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“Every wolf ‘s and lion’s howl / Raises from Hell a human soul.”

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Why Miley Cyrus Makes Me Itchy (And why she should make you itchy too!)

(First &last time I talk about this chick)

It seems that Miley Cyrus has once again become relevant.

  As swift as she made her Hanna Montana millions, Miley's Summer jam "We Can't Stop'' took over radio stations and wouldn't stop annoying you on Vevo.  She's has always been clouded in controversy, even as a pre teen on a Disney show, and her own reveal of racy pictures which happened quite a few times (seriously, and it was literally just a reiteration of "wow whO Is My daUGHTER goOING TO LOOK up 2 NOW?").

She then went through the whole "Im a young adult now, can't be tamed, I am one with my sexuality" phase which casually ended with her of disappearing from the lime light.

But now she's back. And she's everywhere. Which means people are talking about her all the time, and I hate to fuel the really annoying fire but I have to talk about this because its so incredibly frustrating.

Miley's VMA performance is probably one of the things that caused people to really take a look at her and start talking about her. Let's be honest, it wasn't great. In fact, it was difficult to watch. Was it because she was wearing some weird outfits? Uh...That's subjective, and her prerogative. Was it because the vocals weren't great? Well, MTV isn't exactly known to showcase the most A+ acts (see:
I'm not going to add more VMA pics because tbh they just make me sad
That Awkward Moment When Selena Gomez Suddenly Decided She Was Indian at the MTV Movie Awards).  Well what was it?

For starters, Miley Cyrus does not owe your children anything. Miley is clearly comfortable with displaying her sexuality and showing it off, which is a-okay for plenty of people in the world. But maybe you're a bit more conservative and would rather see sexuality treated as something more personal, which is fine! So? It isn't up to her to instil your values into your children. That's your job. But as a society, we're the people who made her famous and it's probably because she corresponds to some ideology that our society hates/loves. Her grinding on Robin Thicke? I mean, it was unfortunate to witness and all...but Robin Thicke wasn't stopping her. He's just as responsible for that train wreck as she.

Miley followed up her smash single "We Can't Stop" by stripping down and supporting Robin Thicke to perform his Summer jam "Blurred Lines" (which was so random, Pharrell was right there in the audience, he was right there) AKA THE RAPIEST AND MOST OBJECTIFYING SONG WE'VE HEARD IN A WHILE (THAT IS TRULY SAYING SOMETHING). Robin Thicke came out with his Beetlejuice-esque suit (which I think caused my Beetlejuice nightmare the following night: he tried to kill me) and that's when we found out the answer to a question you may have asked yourself while pondering the philosophical lyrics to We Can't Stop. "It's our party we can do what we want" oh yeah? Who's party is it really? Answer: The white man's.

Which brings me to the initial reasoning for this post: The fetishization and objectification of black people and culture.

You can start to see some hints of the catastrophe that is about to happen in the We Can't Stop video right from the start, right when she puts on the grills. It all goes downhill from there. Less than a minute in we've established fetishizing and using black women as props.

In the video, Miley is seen with her "friends": Mostly skinny white boys and girls who appear to be models. But in a few scenes, she's seen twerking with three black women. Are they also her friends? Or is she just hoping for street cred? Note that she is wearing white, in the spotlight, the star of the video — and they are treated as props, a background for her to shine in front of. We've tackled the use of people of color in the background before; it's a theme that persists, but remains wrong. In a white-centric world, putting white women quite literally in the center of the frame while women of color are off to the side is a powerful, disrespectful visual message, and it really must be said: Human beings are not accessories. These women might be her friends, but the general dynamic created is that she is in charge and they are in service to her. ---- (Source & good reading material)

Why is it that we only see black woman when its twerk time?  They're being sexualized by a society that already over sexualizes black women. Or that the majority of  black people in the video are only present to make Miley look "hood". Let me tell you why: Miley is trying to change her image into one that will never work. The girl is, for lack of a better term, trying to be black. She told the writers of the song "I just want something that just feels Black.". News flash: You are not black, therefore you cannot be black & anything you try to create will never "feel" black either. There's nothing wrong with being inspired by the "black culture", but using it for you own profit is basically exploitation. The equivalent of Urban Outfitters exploiting another culture to please their mainly caucasian demographic. 

Miley and her ilk need to be reminded that the stuff they think is cool, the accoutrements they're borrowing, have been birthed in an environment where people are underprivileged, undereducated, oppressed, underrepresented, disenfranchised, systemically discriminated against and struggling in a system set up to insure that they fail. - (Source & good reading material)
You cannot live the lifestyle of a privileged white girl (thanks to your dad) and display a black girl front, you can't have the best of both worlds this time.

Note: My opinion on twerking might be due to me being black, I've noticed black people on social media literally don't care, yet for other ethnicities *coughwhitepeople* its the craziest thing and being able to do it apparently gives you a hood pass! Who knew?! But seriously, please. Please stop. Twerking is nothing new, people have been shaking their asses long before Miley was born. I don't even know why we've labelled it twerking, and why it's caused so much hysteria (I'm talking to the hashtag-white-girl-twerk-teams on Vine). It's nothing special. Yet here we are, calling it the new "IT" thing and letting booty-shakin gone wrong once again consume the media. If your eyes have been blinded my too many gone wrong booty movements, let me introduce you to it done right.

I would love to hear some thoughts on all of this.

Anyways, anyone know what's going on in Syria?



