Make up your mind, society

VMAs: Media shouldn’t judge the entertainers they promote.

We’ve all heard about it. It blew up our Twitter feeds and provoked mocking pictures comparing a skinny butt to a raw chicken — the infamous VMA performance by one Miley Cyrus.

There’s a plethora of controversy about her “not-so-appropriate” actions. It seems she is being reprimanded for performing in a way that, in fact, has always been the norm for these awards. However, I don’t think she is looking at the bigger picture here. How is this going to influence the adolescents that look up to her?

Sure, it is important for entertainers to gain publicity by trending on Twitter and to rack up millions of hits on YouTube. But that isn’t the underlying issue. Miley just doesn’t seem to get what is really happening here.

While I was browsing the Internet and perusing the articles and interviews on this whole ordeal, I came across a quote from Miley in an article with CNN. She said, “How many times have we seen this play out in pop music? Madonna’s done it, Britney’s done it. Every VMA performance. Anyone that performs, that’s what you’re looking for. You are wanting to make history.”

When I read this, the only thing I see is: “There are other famous female entertainers that have exploited themselves explicitly, and I wanted to be like them and make sure that I made history no matter what the cost.”

It seems Miley is only concerned about getting the ratings and reviews. She simply wants to haul in the publicity and make her name known — whether or not she is exploiting herself sexually. Her father has spoken out about it, saying that he will stand by her side 100 percent. I respect that , but what I don’t respect is the two-faced, hypocritical view that the media has taken on the issue.

Miley doesn’t seem to understand the consequences here. She keeps telling the media she wants to escape from her so-called childhood Disney persona. She doesn’t want to be known as “Hannah Montana” anymore — fine, message received. But has Miley considered what kind of influence this will have on the younger kids who watch her performance?

Kids are so easily influenced by what they see on TV and the Internet. I know for a fact that if I was an innocent 10-year-old kid and my mother saw me watching Miley’s performance, she’d call it disgusting and inappropriate. Shouldn’t we want kids to grow up with morally sound influences? The media really shouldn’t be reprimanding Miley for being so provocative up on stage when they are the ones who enforce it.

The media uses sex and exploitation to attract attention, and Miley wants to escape her childhood persona. Naturally, Miley uses these factors to escape her childhood name. Once she does — thinking the media will rave and approve of it — the media turns around and says it is too provocative and inappropriate. It is a vicious circle that really doesn’t seem to have a solution. This is just one of the many issues that women in our society have today.

Women are in a tough spot. Do we stand by traditional morals and be called a prude? Or do we become “easy” or “friendly” and gain acceptance but risk being called a “slut?” It is a sensitive issue and affects millions of women worldwide. The way I see it, the media needs to pick a side. Is Miley supposed to be exploiting herself according to what the media has traditionally said is right? Or should she be less explicit and stray from what the VMA awards have shown previously?

I don’t approve of Miley’s performance. It was weird and uncomfortable to watch. To be frank, it was just gross.

However, I am more of a traditionalist when it comes to morals. The piece that bothers me the most is how two-faced the media is being. How is this young woman supposed to figure out who she wants to be when the media is giving off two different vibes? While I don’t approve of Miley’s performance and behavior lately, I can’t really say that I blame her. She has grown up in the spotlight her entire life. She has been constantly influenced by what the media says is right or wrong. I can’t say I necessarily blame her for exploiting herself when she has grown up to believe this is the correct way to make a name for yourself and obtain fame.

Society has become a loose cannon lately. I don’t necessarily agree with everything it supports, but I do empathize with the struggles young women experience.

While I don’t agree with many decisions or actions of these young starlets, I can’t say I blame them for some behavior. If the media is going to promote a certain type of behavior, then they shouldn’t reprimand or critique these entertainers for participating in what it has promoted.

Mary Ochs is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. She can be reached at [email protected]