I saw only two parts of the VMAs this year. Miley Cyrus and Justin Timberlake. I feel like (After I had to search to find out what chanel they were on, because it couldn’t be MTV, they only show teen mom shows! And also…what number is MTV??? HGTV? I know by heart. Mama’s priorities have shifted, y’all.) I saw the high and the low of the show. I am sure those of you who don’t love my pop culture observations were like “yay! Radio silence on Miley!” but then several of you emailed and tweeted me …what? Nothing on Miss Cyrus? And I just want to tell you guys how that made me smile. I am struggling lately, with just about everything. And that someone could want to read my blatherings about Hannah Gone Wild really made me smile.
So here it is, the requisite Miley post.
Sweet, sweet Miley. Did I gasp? Yes. Did I sputter? Yes. Did I clutch my pearls in horror? Yes. Did I take to twitter in the new world version of the clucking ladies in The Music Man? (pick a little, tweet a little) YES. But was young Miss Cyrus’ sexy dance why I was offended? Nope. Lest we forget, we have seen this show before. I remember distincly my mother gasping and clutching her pearls as I, a very young girl….like 1 (ha!) sat glued to those very same VMAs while a lovely lady in what resembled torn up undergarments one might wear under a wedding dress rolled about on the floor acting as if she herself were indulging in carnal pleasure while wearing a rosary. Miley’s shocking performance is same sh!t, different day, as far as young female performers go. So yeah, eh. it was gross, not sexy (to me) and whoever immediately made the picture of her and Jim Carrey side by side deserves some sort of comedy award. It’s funny because it’s true.
We get it Miley, you’re all grown up. But the thing about really being grown up is you don’t have to tell people. That being said, this is part of the process. I myself have never performed on the VMAs but I am certainly glad that certain events at some frat parties did not occur in the time of social media recording everything. I was lucky enough to go through my screaming I AM A GROWN UP phase in the privacy of Los Angeles among others screaming I AM A GROWN UP. I believe at some time I probably did my own twerking in a halloween costume that, while not made of latex, was probably pretty small. I remember watching Xtina (remember that phase?) and her Stripped interview when she was going through this and thinking “oh Lord, that girl is going to be so embarrassed watching this in ten years.” Miley will be too, just as sometimes someone posts a blurry instant camera photo of our young escapades on Facebook and I think duuuuuuuuuude, no Steph. Just no.
So, the reason I didn’t like Miley’s performance was not being it was over the line and gross. The reason was two fold. One, it sucked. Two…Miley has repeatedly said she wants to make “Black” music and “Ghetto” music, so the use of African Americans in her performance basically as props was pretty gross. Cultural appropriation at it’s worst. This is a sensitive subject and we are all just finding our way with these things. But I personally felt that she was simply going to shock value and resorted to old school, I don’t even know how to say this without sounding like an a-hole, almost mistrel show hijinks. It is entirely possible to be a white artist and create and perform what is an African American developed artform. I don’t even know how to make this point properly, so I am just going to let it lie and hope that you know what I mean.
Even without that, it just sucked. She was out of breath – I guess twerking is not good cardio, not on key and I am seriously concerned about her tongue. It was sloppy and silly and it didn’t serve her song in the least. I am not sure what she was smoking when they came up with the concept but whatever. Lest you think I am giving Robin Thicke and his Beetleguise suit off the hook…no. There was one time where he looked a little shocked as if they hadn’t rehearsed that particular moment..but come on dude, you were a willing participant in this and of everyone rushing to Miley’s artistic defense you (and your mom) should be front and center. While Miley was grinding into our brains that she was an adult his participation just made her look more like a child and him more like a creepy older gentleman who really should know better.
What did you think?