Miley Cyrus, 20, twerking on stage at the VMA’s with next to no clothing up against a 36 year old man?!? Eww! If that wasn’t enough, next came the ‘Wrecking Ball’ video that made headlines all over the world…
…okay, that’s probably enough buffer text that this part and onwards doesn’t get in the preview – so, was that title/intro as irresistible to click as I intended it to be? Good. Let me start by saying I don’t think she has ‘lost it’, and that yes, I shamelessly used the above as a way to get people to read this. Awful? Maybe. But it most likely worked. Moving on!
What I really want to draw your attention to is the differences in societies reactions to the ‘Wrecking Ball’ video in comparison to the ‘Blurred Lines’ one that came out a few months prior.
When ‘Blurred Lines’ came out, it made headlines for all the wrong reasons, most of which can be summarised as the following: “OMG, boobs!”. The video was most definitely created with controversy and headlines in mind, and it succeeded in making people talk. Mostly negative comments, but it became one of the most talked about music videos, and it turned Robin Thicke from an relatively unknown artist into a household name.
On the other hand, when the ‘Wrecking Ball’ video came out, Miley Cyrus’ name was already buzzing around in the news, after her VMA’s performance of ‘We Can’t Stop’ and ‘Blurred Lines’, where she twerked and stuck out her tongue to the media’s delight. Then the ‘Wrecking Ball’ video came out and the media ran with it, spouting that she’d ‘gone off the rails’ and was labelled as troubled and in need of help. Yet if we look back at Robin Thicke, there were articles were praising Thicke as edgy and a controversial-yet-forward-thinker.
What’s the difference between these two? Personally, I think that the difference is that Robin Thicke is a man. For some reason, because he was surrounded by naked women but wasn’t naked himself, the video (for a while before people came to their senses) was considered almost ‘artsy’. Because Miley is a woman and was naked herself, this somehow translates to being awkward and provoking for the wrong reasons, many putting it down to her being ‘attention seeking’, rather than the video being interpreted as her being vulnerable.
The interesting thing is that despite all the talk around the two videos, and especially the latest wave of pointing out the misogynistic nature of both the lyrics and video to ‘Blurred Lines’ , when I asked people point blank which was worse (without giving them any arguments for either side), 4 out of 6 people I asked said that they thought that the ‘Wrecking Ball’ video was the least tasteful out of the two.
…what does that say about people? I’ll let you decide.