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.