Miley Cyrus’ Crass Performance at VMA Music Awards

I will admit that my white privilege is probably showing when I say that I did not personally notice the racist aspects of the performance. I noticed the overall objectification of women, the female bisexuality for the male gaze, and the sexualizing of objects associated with childhood, such as teddy bears. I find Miley Cyrus’ over the top, crass, in your face soft-core porn performance boring and lacking in imagination. I’m glad that someone pointed out the racial aspects of the performance.

The racist elements were pointed out in these articles:

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/anne-theriault-/miley-cyrus-vma-performance_b_3819177.html

http://groupthink.jezebel.com/solidarity-is-for-miley-cyrus-1203666732

http://www.newstatesman.com/culture/2013/08/miley-cyrus-vmas-six-minute-guide-prejudices-entertainment-industry

http://thinkprogress.org/alyssa/2013/08/26/2527091/miley-cyrus-vmas-britney-spears-bisexual/

In fairness, I highly doubt that Miley Cyrus has any awareness that her performance contained racist elements. She was trying for shocking. Her performance was uninspired and uninspiring. It’s sad that a fair number of young girls believe that they have to behave like sex objects in order to get attention. I honestly thought that Miley looked rather awkward.  Robin Thicke looked like a skeevy, self-aggrandizing wannabe pimp.

I don’t know enough about it to comment on the aspects of their performance that may have been appropriating black culture. I only know that I wouldn’t bother to pay to see either of them perform. Neither their stage act nor their music do anything for me.

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3 thoughts on “Miley Cyrus’ Crass Performance at VMA Music Awards

  1. Spectra, I’m with you. I wouldn’t have thought about white privilege blinding me to the “minstrel show” aspects of this performance. I only saw how over the top idiotic it was and saw the sexist elements.

  2. I hadn’t seen much of this debacle until now, but I’m inclined to agree with you ladies. What I noticed was a young woman trying way too hard. Her performance was awkward and difficult to watch. I’m inclined to be far less forgiving of Robin Thicke. The man is thirty-six years old and a father. Perhaps this isn’t an appropriate thing for a feminist ally to say, but my first thought would be to take her aside and in the manner of a big brother or uncle say “honey, what are you thinking?” As you know, I don’t have any children of my own, but if one of my nieces were thinking about doing something like this, I would want to be sure that she had all the facts before she went through with it.
    Confession: I would not want her to go through with it and I would try to talk her out of it. Truth. Not by “slut-shaming,” as I don’t believe in name calling. I’d try to steer her in a different direction. It’s possible to be sexy without going so far over the top that it’s not sexy at all any more, it’s ridiculous. Beyonce is actually an excellent example of this, as is Tina Turner.

  3. I posted this reply to a post on Guyspeak.
    http://www.guyspeak.com/one-final-word-on-miley-and-britney-and-selena-and-amanda
    Some people, generally those who are more mature than Miley Cyrus, are able to pull off sexy, and they are obviously in control. Madonna, Beyonce, and Lady Gaga are all examples of this.
    Miley Cyrus wasn’t sexy. She went over the top trying to be sexy, and she looked desperate and silly. Robin Thicke came off as a skeevy pimp trying to channel Beetlejuice. Overall, the performance was cringe-worthy and embarrassing. It made me laugh. Granted, it was one of those horrified laughs where one is thinking “seriously–just how?” But it was, nonetheless, a laugh.

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