I know much has been said in the wake of the VMA debacle that was Miley Cyrus, but I haven’t said anything. And I have to say something.
I’m weighing in now because 1) that’s how I roll and 2) I didn’t watch the VMA’s.
As you might recall…
— OneFunnyMotha (@OneFunnyMotha) August 26, 2013
For the most part I think I made the right choice. Except that meant I missed the whole what-the-hell?-when-did-Miley-Cyrus-turn-into-a-pole-worker explosion that took over the airwaves and internets in the days that followed.
I caught 140-character bits and pieces of the story. I saw tiny flashes of footage on T.V. But I wasn’t able to piece together the whole thing. I knew something went horribly wrong. I knew there was a oversized foam finger involved. I knew there were awkward tongue gestures. But I didn’t know what the actual offense was. And I wanted to know. I needed to know. But I was afraid to know.
It took nearly a week for me to muster up the courage to view the VMA awards online. And when I did? Oh, Mama. *Places head in hands.*
I didn’t want to contribute to the sleaze-fest so I tried to pick the least disgusting yet illustrative picture I could find. This was it.
I can’t say I was shocked. The build-up prior to viewing the performance was so overwhelming it eroded the shock factor. But I can say I was saddened. It was disheartening to see what a whole host of people – the entire MTV network, countless T.V. executives, tons of industry managers, agents, singers and celebrities – thought was a good idea for a young girl, an old man and an award show.
The whole time I was watching all I could think was who did this to her? Who encouraged Miley Cyrus to become a whore for the show (because appearing like a prostitute is always a good image for young girls to project)? It was clear the performance was rigged up. It was awkward and uncomfortable for everyone involved, audience included. The depressing part is it wasn’t just one person – it was a whole team – the music industrial complex (and society at large?) that talked a young girl into thinking this pitiful, degrading performance was a good idea.
Maybe Miley went along willingly, but willingly for a 20-year-old who is forever under the influence of managers and handlers and agents is not exactly free will.
I’m sure Miley thought she was going to be cool. I’m sure she, as a rebellious child star desperate to shed her Hannah Montana image and be seen by the world as her own person, a grown woman, thought it was going to be fierce and shocking and adult. But she was wrong. It was sad and sleazy. And she was used. For ratings. For records. For money.
So, really, I want to know which executives sat in some sleek boardroom or corner office months ago and said, “I got it! Let’s put a 20-year-old girl who is clearly going through identity issues with a 40-year-old man and have her parade around the stage half-naked as a girl (because that’s what she is) seducing the older, slicker and certainly more experienced man and simulate sex acts with him as he stands fully clothed and expressionless behind her for a show that’s on regular cable at 9:00 p.m. for millions of young, impressionable teens to watch?” What group of adults thought that was not only not disgusting but also a great idea?
Make no mistake. I know sex sells and shock-factor is the ultimate goal because look – it worked! Look how much buzz Miley Cyrus generated! It was a huge success! And, I guess it was if you count selling your soul and self-respect as success.
What I’m saying is I get how the world works; I just question whether we have to practice it on children.
And this isn’t about being an upset parent, outraged over the tarnished image of a child star. I was never a Miley fan. I’ve always rather disliked the girl because I don’t think she has much talent, and I don’t really believe any child should be a star. I believe a child should be a child. I’ve never supported Disney in their efforts to groom young girls for a lifetime of sexual exploitation. But seeing this made me feel bad for a girl who’s clueless, naive, immature and unsophisticated and who is taking the heat for a performance I’m pretty sure she didn’t mastermind herself. I haven’t heard much criticism of MTV or even Robin Thicke who I doubt simply showed up on the night of the show to discover he was performing with Miley Cyrus. But that’s what we like to do, isn’t it? Blame the woman. The victim. The whore.
So, I’m not angry or outraged. I’m sad.
But I guess this is what we get in a world where we watch and celebrate a family that prostitutes their own daughter for fame and profit.
Don’t worry. I’m not just talking Miley. I’m taking on Robin Thicke next.
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