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Tue Aug 27, 2013, 11:38 AM

Solidarity is For Miley Cyrus: The Racial Implications of her VMA Performance

I thought this deserved its own thread. This whole article is good.

Jezebel's piece on the performance chose to focus on the slut shaming that has been thrown Miley's way in the wake of the performance. All fine and good. Slut shaming is bad, don't do it. On that we can all agree. What it didn't acknowledge was the incredibly racist nature of that performance. So I brought it up.

Okay.... but can we talk about the problematic and racist nature of her performance? Her literal use of people as props? Her association of her newfound sexuality with the traditional codifiers of black female culture, thereby perpetuating the Jezebel stereotype that black women are lewd, lascivious and uncontrollably sexualized? Can we talk about the straight up minstrelsy of that performance? Can we talk about how not a single black person won an award last night even though the people who did win awards have been mining black music and culture for years?

No? Ok... I'll just sit at the back of the bus then. #solidarityisforwhitewomen


So I'll include it here. What Miley did last night was easily one of the most racist displays I've ever seen. From her insistence on twerking, to her use of all black women as literal props (they were teddy bears) to her smacking of her dancer's ass and the simulation of rimming, it is very clear to me, that Miley thinks that black women's bodies are to be enjoyed, devalued and put on display for entertainment purposes.



Now some people have said that Miley is only 20, and she's "just a child" and that she doesn't understand what she's doing. But Miley isn't new to this. Her video for the single wasn't even the first precursor to this madness. She has been quoted as saying that she explicitly wanted "a black sound" for her new album. She is more than aware of what she's doing, and has consciously made the choice to dabble in traditionally black aesthetics and sound in order to breakaway from her good girl image and further her career.



http://groupthink.jezebel.com/solidarity-is-for-miley-cyrus-1203666732?action_type_map=%5B%22og.likes%22%5D&action_object_map=%5B155252038013239%5D&fb_action_types=og.likes&fb_source=other_multiline&fb_action_ids=10200674489208193&action_ref_map=%5B%5D

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Reply Solidarity is For Miley Cyrus: The Racial Implications of her VMA Performance (Original post)
ismnotwasm Aug 2013 OP
winterpark Aug 2013 #1
hlthe2b Aug 2013 #2
EC Aug 2013 #3

Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Aug 27, 2013, 12:00 PM

1. I actually agree. And this verbalizes what I thought in a way I couldn't.

We shouldn't slut shame her because she was trying to be slutty, but we should shame her because she was identifying with black females as being slutty and skanky.

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Response to winterpark (Reply #1)

Tue Aug 27, 2013, 12:14 PM

2. Yes...that is my sense as well. She fed into all the old stereotypes about AA women dating back

to days of slavery, using black women as mere props, which might be bad enough, but exploiting them in such a stereotypical and controversially sexual way moved the performance from merely provocative to something far less defensible.

That said, i'm sure most viewers probably didn't pick up on some of what she was doing, but I'm betting her target audience certainly will.


Meh, I only hope she grows up and finds a way to actually display and market her own (vocal?) talents. This surely doesn't seem to me to be the way.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Aug 27, 2013, 01:33 PM

3. None of this is new.

What did bother me about her act is that she really seems to NEED that type of attention. She's pretty messed up.

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