A lot has been said about the recent events at the Video Music Awards. But fact is that the VMA’s have been shocking audiences since the very beginning. At the first award ceremony in 1984 Madonna rolled around the stage in a wedding dress singing “Like A Virgin”.
In 1989 Andrew Dice Clay was banned from the awards for performing his trademark nursery rimes. Considered too racy for the times, and even today as I read some for this article, I laughed and gasped at his creativity.
In 1999 Lil’Kim appeared at the awards with half a dress. Later while on stage with Mary J. Blige and Diana Ross, Ms. Ross leaned over and giggled her breast. To the delight of Lil’Kim and the shock of the audience the night went on.
In 2000 Britney Spears performed “Oops… I Did It Again”, where she started singing in a tuxedo and throughout the song she begins to strip to reveal a skin color leotard, showing to the world that she was shedding the girl next door image.
In 2001 Britney made headlines again but this time for brining animals into her show. She was on stage with an albino Burmese Python and in a cage with a tiger. This time it was PETA that felt insulted not the audience.
In 2002 it was Christina Aguilera who began to shed her sweet girl image by dressing more provocative and wearing more makeup. She too made headlines for marking the awards ceremony with an awkward moment that is still talked about.
In 2003, with their adult images now part of their performances, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera were on stage with Madonna, singing her hit “Like A Virgin”. With Madonna dress in a tux and the other two in dresses, the kiss to both made mouths drop and the headlines.
You get where I’m going with this, controversy has been a part of the MTV Video Music Awards since the beginning and will continue to do so. Now we get to 2013 and the new addition to the horror stories.
This year it was Miley Cyrus, better known as ‘Hannah Montana’ from the Disney Channel TV show and daughter of Billy Ray Cyrus. This was her ‘Britney/Christina’ moment and she took it as far as cable television would allow.
Audiences in the theater and across the world were horrified and she has been publicly crucified for her performance. The dancing, the outfit, her interaction with fellow singer, Robin Thicke, made it awkward and attention getting.
But maybe that’s all it is, a young woman shedding her young girl skin and showing the world that she’s grown up. That we have to accept that she’s no longer a child and can make her own decision, good or bad.
Could it be that we feel we have a right to scold her because we saw her grow up on television. But Britney and Christina were Mouseketeers and they came out somewhat okay at the other end of the VMA tunnel.
Maybe Miley will too. Maybe we just need to give her room to find her adult voice and feel comfortable at the adult table. There are more rules here and there really is no information packet, you learn as you go.
So, good luck to you, Ms. Miley Cyrus. May you find your way in this hard life we call ‘Adulthood’. Just remember; you will get burned, bruised, and scarred but if you figure out the way through the maze you will come out fine at the other end.
And now we wait for the 2014 Video Music Awards...