Y'all, I totally didn't watch the VMAs. a) I didn't realize they were on b) I have really never cared about music videos, even when MTV first came out -- I think it was the newness. I can't remember the last time I wanted my MTV. c) I hate awards shows, too.
So it wasn't until Monday morning that I realized Miley Cyrus had quite the bizarre performance. Such a performance that we actually created a series on BlogHer to house all the reactions. Now it's Friday, and I think it's taken me an entire week to absorb the stupidity of just all of it and the danger of at least one part of it.
I didn't even watch the whole video at first. After Miley-I-knew-that-girl-was-trouble-and-didn't-let-my-daughter-watch-Hannah-Montana walked out of a giant teddy bear and started yelling, I figured I was pretty sure how it was all going to go down. I didn't get to the full video watching until today, after I'd had time to read the responses and also pour bleach into my eyeballs. I've read a LOT of response posts to Miley -- people mad at people for judging her as a woman, people who are pissed about her gold grill, people who say as a society we've lost it.
Yeah, I thought she was pretty gross. Just as I really hated Madonna on a cross and Janet Jackson's wardrobe malfunction and any reference to bitches and hos no matter what color your skin. I hate all of it.
Was Miley's foam-fingered teddy bear worse or better? I don't know. But I really did think we'd come farther than this.
Everybody in this medley had back-up dancers. The same red-pants-wearing black female back-up dancers appeared wearing teddy bears and not wearing teddy bears for Miley and for other singers, and they seemed to be doing fairly normal background dancer stuff. What I just couldn't figure out was this:
This woman in the tights was mostly shown ass-out to the crowd. You never really saw her face. Then Miley smacked that ass. Now. There are a variety of things going on here. While the robot teddy bears and the tongue wagging and the foam finger and the bikini are all annoying and just weird, the using a black woman as a prop and accentuating her ass in this way, THEN SMACKING IT just, no, Miley. And really, not just Miley, because who the hell produces this show? Where was the adult in the room to go OMG YOU HAVE NOW TRANSCENDED BAD TASTE AND MOVED INTO THE CULTURAL FUCK-UP ZONE?
You know, I never thought Miley was all that impressive as an artist, and that's fine. I don't have to like everyone. And I don't even watch this show, so it would be no worries to me except for that image above. That one is a little more powerful, and not at all in a good way.