Here Are Two Possible Explanations For Miley Cyrus’s 2013 MTV VMA Performance


This morning if you’re like a lot of people in the world who begin their day checking in on various social media sites, then you woke up with an onslaught of GIFs, stills, and reaction pictures from and to Miley Cyrus’s 2013 MTV VMA performance. Of course, Buzzfeed went in with the GIFs, and there’s this hilarious picture going around of Will Smith and his family reacting to the whole… situation. Last night little Miley hit the stage solo (and was later joined by Robin Thicke, 2 Chainz, and Kendrick Lamar), and since the moment she started a’ twerkin it has been the single-most talked-about performance of the night. If you missed it, peep the video above. And if you’ve been wanting someone to offer two possible [somewhat feminist-informed] explanations of what exactly the eff happened last night, then I’m here for you. And yes, this moment actually calls for a meeting of PITNB’s pop culture theory club. So click inside for more, so we can theoretically put the “culture” back in “pop culture,” one post at a time…

Here Are Two Possible Explanations For Miley Cyrus’s 2013 MTV VMA Performance

1. This Is Her Party And She Can Do What She Wants

Okay, so one of my first reactions to Miley’s performance was OMG, she looks like she’s having a blast! And I thought that was awesome. She’s young, wild, and free and she’s been successful enough in life to get to the point where she can lit’rally hop on a stage and do whatever she wants. She dances/twerks like no one’s looking, and there’s something really cool about that.

Much of the backlash over last night’s performance has stemmed from the fact that Miley seemingly took her twerkto a whole ‘nother level when Robin Thicke became the recipient of said twerking. I mean, even I took to Facebook about it, LOL:

Miley needs to turn down. LMAO. #TeamPaula #VMAs

Blogger Necole Bitchie originally posted this on Instagram with a caption that said something to the effect of ‘Miley Cyrus sure is comfortable backing it up on a married man.’ It looks like she’s since removed that caption, but the pic says it all:


On the one hand, I def felt some kinda way watching Miley booty-pop on Mr. Paula Patton. I mean, Paula just comes off as that ridiculously beautiful, totally supportive wife and it’s hard not to be on her team. I think there’s this collective urge to “defend” her. But we’ve all seen a helluva lot of women grinding up on Robin in his recent videos for Blurred Lines and Give It 2 U, so why not Miley? Because she’s, like, a ‘real’ person and not some model chick? Because it was live? All that somehow makes him suddenly a ‘married man’ instead of a celebrity/entertainer?

I dunno. I feel the need to play devil’s advocate a little bit on this one and defend Miley. She’s legitimately young and I’m sure she meant no disrespect. There’s also this conflicting argument about Miley as either a sexual being or a little girl trying too hard and looking hella weird in the process. Like, do we really think that her performance was sexy and that she was trying to be all up on Robin’s Thickeness (sorry, I had to)?

Because this is how she looked… from the back. LMAOOoooo. Oh man. Trent, why would you text this to me at 12:30 am?! I cannot:


Seriously now. Is anybody turned on right now?! Anybody?! No, didn’t think so. And I’m not even fully convinced that Miley is trying to turn anyone on. I mean, do you really stick out your tongue that much in life if your goal is to be sexy? It all just seems so ridiculous (like, c’mon– the foam hand she’s using on herself), it has to be innocent.

Let me tell you about one of my favorite parts of the performance. When Miley first starts twerkin’ it out to We Cant’ Stop, and she’s surrounded by her dancers (it starts around the 0:59 mark), she’s literally laughing and talking to them like they’re at a damn slumber party and not in the midst of a live performance on the MTV Video Music Awards. This moment supports my theory that we are simply witnessing Miley at her own little party, and she’s doing whatever she wants. It doesn’t matter if you find it sexy or sexual or obscene or wack or disrespectful or even boring. It’s not for you. It’s not for your gaze or enjoyment.

