Miley Cyrus Can’t Stop, But She Should Stop. ~ Jenna Penielle Lyons

I cannot believe that MTV let this performance be a part of its VMA lineup.

And the fact that they did sends an important message about female sexuality today. Let’s all put our clothes on, grab a cup of coffee, take a deep breath, and have an honest talk with ourselves about the direction in which our moral compass is pointing.

When I watched this portion of the VMA performances last night with my mother, we were both appalled and disgusted that this would occur on national television. I felt embarrassed for Miley (and her followers!). I felt sad that kids who used to watch Miley on Disney watched her gesture and dance in repulsive ways.

I have always admired classy male and female artists for having some sort of standards in terms of nudity and provocative behavior—I thought Miley Cyrus was one of these artists, but that is evidently not the case.

But the performance, if anything, was thought provoking. If anything, I guess it took a performance full of giant twerking teddy bears, Miley Cyrus licking Robin Thicke, and the use of a foam finger that doubled as a penis to get me to realize the status of femininity in young girls today.

The fact that Miley Cyrus’s pelvic region also doubled as a guitar was particularly thought provoking. The fact that she screamed like a banshee and gyrated thousands of times really drilled into my head the thought about today’s girls and their ideas about femininity, sex and how they display those things in public.

It was raunchy. It was ugly. And I am sure that, on the inside, Robin Thicke’s wife did not like watching a 21 year old girl/woman grind on and lick her husband. Miley Cyrus’s dad is probably crying right now.

And, an otherwise catchy pop song turned into a symbol of a blatant effort to assert rebelliousness, sexuality, and “freedom.”

I hope and pray that girls know that this type of behavior isn’t okay. 

And this type of behavior is Miley’s own fault; she could have said no. There are no Blurred Lines here. It was trashy, not sexy. It was a call for help and a cry for attention, not a display of strength.

Impressionable teenagers and young girls everywhere [and boys!] need to know that in order to be successful or talented, you do not have to show the world how well you can shake your ass, how vulgar you can be, or how wild you are when you party.

You don’t even have to party. You don’t need to drink. And you shouldn’t hit on older men–or any man–just because you can.

Girls, don’t show your boobs to boys at parties. Boys, don’t approve of girls who are acting irresponsibly.

Girls, don’t wear shorts or crop tops that show the world your inner sanctum. Boys, don’t tell girls that you like these clothes. Let’s all act like adults who respect each other.

Let’s respect ourselves and be…classy.

The men and women we should be respecting are those who are talented performers with a set of irremovable standards. We should respect and be proud of those who are sexy, beautiful and talented in their own distinct manner.

We should applaud those who have a personality that is set in stone. The phase Miley Cyrus is going through should be a personal journey…not one that is traceable on public television.

We need to stop and reevaluate what is okay in terms of nudity, behavior, and language in our social media, TV, music, and literature.

While I am highly opposed to censorship, there is a difference between what we hide from the readership and viewership and what we allow to be popular within the canon.

We can stop this and we will stop this.

Girls, put your clothes on and stop twerking. Please!


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Ed: Bryonie Wise

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James Fraser Aug 29, 2013 6:20pm

IMHO the best reaction to this sort of thing is to ignore it…the less attention it receives the less it will perpetuate itself. Silly, doesn’t even hit my radar screen- in fact I haven’t even seen it …

Craig Aug 28, 2013 10:58pm

30 years ago Madonna was criticized for flaunting her sexuality in her music videos, in a risqué book, and in her (now considered iconic) performances at the MTV awards. Others lauded her for championing the right of women to celebrate their sexuality as they saw fit, just as men had being doing for years. She asked us, or maybe forced us, to take a fresh look at the age-old virgin/whore dichotomy, and the evolving definition of feminism. Suddenly behavior that had long been viewed by many women (and men) as immoral, lewd, anti-woman, and just plain dirty (in a bad way), was being reconsidered as sexy, fun, pro-woman, and dirty (in a hot way).

I'm not sure what the current commentary says about where we are now, but it does feel like the same questions are as relevant, and controversial, today as they were in the 1980's. Are we more awake now, more aware of oppression and sexism when it shows up on occasions such as this, or are we just as judgmental as we've always been?

Who could have predicted that the MTV/VMA Awards show would still have the power to shock almost 30 years after Madonna first writhed on and humped the stage floor in a white wedding dress singing "Like a Virgin".

Mgt Aug 28, 2013 2:31am

Roz is making a good point , that type of sexual 'dancing' by man or woman sends out a message that says our sexuality is cheap et anything goes with no strings attached . Many of the audience are at an impressionable age et hormones are pumping ! Tis even more provocative when either the man or woman are scantily clad. I think there were many parents who strongly objected to Elvis et Mick Jagger in their day too. Just because 'our youth' can view worse stuff on T V , video etc still doesn't make it ok……does it ?

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Jenna Penielle Lyons

Jenna Penielle Lyons was born in Portales, New Mexico among sage and sand. Raised in Pocatello, Idaho among the black rock and juniper, she grew up wandering in cowboy boots, running, riding bikes, skiing, climbing, painting, and studying classical ballet. She is a scholar of English Literature, a poet, painter, photographer, musician, and outdoorswoman. She winters in Missoula and spends the summer working for Snake River Hotshots. She is a lover of mountain bluebirds & elephants, tea & good coffee, Carl Jung, Salvador Dali, skiing, climbing in the desert, yoga, harp music, and sagebrush. Her favorite foods are borscht and any combination of chocolate and cayenne pepper. Follow her adventures here.