Here lately one name has been in the spotlights and headlines of many blog posts, magazines, and tabloids. Eyes have been glued to the likes of one young lady as people watch what some may say is her spiraling downfall of her once wholesome career. People are keeping a close eye on her actions, her career, and her parents for their reactions on what is going on with the young starlet Miley Cyrus.
Since the ever popular Disney Channel show “Hannah Montana” starring Miley Cyrus came to an end, Miley has been under a microscope in the public eye as she goes on a journey through life attempting to find herself, as many at her age do. Seeing as though many children idolize Miley Cyrus because of the influence she has had through her show, some parents feel that what she does after the show could still be of great influence to her young fans. Being in the spotlight, we have seen Miley transition from a girl into a young woman. We have watched her mark her body with tattoos, indulge in partying, and even her romantic relationships.
Her more recent “scandal” if I may say, began with her racy performance at the MTV Music Awards featuring Robin Thicke. The performance started with Miley in scanty clothing performing her new single “We Like to Party” which based on its title is about partying. The song makes various references to drug use, sex, and “twerking.” The performance ruffled feathers with viewers as the 20 year old child star began to “twerk” on a married Robin Thicke.
But what is “twerking?” “Twerking,” also known as gyrating has been around for years. Tracing the roots of twerking all the way back to West African culture, “twerking” is often associated with the African American community. “Twerking” isn’t new. Its ubiquity may seem sudden, but mainstream media’s merely catching up to something that’s existed in black global culture for years,” says blogger Christiana Mbakwe. Through the years “twerking” has become a small franchise for some who get paid to do so at club appearances and even in the popular music videos. Miley Cyrus has just become the new face of “twerking” as she is spotlighted for her Youtube videos showcasing her skill, and even to being recognized in a Jay Z song as he raps, “and somewhere in America, Miley Cyrus is still twerking.”
From a parents perspective I see the error in the performance because young girls really do idolize what Miley Cyrus stood for on Hannah Montana, although she would not be a preteen forever and would eventually venture out into other avenues as a young adult. That is not what bothers me. I think the standards the public are holding her to are too high for her unconventional way of living.
What seems to bother me is that there are some African American people who think that Miley Cyrus is mimicking the Black community and poking fun at our culture because she wants to “twerk” and makes cheesy pop music geared towards the African American community. Many people have spoken out in blogs, Facebook statuses, and even tweets to discuss Miley’s performance, and I have yet to wrap my head around this idea, the idea that her performance was racially offensive. As Miley pranced the stage at the VMA’s, she was joined by her voluptuous backup dancers who happened to be Black. In their crazy costumes you can see Miley slapping their asses as she bellows out her tunes. The fact that Miley only had Black dancers and the nature of the type of dancing they were doing, there were some people to really get offended, but why? Many people called the performance “ratchet,” or even “ghetto,” words often associated with the Black community. To me, the over sexualized performance wasn’t a shot at the Black community, but a strategic move by Ms. Cyrus to keep herself relevant and a failing try to expand her audience. It is just sad that her performance leads to negative connotations of the Black community. What are your thoughts? How did you feel after watching?