    No but really this is the same rant I have been going on every time Miley Cyrus has been mentioned for the last two weeks (or is it three? I don't remember. When were the VMAS?!)

    Fantastic post. Five stars.

    1. I believe its been about 3 weeks, but I know nothing lol


  2. "Miley Cyrus does not owe your children anything."

    Yes. That is the thing that people keep forgetting.

    But you make good points about the appropriation and fetishization of "black" culture that is happening here (and many other places, not just in Miley's videos or performances). It's not okay.

    Also, it's not representative of all black culture, hence why we used quote marks above. It's one tiny slice of a very interesting, very varied pie!

    1. You're very right, the amount of unnoticed appropriation is astounding. Just recently, Macklemore and Iggy Azealia have done so, and they're continuously being praised. Not to mention the other cultures being exploited. I guess the reason I wrote this one on Miley was that so many people were concentrating on her twerking or the fact that she was being provocative when those weren't actually problematic, so I just needed to get that out there.

      The quotation marks hadn't occurred to me, thank you for the comment!! :)

  3. You are a writer, my dear. Clear point of view; able to engage your audience into social commentary; and saying it like it is for many of us who share your views. I loved it. Keep it up!

    1. Wow! Thank you so so much, that comment means a lot! Can't stop, won't stop ;)

  4. First off, totally agree with your post. 100%. But I think Beyonce was a funny choice of person to put at the end of your post. She is probably one of the ''whitest black people'' excuse the expression, I can think off. She is a strong black woman who wears blonde weaves on the daily. This is not a way to show your pride or to be a role model. I'm not in disagreement, just kinda curious about your views on Beyonce now ...

    1. Interesting point, however I would prefer you clarified on your use of "whitest black people", what exactly do you mean when you say that? Its somewhat contradicting yourself to call her a strong black woman and then question her "blackness" no? Before embedding Beyonce's video I considered what that would mean, I'm fully aware of the point that Beyonce has done some VERY problematic stuff. No one is by any means perfect. The point of this post was to highlight the fact that our society was glorifying Miley (and plenty of other "artists")'s problematic behaviour without addressing it at all. If anything, it shows that she clearly has no idea what she's doing. I loved Beyonce. She was actually one of my role models, amazingly talented and such a great personality, kind of still is. However, her problematic behaviour (blackface, plagiarizing) has definitely made me look at her in a different light. I don't look at her as the "Queen" she used to be for me. I haven't stopped listening to her music either, and I don't plan to. I just understand that she clearly isn't as conscious of things as I believe I am. Does that make sense?

      As for the weaves, I am 100% in disagreement. A woman can treat her hair whichever way she pleases. Sometimes I like to add extensions to my hair to make my life a little easier or because I like the look. When a caucasian woman dies her hair black or curls her hair, there isn't anyone pointing fingers saying that she's trying to look "middle eastern". I think you're a little misguided in that sense.

      Thank you for the comment and feel free to reply, I love the discussion.

      Oh, and the point of putting Beyonce in there wasn't supposed to actually have meaning, she knows how to move her body and I just wanted to point that out (and those moves are from way way back, which also adds to the twerking is nothing new point"

  5. Okay so my post was not formulated properly. I meant that she is seen as a strong black woman by many but in my view she attempts to make herself look more white and appealing to the white society. Just like in dream girls. I think its funny that she accepted to play the role she did in that movie because I see it as very much how her career has gone. (Jennifer Hudson is more talented)

    What i meant by ''whitest black person'' (slight exaggeration)is that, like i mentioned before, shes attempting to be more appealing to the white crowd by how she presents herself on magazines for instance. Her skin is always very fare and her hair is always blonde. I'm very passionate about my culture and heritage, I think its very important to embrace it, and this is why it bothers me so much that she lets herself be so, hate this expression, ''white washed''

    I kinda knew that you weren't trying to relate Beyonce to Miley and agree completely with your opinion on Miley's behaviour, I just like your point of view and was interested in what your opinion was on this topic.

    I completely agreee, yes women should be able to treat her hair however she likes. Im not opposed to weaves or extensions or dying your hair. But like i was saying, the view people have of beyonce is one of a strong black woman & a role model. She should embrace that, in my opinion, and not have a blonde weave for the majority of the time. It is the most unnatural colour she could have picked and once again relates to my point that she is pleasing the white crowd by making her hair colour easier to relate to. Having curly or black hair isn't only a middle eastern trait however.

    I listen to her music and wont stop either. Her music is real catchy! lol
    I love the discussion as well but can't find anyone to discuss with!

    1. Now that I understand your points I can say that I agree with them way more than I did before. It is interesting that you highlighted my use of Beyonce because you can definitely draw similarities and contrasts between her and people like Cyrus. Something I haven't even noticed. Beyonce has disappointed me so much when it comes to these things. She used blackface as part of “paying homage to the African queens through the ages." but....GOD the amount of things wrong with that is astounding. Not only is she wearing blackface but they're basically saying that these "african queens" came in one shade and never varied from light to darkskin. And her acceptance to perform for Gaddafi's family basically spits on any and all philanthropic work she's ever done, for me at least.

      (I was just using White/Middle Eastern as en example, I could have picked an array of cultures or even used myself as an example - it was just the first one that came to mind)

      I actually prefer Beyonce's vocals to JHud's though but I think that's more of an opinion lol.

      Feel free to start up a talk anytime, I'm always open to educating myself!


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