2. This Is Not Her Party And She’s Not Actually Doing What She Wants, She’s Doing What A Patriarchal Society Has Told Her To Do If She Wants To Look Like One Of Those Cool Bad Girls Who Doesn’t Give An Eff But Whose Whole Image Is Defined By Or Related To Entertaining The Heterosexual Male

Okay, counter-argument. Here’s the thing about people who say they’re doing what they want, they don’t give an eff, they rebel against society, blah blah blah. It’s mostly bullshizz. We are all products of our environment, and also products of a very particular (read: patriarchal) social structure. Even when we try to rebel against those things we still often end up just becoming reflections of those things in one way or another. This isn’t always a bad thing, just a real thing.

So Miley’s not doing what she wants. She’s sewn together this kind of bizarre patchwork quilt of all the different things that are considered to be sexy or hot from various American cultural movements, and she wears it like it’s her own… and it doesn’t always pan out for her. She’s a little bit country, little bit punky, little bit hip-hop, little bit pop, but there’s something off-putting about this collection. For one, it feels inauthentic. As many, many people have pointed out, it often feels like she’s trying too hard. She’s trying to embrace all of these different things and we can feel her trying and it feels awkward as hell. And then there’s also this suspicion that she doesn’t really know what she’s embracing. For example, she seems to be “embracing” hip-hop but really… how? By twerking? Because that’s hip-hop? Granted, the association makes sense (see the Back That Azz Up video for evidence… I may or may not be taking a break from this post to watch it right now).

But if Miley was a hip-hop fan and wanted to incorporate that into her music/image/movement there are, like, 100 other things she could have perfected, other than her twerk. So the fact that she’s choosing what really is one of the more base forms of the movement– this tiny sliver that one could argue is almost entirely about the heterosexual male gaze– makes it problematic. And it makes it hard to believe that teddy bear twerking with Robin Thicke is really, truly what she wants to do in life, and it has nothing to do with what she’s been taught is sexy or cool.

So those are my somewhat conflicting arguments about Miley’s performance. I cannot wait to hear what you guys thought of it all! Hated it? Loved? Looking for that teddy bear onesie she was rocking, so you can gift it to my baby?! LMAO… wait. What?

Okay, PITNBr Iris. You sent me this and I gotta post:




  • Natalie Hahn Seitz

    There is having fun on stage and being sexy and outrageous in a confident and ‘I don’t give a fvck’ way- Lady Gaga, P!nk and of course Madonna come to mind-but Miley’s shtick feels so forced, so much like an act to show her maturity or having grown up from her Hannah days. I don’t know-it just gives me that ick ‘kiddy porn’ feeling.

  • Brenna

    I hated it. I thought it was over-the-top awful. If there had been a few elements of sexuality in the performance, that would have been one thing, but it was serious overkill. I think it’s sad and stupid that many of the women growing up with fame seem to feel like they have to be overtly sexual to prove to everyone that they are adults. All the fake penis stuff… just a total turn off, in my opinion. I’m surprised Robin Thicke was willing to get involved with all of that. I wasn’t impressed by him in that regard either (plus, he never sings lyrics in his songs live. He just moans and whatnot. SO ANNOYING.). OK, I’m done now. :)

    • Brenna

      Hahaha, so hot, Trent! :)

    • Joan

      I’m not impressed by Robin either. He always just stands there like he is God’s gift to mankind. I don’t know. I always get this weird vibe off him as if he is a bit too into himself.

  • Billie

    I loved it! I think maybe she is working a little too hard to break free of her Hannah Montana image possibly. But who cares she really looked like she was having a blast & what woman wouldn’t want to dance with Robin Thicke like that?! Am I right?!

  • Tess Stanley-Hannah

    Doesn’t bother me too much. All young Disney stars seem to need to shake off the goody goody image in a hard and fast way. Remember Christina Aguilera’s “dirty latina” phase and when everyone was aghast at Britney’s sheer body suit on stage. She’ll get over it soon and move into a “classy” glamour phase like they all did too.

