Nancy and I were talking about Miley at the VMAs, last night. I’ve come to be something of a Miley apologist because I recognize that so much of what drives me up a tree about her, so much of what makes me want to yell at her to get off my lawn, is that I went through similar phases. I am sympathetic to her plight, and moreso because she doesn’t even know she has a plight.
First, go read the article by Duana over at Lainey’s blog. I have nothing but agreement for this. I especially have nothing but love for this:
So I feel like Miley was bound and determined to write her own script [at the VMAs] and not just be a pretty fangirl and not just a “good girl” who secretly likes to be talked into sex [as part of the Blurred Lines performance], and what came out was…what we saw. It just makes me sad because I think she thinks she’s doing something other than what she’s doing, which is…still playing right into it.
I spent a lot of time doing something other than what I thought I was doing, which was playing right into “it” when I was about her age. And if I’d had her platform? Good lord. I’m always going on about how glad I am the internet hadn’t been invented when I was coming up. I am ever the more thankful that my parents never actively pursued a entertainment career for me because I sure would have been the misguided, well-meaning twerp showing up to an MTV party in rubber underwear, motorboating someone else’s magnificent nalgas.
It is hard to be a girl. It is hard because the choices are so black and white. Are you a good girl, or are you a bad girl? Boys don’t have to make this decision. Boys who have sex, who like sex, who say they want sex aren’t bad–they are just boys.
Miley has clearly chosen to tell the world that she has sex, likes sex, and wants sex, and she appears to believe that this requires giving the public an all access pass to her backstage–it’s a choice a lot of girls make. If I’m going to be bad, then I’m going to be bad in your face so you can’t talk about me behind my back, you can’t call me a hypocrite, and you can’t say I’m a tease. This is me, ass cheeks a’flapping. I can’t stop. I won’t stop. It’s my mouth, my house, my song, my butt cheeks. Deal with it, or go home.
For counter-balance, you have a Taylor Swift, who has clearly chosen to tell the world that she is a good girl. Blurred Lines was written for Taylor Swift. The girl who might want to go all the way, but who has to be convinced of it because that’s what is ladylike and proper. It isn’t a sin if you can’t help it. It’s only a sin if you want it. My mouth is yours, my house is yours, my song is about you, you can tell me what to do with my backside. Please love me and take me home.
Late-Teenaged and Early-Twenty-Something Lane was going to get up in your face about your misconceptions of what a good girl was/did/looked like. Do you want to know what happens when little girls wear vinyl to the Campus Crusade meeting? I could tell you all about it. So could Miley. I feel Miley. I get it. I understand. I’m not calling her out for being sexualized or overt.
The performance was sad because it was so limp and dull. It was sloppy and breathless, and the costuming was shameful in the sense of how poorly it fit, and poorly it reflected what was going on. Miley Cyrus has a glorious figure, and whoever put her in those booty squishing shorts should be fired–and branded with some mark so that everyone knows not to hire him/her ever again. I was okay with the Chuck E. Cheese swimsuit. That was kind of cute for what she was doing.
Miley isn’t a performer who can carry a show, so she needs something more than dancing Pedobears to help her along. She needs a better song, better choreography, and better fitting costumes, or just a better jam all the way around. See her performance of Rebel Yell–that was a very good performance for her.
No one can tell a 20 year old girl who thinks she is making a statement by being blatantly sexual that the statement she is making, doesn’t mean what she thinks it means. Because no one can tell a 20 year old anything. All we can do as adults is be there to form a wall between her misconception and the dudes who are agreeing and nodding along with strings of drool hanging down their chins, telling her that it is a great idea to twerk upside down against the wall while they photograph her.
I told Nancy that I could sum up all my thoughts about the performance and the child with this: Bless her heart.
And bless mine, too.
Thank you, God, for not inventing the interwebs until after I was far too old to twerk on camera. Because You know it would have been out there somewhere.