Thursday, August 29, 2013

On Miley Cyrus and Her Twerk

"As long as Miley Cyrus is a slut I don't care...about anything"

--Troy Seman

Once again, America is shocked by another VMA show.  This year, the flavor du jour was little Hannah Montana twerking on Robin Thicke while he performed "Blurred Lines."  I guess she's "all grows up."  The performance by Miley Cyrus shouldn't have been a surprise.  History never fails to repeat itself:  female child stars attempting to make the transition to adult pop star generally follow a predictable path:

1.  As a child star, cultivate a wholesome image.  You probably worked for Disney.  Sell a ton of albums and remain cute looking.  You got the job because you are cute looking and somewhat talented.

2.  In the later teen years, start to do some solo work apart from Disney.  This material is usually popish and light.  Keep the wholesome image thing going.

3.  Around the age of 18 or so, cut off your hair, swear, get caught using drugs, drink heavily, and perform racy lyrics and songs.  Garner as much media attention and shock for yourself as possible.  The more sexually suggestive, the better.  Tattoos are a bonus but not required.

4.  After a few years of getting shock attention and putting out racy albums, you have the option of calming down a bit.  Either way, in your late 20's and early 30's, the world isn't going to be shocked by your behavior anymore.

This formula has worked for Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera.  Failing to follow the formula risks you falling into irrelevance as you move away from being a child star to an adult performer.

As for Miley's performance at the 2013 VMA Award Show, even Robin Thicke himself said the entire thing was no surprise--his wife wasn't angered because the entire thing had been rehearsed for weeks before.  Like everything else, it was carefully scripted.  Television producers don't like surprises.

America is shocked by these things because of its puritanical roots.  We aren't shocked by extreme violence on television or the images of drone strikes.  Parents let their children see violent movies way before they are allowed to see sexually explicit material.  This is part of the cultural ethos of America and performers like Miley Cyrus know to to take this ethos all the way to the bank.

What shocked me about the performance was how incredibly ridiculous it was.  There were dancing teddy bears with giant asses.  Cyrus wore a skin tight, see through outfit with a teddy bear on it.  Ever since she decided to emulate Pink and go for the punk rock hairstyle, her hair looks like shit.  She kept sticking out her tongue to add to the shock value.  The entire thing was totally banal.  Unlike sexually suggestive performances by Lady GaGa that are at least somewhat artistic, this one just sucked.

Miley Cyrus can do whatever she wants, but I refuse to be shocked when I already know the formula.  It's just too canned to be believable.  My wallet is staying closed.

No comments:

Post a Comment