So I was having a conversation on Friday with a neighbor about Miley Cyrus because I didn’t get what the big deal about her performance on some music awards show was.
I STILL don’t get it. I mean, I get that she apparently, at one point, was some “sweet wholesome kiddie-show star” and now…well, she’s 20 years old or something and now she’s not. She doesn’t want to wear pigtails and saddle shoes or whatever little girls wear these days and she wants to be an adult star.
So on this awards thing, she was singing and grinding and “twerking” and being all sexy on stage, just like people in rock and roll do (Oh, Billy Squire. . .your uber-tight jeans haunt me to this day!) and maybe some people who were used to seeing her as a little kid were having a bit of a brain melt. I suppose I get THAT. It’s kinda like catching your parents having sex. Like, you KNOW they’ve done it (the number of times equal to you + your siblings), but it can be a little squick-y to THINK about it.
She’s a grown-up, so really…what’s the problem? I watched two of her videos (I’ve never seen her perform as a child) and honestly, all I can REALLY say is, “Meh.” They didn’t necessarily make me want to buy her records, but they sure didn’t make me lose my marbles, either.
She’s got one video where she goes through more costume changes than Cher show in Vegas and uses enough autotune that I thought she might have played that little robot girl from that sitcom in the ’80s I never saw. From what I understood from a single viewing, she’s basically having a big house party while her folks are away and she’s gonna smoke and drink and do drugs and have sex with boys (and girls!) and even have some black people over because she’s an upper-class white chick and that’s what they do for fun and she can do whatever she wants, because she’s rich (you can tell, because she wears that makeup that never comes off, even when you go swimming) and this is the way you’re supposed to say, “fuck authority.”
Okay. I don’t GET it, but it’s not the worst thing in the world. I’m not 20. I expect I’m not SUPPOSED to “get it.” But there sure is a LOT of vitriol about this video online.
So yesterday, I saw another video and again, there’s a LOTTA hatin’ going on, on websites where people feel safe saying horrible things about people they don’t know (and will never know) to millions of other people they don’t and will never know, MOSTLY about the fact that Ms. Cyrus is pretty much naked.
There were HUNDREDS of posts about how she’s “ugly” and “a skank” and “pathetic.” People were questioning her upbringing and seemed to be insisting that she should remain the sweet, wholesome character she played on television a decade ago, which makes me wonder if many of these people don’t know the difference between television and ACTUAL life. They’re “hatin'” on her solely because she’s doing something that’s making them uncomfortable when all it appears she’s trying to do is make a career for herself by NOT being some little kid that people were used to seeing on the Disney Channel.
Remember all the outrage when sweet, perky Mary Tyler Moore Richards Petrie played that cold, bitter woman in ORDINARY PEOPLE?
The song itself is pretty much a very ordinary, melancholy breakup song that 20-somethings relate to because when you’re that age, every breakup means you’re going to die and life will suck FOR-E-VER and, again…I get THAT. I know 20-somethings. (I WILL admit that I don’t get what the video itself has to do with the message of the song, (apparently the “wrecking ball” thing ISN’T a metaphor), but that’s not new in the music video business at all. I didn’t get “Sledgehammer”, either.
She’s not the first person to push the envelope of “decency” or “good taste” or whatever the currently repressed and uptight society deems as “acceptable” and she won’t be the last. And my guess is that she will survive whatever bad reputation she gets from her 20-something antics. Though musically, she might want to take a page from the book from another 20-something who also chose to say, “fuck the establishment” back in 1980.
AND without all the annoying autotune.