The 2013 MTV Video Music Awards will likely be most remembered for one thing: Miley Cyrus twerkin’ all over Robin Thicke. Yes, there was the brief and astronomically exciting *NSYNC reunion, but what everybody will be talking until December is Miley’s flesh-colored bikini and gyrations.
The breakdown of her performance goes something like this: Miley steps out of the chest of a giant mechanical teddy bear, sticking her tongue out. Then she dances with about 15 life-size teddy bears, sticking her tongue out. Next, she strips off her teddy onesie to reveal a flesh-colored bikini, while sticking her tongue out. And then she puts on a giant foam hand with a pointed finger and proceeds to rub her crotch with it, simulate a penis with it, swirl it around Robin Thicke, twerking on him and nuzzling his neck, all the while sticking her tongue out.
Girl, you are just a hair over jail bait. Do you really want to be known for all shock and no substance?
I say this because she hasn’t really had a real hit since “Party in the USA” (which is one of the best party anthems of all time, so RESPECT). “We Can’t Stop” is OK, but it’s only a “summer anthem” because there’s been such a drought of chick-sung summer anthems this year, a stark contrast to last year’s summer of “Call Me Maybe.” Let’s face it, “We Can’t Stop” can’t touch “Call Me Maybe.”
It’s pretty amazing how the Internet was filled with entertaining GIFs, musings, and reaction pics of Miley’s performance the day after the VMAs. Everything from Taylor Swift’s inability to contain herself while watching Miley shove her ass into Robin Thicke’s “big dick” to the debate on whether or not criticizing her is sexist has proven that this was the defining moment of the VMAs.
Speaking of sexist criticisms, or what many are calling “slut shaming,” I, for one, am not criticizing her for being overtly sexual, vulgar, and yes, slutty, but I am criticizing her for not doing it right. There are ways to make sexually shocking ingenious, or at the very least, well-executed. Miley, on the other hand, who stuck out her tongue about 500 times too many, just looked like she was overcompensating for some insecurity or lack of actual identity. This is not the performance, or overall behavior, of a confident woman in control. This is the behavior of a woman who is desperately trying to stuff an image down our throats, to make up for not having the self-assurance, savvy, and self-possession that someone like Beyoncé had at her age. It doesn’t help that she’s had a losing battle with the media’s scrutiny over her struggling relationship with Liam Hemsworth, and that her parents’ marriage is equally tumultuous. If her parents are condoning these kinds of outfits and performances, you know it must be bleak in the family support department. (I’ll give her one thing, though: all that twerking must be paying off, because the girl looks toned.)
What Miley Cyrus needs is a better management and PR team, people who look out for her best interests and her career in the long run, not enablers who want her to always reach for the low-hanging fruit now, so that they all capitalize on something that will likely be fleeting. But Miley Cyrus does have talent; it doesn’t have to be fleeting. If she can learn to be self-confident without relying on these shock-value tactics, then she can truly push the envelope and do the whole sexual young girl with the “short hair, don’t care” attitude without people laughing. In fact, they would bow down to her. First step, Miley: stuff that tongue back into your mouth and don’t ever let me see it again.