievably awful about it all. The tongue action, Mileys jolting is-she-or-isn’t-she wasted movements, the fact that the costumes weren’t so much shockingly skimpy as just plain nasty. It was just bad on every level. I don’t particularly take issue the many, many mean but funny buzz feed montages that started circulating five minutes after Miss Cyrus pranced off stage brandishing that poor foam finger and I highly doubt she could care less either. What I do take issue with is the fact that Miley, her performance and her song lyrics are being used as fuel to not only slag off her “turkey butt” and “bratz doll” hair but to basically blame her for a myriad of other, rather more serious things. According to countless articles and comments boards about Miley’s VMA’s performance she has not only “gone off the rails” but is at least partially responsible for everything from furthering the “slutification of America’s young girls” (a direct quote here, I kid you not) to promoting drug use. I’m not saying these people don’t have a bit of a point or arguing that Miley’s exactly a role model but I think it’s hugely unfair to hold her, and female artists in general, to such grossly different standards as their male counterparts. Admittedly there seem to be many people who share this view. Since the initial O-M-G calmed down enough for anyone to go online without simply re-watching the video, Robin Thicke has been criticised for gyrating up against a 20 year old on stage dressed as some sort of creepy 21st century Beetlejuice while performing “rapey” song lyrics although not to nearly the same extent as Miley. But I think the whole thing’s bigger than this particular performance. How is it fair to rip Miley to shreds over a latex stage costume and a lyric that may-or-may-not be a veiled reference to ecstasy (is it “dancing with Miley” or “dancing with Molly”? You decide) and not take her male counterparts to task over the endless violent sex, drugs and guns lines in basically every rap or hip hop song ever? There is of course the arguement that Miley’s fans are young and impressionable but is anyone seriously saying Robin Thicke’s or Snoop Dogg’s are all over 18? Come on, let’s get real. At the same time if we go too far down that road we’re into the muddy waters of censoring lyrics, effectively ending up in a situation where art and pop culture come government sanctioned and everything gets boring beyond belief.

As with every “opinion” piece I’ve written, I wont be bringing my Miley Cyrus’ VMA’s commentary to a neat conclusion. Was she advocating the sexualisation of young girls or merely performing a raunchy (if dubiously executed) number at a global music event? Should we all just appreciate that Miley’s an entertainer, not a politician or primary school teacher, and get the hell over it? Whatever your view, the performance has effectively opened up conversations about sexism, equality and censorship, and what moral responsibility mainstream artists like Cyrus and Thicke should actually bear… not to mention kept us all entertained us for a week. And given the amount of attention Miley’s garnered off the back of it, I suspect she’s pretty pleased with the whole thing too.

What do you think?

Love Ella. X

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4 thoughts on “Team Miley

  1. Pingback: Women Who Eat On Tubes - La Petite Anglaise

  2. Pingback: Role Models - La Petite Anglaise

  3. Her targets were the rival princesses: Rihanna, Gaga, Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, all of whom were there or thereabouts. She’s practically already written this into her song – ‘we can’t stop and we won’t stop’ anything that will grab headlines and the money ahead of those. Let’s not just talk about Miley. Who’s running her decisions and her publicity?
    I don’t see anything remotely controversial about ‘slutification of American girls’ as an effect of this: it’s already been effected by a string of Rihanna performances and this was an upstaging of Rihanna, so it follows.
    Of course Snoop Dogg has equal influence, probably on males under 18 (I have no idea who Robin thicke influences, if anyone, though if anyone listens to the words of Blurred Lines it seems to provide pretexts for non-consensual sex activity presumably on males’ behalf). Whatever Robin Thicke needs to do to get a late career, it doesn’t really argue anything for Miley. Her influence is very easily and specifically directed to female minors.

  4. It was refreshing to read something that is NOT about insulting Miley Cyrus. I find it appalling how Miley has received about 90% of the criticism, whereas Robin Thicke – a 40-something year old married father who is grinding up to a 20 year old – has barely been mentioned. This goes to show that we still live in a ridiculously sexist society – at the end of the day, it’s the girl who gets called a slut. I also find it ridiculous how nowadays there is still a discussion as to whether celebrities can be considered as role models – surely we should all know better by now?? We have given these people what they wanted – lots of unnecessary attention and publicity that could have gone to much serious matters.

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