Twerking It Out
Every year, it seems viewers congregate in front of the TV eager to be appalled by what occurs at the VMA (MTV Video Music Awards). In 2003, it was Madonna’s infamous kiss with Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera, an event talked about weeks after it happened, and in 2009, Kanye’s infamous interruption of Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech which prompted even President Obama to call him a “jackass.”
We find ourselves drawn to the VMAs because often it’s more reminiscent of a circus than an awards show. This year there was no shortage of controversy. This year’s incurred wrath was mostly directed at Miley Cyrus, the 20-year-old pop/country singer who starred in the Disney television show Hannah Montana. Cyrus, dressed in a bikini that resembled nude latex, danced provocatively and grinded against Robin Thicke. Was the performance crude and lacking class? Sure, but that’s no different from what happens every year at the VMAs. The vitriol and outrage at Cyrus is disproportionate to the act itself. The reaction seems to be more about a young adult female comfortable in her sexuality and using Thicke as a prop in the way that men do to women all the time. Perhaps this gender reversal is what has angered so many people.
Cyrus is officially an adult now. The most difficult years a person goes through she spent in the spotlight, and I have the utmost respect for her keeping herself together and staying true to herself. So many child stars have difficulty transitioning into adulthood, and comparatively, Cyrus has done a very good and responsible job at growing up.
Those who say that Cyrus is no longer a positive role model for young people are assuming two things. First, that it’s her responsibility to be a role model. Second, assuming she is responsible for being a positive role model that a young female exploring or exposing her sexuality automatically is unhealthy. The television has an “off” switch, at least the last time I checked. If people were so sensitive to and affected by a young woman’s silly, sensual dance, then maybe they should learn how to turn off the damned thing. After all, there’s nothing standing in the way except their desire to be simultaneously appalled and angered at the show.