The Daily Gamecock

Miley Cyrus unfairly criticized after V.M.A.s

MTV held its annual Video Music Awards Sunday, despite the deliciously ironic fact that there hasn’t been a music video among their volumes of teen-oriented, melodramatic, campy and trite reality television in years.

Personal ire for MTV aside, the award show was viewed by over 10 million people — impressive for cable. The most discussed event of the night was the performance of Miley Cyrus, a former Disney child star who has grown into a substantially more adult performer, though performer is a generous description. Cyrus’s performance was overtly sexual, and I was not a fan, but some of the reaction has drawn unfair criticism and shaming.

Reaction to Cyrus’s performance was swift and critical of its sexual nature. MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski called it “disgusting” and suggested Cyrus had an eating disorder. The mother of Robin Thicke, who Miley performed with (and literally on), also criticized the performance. Joey Fatone of ‘N Sync fame, who also performed at the show, complained about his younger family members watching the raunchy show that Cyrus put on.

While I won’t try to defend the merit of Cyrus’s actual performance, it is not her responsibility to be a role model for all of her younger fans; that is the job of a parent.

That said, why is all this outrage targeted at Cyrus when many of the artists featured in the show, including Thicke, have had similarly sexual content in shows and videos?

The uncensored video for Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” features women in various states of undress revealing even more than Cyrus did. Justin Timberlake, who also performed, has a video for his single “Tunnel Vision,” which features the same kind of scantily clad and occasionally nude women in the background, yet these very popular male artists don’t receive nearly as much ire for their sexual content.

A look at the lyrics of many big male names in music will show content that is much more explicit than Cyrus’s, but these artists are not criticized accordingly. There are plenty of legitimate criticisms of the young singer, but to focus on this one is unfair.

Her performance was no worse than many popular music videos, though the mountain of criticism directed her way clearly lost sight of this fact. The performance was not good, but it also wasn’t rampant sexual deviancy or a cry for help form a deeply troubled soul; it was Miley attempting to shed her child-star image.

Miley Cyrus will stop going to crazy lengths to convince us she’s an adult once the media sheds its predisposition that she’s still her now long-gone child star self. Hannah Montana is dead, love live Hannah Montana.