Shall we talk about Miley Cyrus?No, not that Miley Cyrus, this one….
Disney’s Hannah Montana well and truly ditched the wig and the bubblegum persona when she joined #BlurredLines Robin #Thicke the VMA’s (the hashtags are mandatory, right?). If Justin brought sexy back, then Miley with her cropped do, UPVC underwear, foam finger and seemingly erect tongue brought twerkin back. The performance caused uproar on gossip sites, social media platforms, even celebs were getting in on the act – it was as though nobody had ever seen a scantily clad girl grinding on an older gentleman before (I like to call that “standard Chicago Rock behaviour). In fact it was simply another in a long line of popster VMA performances designed to shock and create an infamous performance – we all remember the Madonna and Britney kiss. Although the Britney/Madonna/Christina kiss would seem a little “meh” in todays society, back then it was shocking on the same level that the Miley foam finger twerkin incident is today, but times change and performers in turn have to up their anti. Are people really surprised that a young popstar has shed their good girl image on a global stage such as the VMA’s? In that respect I feel sorry for the fact that Miley received so much hatred when the VMA bosses were probably clapping their hands together with glee at the amount of attention it received.When her subsequent video for “Wrecking Ball” was released, I was hit with a Miley shaped wall of conversation on Twitter with two conflicting theories. One was that the video (in which Miley straddles a demolition ball naked and licks a pick axe) is an overly sexed and controversial video yet again. The other was that the video and the single itself showcased a stripped back and emotionally raw Cyrus following her split with Liam Hemsworth.
I was suitably moved by the lyrics to Wrecking Ball – I’ll put my hands up and admit that I’m a sucker for a song about heartbreak, I’m openly a glutton for heartbreaky punishment. After I heard Miley had compared the video for the single to the moving and heartwrenching “Nothing Compares To You” video by Sinead O’Connor (I’m sure you’ve all heard about Miley v Sinead-gate by now) I expected some kind of stripped back video akin to Christina’s “Beautiful” or “Voice Within”. A video which would rid the usual larger scale productions and allow an insight into a musicians vulnerable side. Isn’t that the beauty of music? Even Britney’s “Everytime” video was touching on a whole.
But when I watched the Wrecking Ball video, what I got was a music video about as raw and heartfelt as a break up scene from The Only Way is Essex. Riding a wrecking ball naked, posing on the rubble of distruction in hotpants with her a$$ hanging out, licking a sledgehammer like a scene from a homemade Tulisa video and blinking through the Optrex eye drops into the lens of the camera. It offended me that Miley would think the general public so brain dead that they would buy into this fake, over processed and oversexualised portrayal of heartbreak and not see that once again it was an excuse for her to get her body out and steal headlines.I almost feel like someone needs to grab her and say: “Yes. You have a vagina, you have breasts, you like to have sex, you like to grind your ass on older men – hooray, you’re officially a woman. Now put your backside down, have a cup of tea on and for god sake – keep your tongue in your mouth before the wind changes.”
In the past we’ve had the popstrels like Britney and Christina who succesfully transitioned from Disney good girls to sex symbol without overly offending the masses (we’ll pretend we didn’t see that performance of Britney’s with the snake). Cyrus’ latest SNL skit which put the final nail in the Hannah Montana coffin by citing that “Hannah Montana was murdered” surely continues to alienate her former fanbase who have grown up with the singer. They’ve bought concert tickets, lunchboxes, albums and other spin off merchandise which now goes towards paying for her PVC and see through outfits. Whilst a transition from “girl” to “woman” is inevitable at any point within an artists career, surely Miley has put her transition into full throttle overdrive.
It saddens me when it comes to “role models” that there’s a generation of girls who have looked up to Miley for years (and will continue to look up to her) who think that this path she’s leading is acceptable for someone is such a position of influence. With celebrity comes a certain amount of responsibility and this is something I think Miley and her team of “yes” monkeys fail to understand. I’m not saying there’ll be a sudden spurt of girls sitting on the floor on B&Q and licking sledgehammers, I’m talking about girls acting and dressing overtly sexual at such young ages. And to be a parent who’s teenage daughter who idolises Miley makes my head sting with frustration.
No doubt she’s making waves in the media, gaining publicity and column inches but is this overtly sexual image that Miley is (on a whole, unsuccessfully) trying to execute going to wind up being her own Wrecking Ball?
(Or perhaps I’m a massive prude and this is all really “cool”?)