The Shock Of It All
Between Miley Cyrus‘s raunchy twerking, grinding and mock masturbation moves and Lady Gaga‘s strip tease to a barely-there seashell bikini at the recent Mtv Video Music Awards show, it’s hard to say which disgusted me more. We get the shock and awe value of being controversial, but when does it go too far? I think we’ve seen it.
The VMAs are no stranger to controversy…remember the infamous Madonna-Britney lip lock of 2003? (Some seem to forget that poor Christina Aguilera was there too and was also granted a kiss from The Material Girl.) Mtv seems to think that allowing outrageous performances are somehow helping it maintain an image of an edgy, avant garde rebel of television networking. I hate to break it to Mtv, but it hasn’t been avant garde since it took the M out of Mtv. I could write an entire post on what I think of the network, and perhaps I will; but for now, back to the celebs themselves.
Giving Fans the Finger (and I don’t mean the foam one)
I understand that Miley wants to be seen as an adult singer for an adult audience. She wants to put Hannah Montana and that squeaky-clean pre-teen image behind her. I get it. I’ve actually defended her choice of music, wardrobe and hair style for this very reason. Let the girl grow up.
What annoys me is that with this performance in particular, she has basically flipped off all the fans who made her famous to begin with telling them and their parents that she doesn’t give a rat’s behind about them; that she has moved on and no longer needs them.
As To Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga has been a walking controversy since she first came on the scene. She’s advocated for positive body image, and I can absolutely respect that. This does not mean I want to see her bare butt on stage or off, and I certainly don’t want to be watching it while seated next to my 15 year old daughter.
I realize Lady Gaga’s main statement is to be yourself, be tolerant of others and do your own thing the way that works for you. She has been very effective in delivering this statement, and I think she has helped a lot of young people, girls especially, see themselves as valuable despite what society may consider flaws.
What would be cool for Gaga to realize is that those of us who embrace her and her message and have used her message to teach our daughters that it is ok to be different don’t want that message to be overshadowed by her obvious exhibitionist fetish.
It’s OK to hide your butt in public. Not because it may be too wide or too flat, but because sexy isn’t how you look; it’s about who you are. Sexy is humor and kindness. It’s charm and intelligence. It’s subtle and doesn’t hit you over the head with a hammer.
What’s a Parent To Do?
Celebrities will continue pushing the envelopes of good taste and common sense. It is nothing new and it will likely never stop. Give some people a little limelight and it drives them to the brink of insanity. A lot of celebrities manage to be insanely popular without all the obvious gimmickry.
I have an ‘adult’ son and daughter and one teenage daughter. I put ‘adult’ in quotes because while they are legally emancipated adults due to their age, they and all people at this age are still trying to find exactly where they fit in the world.
They still need guidance, and whether celebrities embrace or reject the title “role model”, that is what they are and should respect that position and treat it with care.
As to my own children, I guide and advise them based on their progress along the maturity timeline. I watched the VMA’s with my youngest daughter, knowing that there might be mature themes. She wanted to watch because her favorites: One Direction, Taylor Swift (don’t get me started on Tay Tay’s lack of class that night) and Katy Perry were all going to be on.
We discussed the performances, and I explained that there were always going to be situations in life where she could take away positives and negatives, and it was up to her and her conscience, morals and ethics to pick and choose what to embrace and what to reject, and by doing that she will find her own true self.
In the Meantime
I’ve picked on Miley and Gaga pretty badly here, but to be fair, they are not the only celebrities to cross the line of common decency for a little media frenzy (Yes, I realize the irony of complaining about this and giving in and writing about it).
We don’t live in a perfect world, and we don’t live with perfect people. Parents cannot rely on these so-called role models to model the behaviors, ideals and ethics they want to see in their children. The bottom line is that parents have to take an active role in the upbringing of their children. It’s far too easy to leave it to the world of sports, entertainment, politics, et al, but at the end of the day the person with the most influence on your children is you.
These are my own personal views and opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer SingSnap.com and its staff.
- Miley Cyrus VMA Critics: 10 Reasons Why They’re Off-Base (theimproper.com)
- VMA Fashion (thefashionfoot.com)
- VMAs: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly (jessleighb.wordpress.com)