Miley Cyrus And The VMAs

(NOTE: Based on time elapsed since the posting of this entry, the BS-o-meter calculates this is 14.472% likely to be something that Ferrett now regrets.)

Here’s my take:
I don’t have a problem with women acting sexy on stage.  (Or men.)  And if someone wants to tart it up at the VMA Awards, which is often the Place of Titillating Performances, then hey.  Zero problems with the concept.  (I still think Madonna put on a helluva performance there with “Hollywood.”)
The problem is that I don’t think what Miley Cyrus did was sexy.  At all.
Even leaving aside the tapdancing army of pedobears, she looks like she’s enacting what a twelve year-old rich girl thinks is sexy – exaggerated tongue-swirls, butt-shaking, skimpy clothes, all sorts of “woo girl” behavior.  And when I saw that, it struck me more of a parody of what sexy is supposed to be than any urge to have actual, you know, sex.
There are those who’ll claim it’s a brave performance nonetheless, but to me it’s very superficial – to me, sexy involves letting us see a little bit of the vulnerability and desire.  Madonna and Britney are sexy because, while they put on very studied performances, it still feels like we’re sensing some of their desire for us – not necessarily for me specifically (though Britney, call me), but their pleasure in turning on an audience with the potency of their bodies.  They weren’t afraid to move slow.
Miley, well, it’s personal.  And to quote Ms. Summers, she’s going through the motions, walking through the part – a catalogue of supposedly “sexy” behaviors reflected upon us, without an ounce of desire in the mix.  And I’m not certain whether it’s a conscious parody of our desires, or just some sort of monumentally botched attempt to go over the top that collapsed like a bad souffle.
Regardless.  I was amazed that so many things earmarked as “sexy” turned out to be so plastic when tossed into a single performance.
(Also, as my friend Angie has linked to, some of the racial components are a little troubling as well.)

1 Comment

  1. I’ll stand by something I said on Reddit: it struck me as a less-talented imitation of a performance art piece that I would have seen at Burning Man ten or twelve years ago. The only thing appalling about it, to me, was how amazingly talentless the costuming, stage management, and choreography were; with that much fail on the stage, I don’t blame the performers for looking silly.

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