At the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards — which were held in Brooklyn on Sunday, August 25 — 20-year-old Miley Cyrus shocked the world, especially the hundreds of thousands of young fans who tuned in to see her latest performance. The young singer was no doubt seeking to boost her media profile through controversy. Cyrus may find, however, that she lost many fans in the process. Someday soon, she might even come to view her borderline-pornographic onstage antics as completely embarrassing.
Cyrus sang her hit song “We Can’t Stop” and then performed a duet of “Blurred Lines” with 36-year-old singer Robin Thicke. During those songs, Cyrus removed her leotard to reveal a flesh-colored latex bikini; her bra and underwear were quite revealing. She also gave the crowd an intense twerking demonstration — twerking, of course, involves bending forward and shaking the hips with great intensity. In addition, Cyrus rubbed against dancers dressed as bears in a sexual manner, and she grabbed Thicke’s private parts at one point. Thicke’s wife was in the audience. Perhaps the most unsettling aspect of Cyrus’s appearance was her tongue. She exhibited the ability to stick it out exceptionally far.
Judging by their stunned expressions, many audience members found the display ugly. Social media reactions were even more intense. For instance, technology writer Mike Elgan wondered on Google Plus if Miley has lost “the ability to keep her tongue in her face”
Others criticized the star’s fashion sense. On Twitter, @whatitsmenej noted that she had only one thought during Miley’s performance:
Yeah so Miley Cyrus spent most of her song twerking on stage but all I could think was, is she wearing sneakers with a bikini?
— whatitsmenej (@whatitsmenej) August 26, 2013
And Twitter’s @joseduderibe fretted:
Miley Cyrus has single-handedly ruined the latex bikini industry.
— Josebrah (@joseduderibe) August 26, 2013
Indeed, that vein of humor ran through much of the social media commentary. For example, on the official Miley Facebook fan page, Ron Virginia expressed concern that her movements gave his TV set herpes. Other comments were overwhelmingly negative:
Reddit member mikesaysthis offered a photo called “My cat watching the VMAs, imitating Miley Cyrus” (http://imgur.com/90mu1Xi).
YouTube members could not resist Miley-related comedy either. Jessielou121 provides viewers with this thought, “It’s kind of sad, honestly. You look at her as a role model that so many kids grew up with, and what kind of role model is she turning into now?” in the video “Miley Cyrus & Robin Thicke – MTV VMA’S 2013 PERFORMANCE”
To be fair, not every social media reaction was negative. For instance, HotNewHipHop noted on its Google Plus page that the rapper Juicy J called Miley “the best twerker, hands down”
Even so, the number of people who found Miley’s bra and underwear display at the Video Music Awards ugly and embarrassing far outweighed those who defended the young singer. Perhaps Hugo Câmara summed it up best with his comment on the MTV VMA page, a photo of a child leaning over a toilet bowl.
I am curious to know what you think about all of this. Please leave me your comments below!