Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Truth About Miley...

I was all excited about updating my blog with a music post that was both current and Cinnamon and Honey-ish (at least I thought so). It just so happened to be about "Blurred Lines" and Robin Thicke. 

Then two days later, this happened: 

Typical of the pop culture machine we live in, the buzz immediately shifted. Suddenly, song theft is no longer the issue. It's all Miley. And how disturbed/inappropriate/lewd/desperate/pathetic/appalling her VMA performance was. Even negative publicity is good publicity. That's a no-brainer. This played out exactly how she'd hoped: Three days later we're still talking about Miley. Impressive, given our two-second attention span for  everything these days.

But let's be honest, now. How surprised should we really be? Miley's performance has been a long coming, ever since a pig-tailed Britney donned a Catholic school-girl skirt and a belly shirt, and oh-baybeh-baybeh'ed her way across the stage at the 1999 MTV awards. Ripping off a tuxedo to reveal a sparkly nude body suit, dancing suggestively with a live snake and kissing Madonna full on the mouth... it's all been done. When you're a young female star struggling to stay relevant in 2013, how do you get people talking about you the next day, and hopefully the day after that? In other words, how do you out-Britney Britney Spears, the original the princess of shock? 

Unfortunately we now know the answer. The boundaries haven't just been moved, they've been violently shoved out of the way. So shouldn't we be examining this a little closer and looking at it little more thoughtfully? Why have we allowed it to get this far? Why does being sexually shocking feel like not just the right path but the only one for many young female stars? Why does a woman, who has already achieved worldwide success for most of her young life, believe that her talent and hard work will not be enough? What does this say about us and the cult of fame we've been suggestively stoking? 

This isn't just a fame issue, it's an identity issue about the way we teach women of all ages to value themselves. And since we continue to be consumers in this culture (and like it or not, we all are) it's essential that we start answering some of these questions. Now would be a good time.


Irish Gumbo said...

Important questions, indeed. I am sure my daughter knows nothing of the furor surrounding Miley's performance, and I intend to keep it that way. My jaded self just yawns at the whole mess; my dad self wondered just how would I be able to explain all the negatives to my daughter. It is a bit of a pop culture train wreck, innit?

Robin said...

Irish, I am glad you are able to shield your daughter from this mess. If we continue down this path, I worry what you'll be forced to explain to her in just a few years.

Kathy said...

Of course you are right, and I really just pity Miley and the girls of her generation. I remember being almost (but not quite) as shocked when Madonna performed Like A Virgin so many years ago. Our entire culture will have to change to stop this mess. Who'd have ever thought that Miley would make me miss her dad, though?

Also, I dreamed about you last night. :)

Sprite's Keeper said...

I was worried about John playing the song Blurred Lines for Sprite, since, even though she doesn't understand the words as they may suggest to be understood, she can mimic very well and any adults listening to her parrot it back would be appalled. Now, I worry about Miley Cyrus and her tongue wagging twerky self making her way into her dance school where the older girls are sure to mimic it and let the younger, impressionable kids watch them do it. Ugh. Glad you're back!

Andrea W said...

I didn't see her performance (and never want to from the sound of it). At the beach last week the adults around us were animatedly discussing the 'Miley episode'. It's rather distrubing that its the topic of so many people.

This is probably the reason that I never (nope, not ever!) listen to the radio. A year after moving to Seattle, I couldn't name a single radio station if my life depended on it. I'd rather live in the dark ages and pretend good wholesome music personalities still exist.