Miley Cyrus’s MTV Performance Controversy

The media has been in uproar since actor/ singer Miley Cyrus did a raunchy performance at the VMA MTV. Yes, it was too raunchy, especially for young children to see; those who idolised (and probably still idolise) her for the Hannah Montanna saga. But, I strongly argue she isn’t the one to blame (at least not solely).

Some people have condemned Miley for being desperate. She’s trying to act “grown up” (probably too hard) and let go of her teen idol image. But there’s more! This whole controversy isn’t just the work of Miley. First, what about singer, Robin Thicke (who is apparently in his 40’s), dancing on stage with her? What about her wardrobe team? I think the whole saga is also a symptom of a greater problem in the entertainment industry as a whole (and music in particular).

People can’t seem to get away with just having a good voice or even be good performers nowadays. Girls (and young women) are often objectified in music videos (been like that for about 10 or 15 years). The “sex sells” slogan is rife in entertainment and advertising (even though looks like it’s about to have a backlash).

I’ve read that Miley is trying to do away with the innocent “Hannah Montanna” image and trying to act all “grown up”. But why is being objectified or overly sexualised deemed “grown up”? Why do people have to potentiallly exploit themselves (or feel like they have to) to be accepted into the entertainment industry? Why does society as a whole link “maturity” with how “sexual” you are? Seriously, why?

The controversy has exposed, in my mind a greater delimma, the exploitation of sexuality to “make it” in the entertainment industry and the world as a whole. It’s not about individuality or talent anymore. It’s about being a.) explotatively sexy or b.) ridiculously attractive (most often times both). Women are still treated like meat in the entertainment industry. 

Can we stop this all together? Probably not. But we can stop accepting it. We can create a culture that says “no” to exploitation. That means not allowing ourselves (or others) to be exploited period. As for the entertainment industry, if they’re affected financially because of such outrage, then, so be it. But not much will change if it doesn’t.

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2 comments on “Miley Cyrus’s MTV Performance Controversy

  1. Very interesting, as I just made a comment on your earlier music and sexuality post. I want to agree that Miley Cyrus etc and young girls are being objectified and that young women singers are sexualized over the value of their voices…On the other hand, there is something in an adult video, in a sense, consensual musical sexuality, that I don’t object to, too much…I mentioned Nicky Minaj’s Anaconda in that last post. I see it as something that consenting adults made for consenting adults to watch and listen to. I would not want my young teens if I had any exposed to it, not in this world at any rate. In a world where there was less violence and sex was not perverted by violence that might be a different matter. Because one thing I can say about Anaconda is there is NO rape or violence depicted in it, and it does not glorify extreme thinness or whiteness etc…So there are things that actually are quite good about it, uncomfortable as it might make me feel, the graphic nature of its sexuality etc…That said, for the time being, to have Miley or any young girl doing things like twerking in public just sickens me.. But at the same time, is this a double standard that I would not set for boys? I dunno…I dunno. I have to catch myself and stop being an old fogey sometimes, and think: Is this my being “hung up” or a real objection that should be attended to? Is this really bad, or just my own discomfort speaking? Violence is not a good thing to teach children, but we teach that with our own actions of violence AGAINST them, by punishing them mostly. Sexuality, while I feel nothing, is natural, and so I have to keep telling myself that my own impulse might be towards an unnatural prudishness, which serves no one and nothing. That prudish impulse needs to be reined in and watched…

    just thoughts added to the conversation.

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