Madonna played with the sanctity of marriage at the 1984 MTV Video Music Awards when she performed a sexed up rendition of “Like A Virgin” in a wedding dress. She later made headlines kissing Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera during her performance at the 2003 MTV VMA. Remember when Lady Gaga purposely bled on stage during her performance of “Paparazzi” at the 2009 MTV VMA?
When comparing the most recent 2013 VMA performances to the legendary VMA spectacles of the past, Miley really wasn’t that shocking.
From a performance standpoint, Miley Cyrus sounded great.
I tend to think that the reason her recent 2013 MTV VMA performance is suddenly garnering so much media scrutiny is because of presentation. If you go back to when Miley first cut her hair, her new image was executed fairly well. She promoted her friendship and collaboration with Pharell in a wonderful V Magazine article. She showed so much promise, even with her sexier new edgy image.
Her outrageous “We Can’t Stop” music video was a little unecessary, but we got the point. Miley was no longer a Disney girl, Miley is an artist. A young women who is expressing her rite of passage publicly, privately and artistically. I liked where she was headed.
Until this performance…
The degrading of black culture with urban stereotypes, the ponytail-cones, the ratchet mouse outfit she wore before stripping into plastic underwear that clearly did not properly accentuate her butt, the way she was sticking out her tongue like she was being electrocuted, the humping and necking she did on (the 16 year older) Robin Thicke… I could go on and on.
It didn’t shock, disgust or even outrage me. It simply made me realize that Miley is not as cool as I thought she was. When you’re a quality artist, you don’t need all of that sex and raunch. Sure, props are fun. And no one wants to be the “boring performance” at the latest VMA. But was it a legendary performance? No. I’m not even sure I’d say it was memorable if it weren’t for the Miley spectacle. That’s not quality. That’s not art. It’s whoring (literally) for shock-value and it’s fleeting.
Others (like Ms. Spears!) have executed sexualized VMA performances in such a better fashion that I can see why it’s hard for the media to not trash-talk Miley‘s display. As a usual fan of Ms. Cyrus, I’m just hoping that the upcoming music is better than the current visuals we’re getting.