    • Krissy

      I think it is because we have been the the Brits and Christinas that makes Miley’s performance all that more eye-rolly. By using overt sexuality to “rebel” against a good girl image, she is doing the EXACT thing that everyone expects her to do. She isn’t rebelling, she is following the cliche. This was predictable back when she was 14. It isn’t shocking, IMO.

  • Angela T

    I must be getting old my thought when she was all up on Robin was put some clothes on!

  • Alecia

    I think you’re right Shannon- she’s number two while believing she’s number one. But her and Beetlejuice Thicke need a talking two from both their daddies. #Overit

    • Shannon

      Alecia, I think you’re right. But in her defense… I think there’s a thin line between Option 1 and 2 and many of us have straddled it. Just not, like, onstage with Robin Thicke, lol.

    • @Alecia — “[she] and Beetlejuice Thicke need a talking two from both their daddies.”

    • rOXy

      OK Trent. That did it for me. I don’t need to read anymore for the rest of the day. Signing off the internet now.

    • Mela


  • Shavonne

    Okay, let me just start by saying I’ve been waiting ALL MORNING to see what you or Trent would post about this, and you did not disappoint! “Robin’s Thickeness”??!! OMG. Trent texting you that pic in the middle of the night? Awesome. But can we have a moment of silence for poor Billy Ray? Because if that was my daughter I think I’d have a massive coronary!

    • Shannon

      Shavonne, I’ve been wanting to make a ‘Thicke’ joke for EVER so thank you for appreciating it. And I kid you not, that text Trent sent me was the last thing I saw before I went to sleep, LMAO. Madness.

  • Kelly

    I just kind of feel like Milley is being the 20 year old girl that she is. I mean who hasn’t danced and acted like an idiot and all 20 year olds try too hard. She’s obviously having a great time and it feels like she’s just hanging out with her friends.

  • Devonte Antonio

    See, I really want to be on Team Miley…I do. I want her to go above and be great…but this is just too much. I think I’m done. I. Just. Can’t.

  • ella

    Um Shannon, I love you, and I appreciate the effort to stand up for another woman, but…. no.

    I didn’t think the problem with the performance was necessarily that it was too sexual, the problem was that it was terrible. I loved every sexualized performance Britney ever did at the VMAs, but this was a joke.

    “It’s not for you. It’s not for your gaze or enjoyment.”

    Uh, a performance in front of a large audience isn’t for the gaze or enjoyment of the audience? If that’s how she feels, that’s the problem, and probably the reason it was so terrible. If she didn’t want to entertain an audience, maybe she should go dance at a club instead of onstage at the VMAs.

    • Shannon

      ella, ‘a performance in front of a large audience isn’t for the gaze or enjoyment of the audience?’ Actually, this happens sometimes. And in a lot of cases, it sucks, like in Miley’s case. So I def agree with your ‘that’s the problem, and probably the reason it was so terrible’ argument, LOL. I don’t think what Miley did or does is especially entertaining, I’m just questioning the argument about her being too sexy or having been too sexual with Thicke. As you point out, sexual or sexualized performances can be awesome! When done correctly…

    • Kate

      This was a great article Shannon, and it really elucidated for me some of my own conflicting feelings about being a female in our culture right now. I agree with you that Miley is straddling the line and does seem somewhat aware of it. It seems like her/her team’s goal may have been to stoke some of these feelings of shock and disgust and make us think about them. Is it somehow less forgivable that Miley is being overtly sexual because she is doing it in an aggressive way instead of a more ‘feminine’ way (the penis gestures) or because she is flaunting her white girl butt? A lot of people seem to think so, and that seems pretty unfair IMO.

