I've been alternating between chuckling and shaking my head in disgust at the outpouring of sentiment since the airing of MTV's recent Video Music Awards.
Miley Cyrus is twenty years old. She is, for all intents and purposes, an adult. If she wants to appear on stage, in front of an international audience and flaunt her mostly-naked goods for the camera, I have to assume it was a well-thought out business decision.
She is a singer, dancer, actress - an artist. Her career is valued by the number of times her name is spoken, typed, tweeted and Facebooked. How do you suppose she is doing this week? It seems to me, quite often a young singer/actress whose image is that of the 'good girl/girl next door", tries to break out of that image in her late teens and early twenties. Madonna already opened these door years ago - this is nothing new. "There's no such thing as bad press!" It's just business, people.
Here is what I find most interesting in this whole scenario: Robin Thicke is rarely mentioned. I saw the video. While he was completely covered in a Beetlejuice-esque suit, he certainly was not innocently standing by, in shock at Miss Cyrus' behavior. Why is it acceptable for a man to gyrate and feign sexual acts on stage, but not acceptable when a woman does it? Was she simply aligning herself with the perception that women are sexual playthings, or - was she taking charge of her own sexuality and flaunting it?
By the way - the actual songs themselves - did anyone listen? The words to Miley's song include:
"It's our party we can do what we want, It's our party we can say what we want, It's our party we can love who we want, We can kiss who we want, We can sing what we want!
Red cups and sweaty bodies everywhere, Hands in the air like we don't care, 'Cause we came to have so much fun now, Bet somebody here might get some now"
...and Robin's song (a favorite of mine, actually!) is quite...adulterous (I don't even feel comfortable posting them!). What did everyone think they would see during the performance? Waltzing?
I also read the angry verbiage from the Parents Television Council (interesting to note, Billy Ray Cyrus, Miley's father, is a member) toward MTV. An excerpt from a statement issued by Director of Public Policy, Dan Isett :
"MTV continues to sexually exploit young women by promoting acts that incorporate 'twerking' in a nude-colored bikini. How is this image of former child star Miley Cyrus appropriate for 14-year-olds? How is it appropriate for children to watch Lady Gaga strip down to a bikini in the opening act?"
Miss Cyrus is no longer a 'child star' - stop treating her like one. She is a college-aged woman. Would you take your fourteen year old to a frat house? This wasn't a daytime awards show on Nickelodeon - it was prime time on MTV. Is there seriously a parent alive today that believes MTV to be appropriate for any fourteen year old - or younger? These are the producers of such iconic gems as "Jersey Shore", "Teen Mom", "Snooki and JWoww", "Tila Tequila", "Jackass" and the infamous "Spring Break". I wouldn't let me mother-in-law watch them, so pretty sure they are out of the question for my ten year old daughter.
What happened to being accountable and responsible for your own life and family? It's not MTV's responsibility to make the determination about what you think is appropriate for your tween to eyeball - it yours. Just as it's not up to me to decide what Miley Cyrus should do at her next performance, her next career move or what her father should/shouldn't be telling her. If someone's outfit, actions or music is not appropriate for your family - don't permit it in your house. If it comes on unexpectedly - turn the station.
I don't particularly care for this type of display - therefore, I accept responsibility for my own tastes - and I don't watch it. I do, however, like the music for myself. I don't permit my daughter to watch anything on MTV - here's the kicker - because it's not what I consider appropriate for a ten year old girl.
Miss Cyrus has every right to dance anyway she sees fit, to steer her career in any direction she darn well chooses to go. She's a grown-up. She will do just what the rest of us did and will do - she will experience life, make great decisions, make really bad ones, and learn from them, regret them and grow from them. And she is entitled to it. Just as you have every right to decide what is well-suited for your family and what is not.
Enough righteous indignation - it's only effective when you are actually right.