Am I a day late to share my “Miley Cyrus at the VMAs” opinion? Of course. But honestly, the only reason I have an opinion is because of all the insanity I saw on blogs and Facebook yesterday.
After reading all the statuses, blog posts and online content about Miley Cyrus’ performance with Robin Thicke at Sunday’s MTV Video Music Awards, I figured she must have stripped down nude, pulled down Thicke’s pants and had intercourse with him on stage, climaxing in a way to have made Meg Ryan proud.
Instead, she wore skimpy clothes and gyrated on stage … like any of thousands other backup dancers in countless music videos that MTV used to air once upon a time.
I find the outrage and disgust at the performance bewildering at best and disgusting at worst.
I’m bewildered because Miley is a performer, and performers do crazy shit. It’s in their DNA. About a week or two before the VMAs, I happened to catch the actual music video to “We Can’t Stop,” and the entire time I thought, “Oh my … she’s this generation’s Madonna.” A performer at heart without the belting ability of her contemporaries (Whitney for Madonna, Adele for Miley), these women thrive on shock value and making pop music that is catchy as hell. Why is what Miley did any different from Madonna putting on a wedding dress and humping the stage in the ’80s? Maybe the only difference is that Madonna didn’t have to deal with Facebook.
But you know what? Say what you will about the forty-something (oh my god, she’s fifty-something) with the faux British accent, but she’s one of music’s all-time successful performers. Sure, she introduced us to cone bras and dated Dennis Rodman (who also famously donned a wedding dress for shits and giggles), but she also gave us beautiful ballads like “Take a Bow” and “This Used to be my Playground.” This woman was freaking Evita for God’s sake. Her life was not ruined because she got sexy on stage.
And neither will Miley’s life be ruined.
I’m bewildered because so many people who admittedly didn’t watch the VMAs are judging this girl based on others’ judgments. These folks brag that they had better things to do on Sunday night and couldn’t be bothered with the pop culture showdown on MTV, and that’s fine: I didn’t watch it, either. But I’m also not patting myself on the back for being too high-brow for such low-brow entertainment, boasting that I don’t know what “twerk” means. (I’m looking at you, weird guy I dated in college.)
I find it disgusting that people are so looking down their noses at this girl. She’s 20, for God’s sake. You’re telling me if you had the opportunity to give Robin Thicke a boner when you were 20 (or yesterday), you’d say no? Bitch, please. (The worst thing about Miley’s performance was not her inappropriate dancing movies but that ridiculous tongue. I get it, your tongue can channel Gene Simmons’s. If she’s gonna use it, be rock ‘n’ roll about it, not “It’s my mouth, I can say what I want now” about it.)
The worst bit was the patronizing, condescension I saw on at least one blog: Miley is sick, she needs our help. We know the way, the truth and the light, and she is a lost soul, far off the track of her life. We should not judge her, we should want to hold her hand and show her the error of her ways.
The thoughts in my head this evokes are jumbled. They’re not complete sentences, and they have a lot of four-letter words. Miley Cyrus does not need your help. She’s a 20-year-old performer figuring out the kind of performer and adult she wants to be. She didn’t bring out a pile of coke and Tony Montana it up on stage. She didn’t make out with Thicke, tongues-a-blazing in front of millions (something, ahem, Ms. Madge has done with another pop starlet).
It’s not Miley’s job to be your daughter’s roll model. I balk at the insistence that it is famous people’s duty to be good examples for children of today. That’s insane. If a celebrity chooses to be that roll model, fine. But today’s children’s roll models should be their parents, not former Disney child-stars on stage at the MTV music awards.
Which brings me to the only group of people I think should be allowed to bitch about Miley’s performance: girls currently in high school and college — the girls who grew up with Hannah Montana. Because when I was young, I loved me some Sharon, Lois and Bram’s Elephant Show. And if, when I was 15 years old, I saw Sharon ass-grinding on the day’s sexy star (who would that have been in 1998? Ricky Martin?), I’d have been like “ZOMG, Sharon, noooooooOOOoOOooo!!!!”
Skinamarinky doo, indeed.