In honor of all of Miley’s recent success with BANGERZ, I thought, “What better way to kick off this blog than a post in defense of Miley’s recent, twerktastic and seemingly rebellious behavior?” Although many of you may not take me seriously for saying this, I’m definitely a Smiler at heart, and I’m proud to be one. Ever since Miley’s days on Hannah Montana, I was always a little bit obsessed. As she’s changed and matured over the years, I might not have always agreed with all of her life choices, but I definitely don’t dislike her for any of them. And although her “We Can’t Stop” music video may have shocked many with its overt promiscuous nature, I kind of loved it, and this quirky, over-sexual anthem was definitely my morning jam for a few weeks. As you all probably know, Miley and her former beau Liam Hemsworth have recently broken up, and Miley even called it quits on their imminent engagement. The now ex-couple had been fairly secretive about their private affairs over the last few months, but we all knew it was coming. For one, their last photo together was taken at the premier for Liam’s movie Paranoia, and that was well over a month ago. What’s really shocking to me is how Miley is receiving all of the blame for this recent separation. I know she’s not the a saint, but she definitely shouldn’t be shamed for dressing a bit more provocatively as of late. This has most definitely happened to Miley before. Let’s not forget her recent twerktastic VMAs performance, as pictured below.
I mean, people are still talking about this. It’s been a month, since her infamous performance aired, and all of this publicity has only benefited her; however, I believe all of the shade that’s being thrown her way is a bit uncalled for. Even though Miley may have been less dressed when compared to Robin Thicke, he was also shaking and grinding on her, and he received way less negative attention than she did. Double standard much? Now, let’s get back to the breakup. So much has recently surfaced, since they broke up. For one, pictures immediately blew up on the Internet of Liam and actress Eiza Gonzales. Miley even confessed that she planned on breaking up with Liam in February, but it was just too hard for her to let go. Although all of this is crazy and even a bit heartbreaking, I think Liam and Miley’s breakup and the all of the hatred that’s being thrown at Miley signifies something much more significant.
I personally don’t think people should be hating on Miley, but at least, they shouldn’t be hating on JUST Miley. I for one am a Smiler who thinks Liam is also in the wrong. There were numerous rumors going around that he was cheating, and he’s immediately spotted with another woman right after his breakup with Miley is publicized. The fact that everyone is projecting more hate on Miley points to larger gender-related problems in society like how women are still being stigmatized for either dressing or acting too provocatively. For example, everyone is applauding Liam, since all of his fans were desperately advising him to run for the hills. Miley is often portrayed as being trashy because of how she dresses/expresses herself, but instead, shouldn’t she be cheered on for boldly dressing how she wants to dress and for sparking a rebellion against conformity? (My answer: YES)
Many strong-minded musicians and feminist scholars have gone awry over Miley’s recent actions. The open letters between Miley, Sinéad O’Connor, and and Amanda Palmer are definitely worth checking out. In her “My Two Cents on Feminism and Miley Cyrus,” Lisa Wade sums up the whole quarrel pretty well and even adds some of her own thoughts on the matter. O’Connor warns Miley that the music industry is using her and her body for capitalistic and patriarchal gains. In opposition to O’Connor, Palmer states that O’Connor is only worsening the situation by directing anti-feminist statements to Miley. Yes, O’Connor does make valid points based on her institutional argument that we are all functioning within larger systems and that our actions shouldn’t comply with what those systems want. In Palmer’s mind, ALL women’s choices should be applauded or at least, women shouldn’t be criticized for their own individual actions.
She states that,
I want to live in a world where WE as women determine what we wear and look like and play the game as our fancy leads us, army pants one minute and killer gown the next, where WE decide whether or not we’re going to play games with the male gaze.
I WHOLEHEARTEDLY agree with Palmer. Even though many may think Palmer’s concept may be a bit too utopian for today’s world, she establishes a sound argument. Women should pick and choose for themselves and shouldn’t fear being shunned for dressing a particular way or for dating a particular person. Don’t we live in a progressive enough era where this can indeed be possible? Women have come such a long way, and all of this shade being thrown at Miley is only hurting feminism in the long-run.
Wade claims that Miley is participating in what sociologists call a “patriarchal bargain,” where she’s acting in an oversexual manner because that’s what our patriarchal society rewards, but I disagree. Although she’s being rewarded on an economic level, she’s still being shunned by a good part of society. She knows that she will only benefit from all of this hate, and I believe that she should at least be credited for outsmarting the system. She’s acting and dressing the way she wants and is benefitting at the same time. Yes, she’s being rewarded, but not because this is what society rewards and appreciates. Her actions may not be benefitting women in the sense that she’s allowing herself to be sexualized and eroticized in the media, but her actions showcase the fact that women are their own gatekeepers and should do whatever they want to do, and if you’re able to outsmart the system, then you deserve to be rewarded.
Although you may not agree with me, I’m really curious to hear your thoughts on this matter. Who do you think is in the wrong? Do you think society still reflects patriarchal ideals based on how fans and Miley haters handled this recent breakup? If you’re truly twerktastic, you would totally follow me on Twitter, and remember to follow WTF Love?, so you know when a new post is published!