On Miley

First let me say that I do not now, nor have I ever been a watcher of the VMAs. But anyone with eyes or ears or Facebook has surely heard the shock and outrage over Miley Cyrus’s recent performance, so like a few million other people I watched it on YouTube.

It’s bizarre on many levels. I mean, what’s with the Chuck E. Cheese teddy and the weird haircut and the creepy dancing bears and the tongue dangling from her seemingly broken jaw, right? And then it gets worse, and I’m sure you’ve all seen it so no need to beat a dead horse there. But a few things stick out to me, which don’t seem to be topping anyone else’s minds judging by all the Dear Miley letters and weepy blog posts circulating.

This is [sadly] only news because she is Miley Cyrus, former Disney star. I mean, have you seen anything that Lady Gaga has ever done? Ever? Or Katy Perry, or Britney, or Madonna…This is not really new and not particularly shocking in other contexts. I don’t understand why no one else sees this. I know lots of Gaga fans who were shocked and appalled at Miley’s performance and that is a huge load of crap if you ask me. Hypocrites.

Also it’s not really fair to her. I know its not popular to defend her right now, and I am not a fan of her, um, work? or whatever that was, but cut the girl a little slack. For starters, teeny bopper stars don’t have a great track record so what the heck were you expecting? [See also: Lindsay Lohan, Amanda Bynes, Britney Spears, Tara Reid, Vanessa Hudgens, et al ad nauseum] Miley grew up, and sometimes people grow up to be idiots. They do stupid things, exhibit poor taste, and disappoint. That’s just life – people are messy. She’s not a permanent tween, no matter how small or adorable she was when you first saw her. It’s not great, but she’s not a full-on trainwreck just yet so let’s stop scorning and start praying, huh?

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t condone it. I’m not a fan. But neither do I think she should be held to a standard different than that which we apply to other performers. Where’s the outrage over Robin Thicke’s hideous skin tight suit? Or the fact that he – a supposedly happily married man – was doing a lewd dance with a young not-his-wife¬†girl? Why is no one questioning him as a role model for his young son? At least she’s single! At least she can blame being 20 and stupid for her bad decisions. He is nearly twice her age and -again-¬†married. He should know better. And he should be held to a higher standard because of it.

And women, we are responsible for this. Call it slut shaming, call it jealousy, call it plain old cattiness, I don’t care. It all boils down to the same thing, which is casting scorn all over the female and expecting nothing different of the male. Shame on all of us for creating and perpetuating that culture, because it’s not the men doing it.

{Also, and far less to the point, the media has made much mention of the old folks among us Googling twerking after this performance, which I would like to offer as proof that I am still young. I didn’t have to Google that. I already knew it from Googling years ago when JT brought sexy back.}

If you thought her performance was weird or gross or stupid or in poor taste, I totally agree. But if you’re shocked, I contend that you’ve had your head in the sand for years. This is nothing new, its just a different face on the same old song and dance. Strip down and shake it and even the singing voice is optional, thanks to autotune. This must be what we want, America, because we keep watching. We keep talking. We keep paying for it.

Don’t blame Miley, folks. Take a look in the mirror, and consider tuning out.

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