The Female Image as a Music Artist: Yet Another Miley Cyrus Related Rant

The performance seen around the world has sparked some controversy and I get it, people aren’t ready to forget Miley’s Disney days.  But I do get what she was trying to do: break free from Hannah Montana.  Some say she was trying to have her Britney moment.  Did she go overboard?  Yes.  I still remember her “Can’t be Tamed” video and the criticism that came along with it.  Some say that’s when things started going downhill.  She pushed things even further at the 2009 Teen Choice Awards when she danced holding a pole.  No, it wasn’t pole dancing.  I’m aware of that.

mileyDid anyone notice her foam hand was on backwards?  I did.

I do believe, however, we have a bias against female artists when it comes to performances.  We’re used to them prancing around or having an amazing choreographed dance.  On the other hand, men, especially rappers often have women grinding up on them and (I’ll never get why they do this) constantly grab their junk.  This to us is normal.  Why is it that as soon as a woman does the same thing, we attack?  We’re used to the idea that women are fragile human beings, especially ones that had their big break on Disney Channel.

I’ve thought long and hard about this, because I am also one of those people that criticized Miley as soon as her performance was over.  I believe my Facebook status was: “Miley just gave me aids.”  Something like that.  At first I thought it was completely trashy, I even squirmed a bit while watching it.  Why did I?  Oh right, because the VMAs is an award show a lot of families watch together.  Yes, little kids and pre-teens saw Miley and her now famous tongue.  This is now one of the best pictures on the internet:

willSome say this is the way they reacted to Lady Gaga’s performance.  I, frankly, don’t care.  It is still one of the best pictures on the net.

Also, Robin Thicke is a married man and a father.  He is to blame as well.  People aren’t talking about him though, why should we?  His “Blurred Lines” music video features topless women (at least the non-clean version), so I guess it wasn’t much of a shock to see him getting fondled by a woman on stage.  Until you think of the age difference.  Ew.    I’m pretty sure Miley broke her father’s Achy Breaky Heart.

The problem here is that the audience doesn’t adapt to an artist’s change of image so easily.  It’s hard to think of Miley as a hip-hop-esque artist after so many years of seeing her as a pop star.  Maybe a few years out of the public eye would’ve helped.  We see her as a wannabe Ke$ha or Kreayshawn.  A couple of artists that made the change without making it look so drastic are Shakira and Nelly Furtado.  Nelly disappeared for a while and Shakira started with her appearance.  I’m sure some of you remember when we first saw her blonde locks on the cover of Laundry Service.

An excellent example would be Gwen Stefani.  She started out in No doubt, went solo and got back together with the band.  This, my friends, is power.

So, did Miley’s change come too soon?  I’d say so.  And it’ll take a while for us to take her seriously.  I don’t know about you, but I believe this is a phase.  Like most trends, twerking will fade away but she’s cashing in on it… hard.  What will she do when it does?  One thing is for sure, we’ll be here to watch and laugh at the new memes she inspires.

Is this worthy enough to spark a feminism debate?  Sex sells and we have no problem with male artists embracing this fact.  Was Miley just embracing this as well?  To me, it didn’t come off this way.

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