Is She Just Being Miley?
I put off writing a Miley Cyrus VMA post because I didn’t want to be that guy. I felt like pretty much everything that could have been said, was said. But it’s been several days and it is still an issue in pop culture. For this reason I feel like I should add my 2 cents (however it may end up being more like 25 cents depending on how this goes). For those who didn’t see Miley’s performance, (and by the way, how large is the rock that you’re living under) she performed her song “We Can’t Stop” and ‘sang backups’ on Robin Thicke’s hit song “Blurred Lines”. Now everyone has talked about how she is being a negative influence on young girls around the country, and then the counter argument has been made that criticizing her is a form of slut shaming… honestly that is superfluous to me. The important thing is to point out, what did everyone expect? Her song is literally about like shaking various body parts and taking several substances. With a song like that did people thing she was going to stand in one place and sing accompanied by a symphonic band? The song mentions ‘Molly’ (that’s ecstasy for those of you who aren’t down with the lingo), so did people really expect her to sit down and play Rachmaninoff? She definitely made some creative choices, and for the most part I hated them, but that’s not because I was shocked by her doing them. It was almost as though people forgot that a few months before she released a music video that was equally as controversial.
That seems to be a trend in the industry. It’s as though critics (and by critics I mean anyone from the Billboard people to you sitting at home listening to her on your iPod) think that because they voiced an opinion, the artist will immediately respond. Rarely does an artist release a project, get negative feedback, and then completely reinvent the aesthetic for that project. Honestly I can’t even think of an example of that happening. A massive part of artist branding is consistency. And believe it or not, it would hurt Miley’s brand more if she were to flip flop to something else after she received negative reviews on one performance. She is going to have to truly discover who she is as an artist, the same way many former-Disney stars have, but I think this was just a bump on the road for her. Do we not all recall the Britney Spears slutty, school-girl outfit? At this point I am just hoping that this crazy pop diva seismograph will balance out soon and people will calm down about it.