  • rOXy

    No reason to get all philosophical about base crassness. Not sexy. Not even close to cool. Over exposed. Idiot child. Cheap. No class. An utter and complete embarrassment. I once liked Miley, and then was sitting on the fence about her, and now, I think I’m ready to jump down into the steaming pile I see on the “don’t like her” side. She’ll grow up someday, but I don’t know if she will ever be able to outlive that tongue and fake finger. When she grows up, she’s going to wish she never did that. I love the picture of the Smith family. Willow probably already knows that this is an example of how not to do it. You don’t go out there and sexually assault the house. To me, it came off not like she couldn’t stop partying, but more like she couldn’t stop masterbating. I am sure Liam is just THRILLED.

    • Shannon

      rOXy, I love this: ‘To me, it came off not like she couldn’t stop partying, but more like she couldn’t stop masturbating.’ I took a playwriting course in high school and on the first day my teacher said, ‘The stage is not for you to masturbate on.’ Those words have haunted me forever, LOL. They are words to live by and I agree that someone should pass that message on to Miley.

    • rOXy

      Thanks, Shannon. Sounds like you have a very wise teacher. As far as Miley goes, I think imma gonna start calling her, “Lester”.

    • rOXy


    • OG Emily (originally Emily, but there’s another one on here so I’m now OG Emily)

      @rOXy – nailed it. Honestly, I want to root for her, but when she stepped outta that bear and her tongue was 6 feet out, I thought, “Good lord, it’s gonna be like this.” Seriously I could not watch the whole thing, it was too painful. All I could think was, “When she gets older and watches this clip, it’s gonna be the forehead smack heard ’round the world.”

    • Amanda

      rOXy – you totally, totally called it. I really felt like I’d been assaulted by those visuals. I’m not remotely prudish but that was just WAY too much and kinda disturbing. And Shannon I love what your professor told you. I’ll remember that (though will hopefully not remember the performance).

    • Kate

      Just FYI this is the comment I originally meant to respond to.

  • ella

    Also, I don’t think I can link to it here, but the New Statesman has a really good critical theory analysis of the performance up, it’s called Miley Cyrus at the VMAs: a six-minute guide to the prejudices of the entertainment industry.

    “From Miley grinding Robin Thicke to smacking her backing dancer’s buttocks, the VMAs showed that, once again, white men run the show, black men play support, all the women get mostly naked, and black women get to hold up the bottom of the objectification pile.”

    • Shannon

      ella, I’m reading the article now, and here it is for everyone else:

      I’ll tell you right now, I already take issue with the author’s references to Venus Hottentot and even the comparison to Rihanna (as if Rihanna doesn’t participate in movements that support the objectification of women). But the good points are there too.

      Obviously, this performance (and many others that are comparable) is not about femme empowerment and it’s silly to think that just because you’re half-naked you’re reclaiming your body or something. Thanks for sharing, I think this is a great discussion sparked by a pretty bad performance, lol :)

  • Amy

    Is it just me or does she look like the Cynthia Doll from Rugrats? The one with the missing hair? I’m just grossed out in general by all of it.

  • Jules

    I think Miley’s got zero people who will call bullshizz on some of her choices. That’s obviously true or her tongue would spend more time in her mouth and her booty shorts would have gotten fixed.
    Rhianna’s face-priceless.

  • Jan

    The tongue wagging is really disturbing.

  • Iris B

    We’ve had countless of performers take on the VMAs to lose their good girl image Disney bestowed upon them, but this was a mess. As a grown man, it kind of was disgusting to see Robin Thicker be OK with that, especially once Miley didn’t look sexy, she looked a child playing dress up.

    I’m all for entertainment, but this was insane. If she had actual choreography that could of mixed the “twerking ” or whatever, maybe this would have worked to her advantage. But yeesshhh. She did look like a Cyndi Doll from Rug Rats.

  • Amy

    And you know…she sounded AWFUL. There’s that, too. The tongue (what WAS that?!?!), the trainwreck costume aside…she just sounded awful. Nervous and off key and just…sad face.

  • scorpio1027

    Was that supposed to be Chuck E. Cheese on the front of her outfit when she first came onstage?

    • Missy

      THAT’S where I know it from. All day I’ve been trying to figure out why that thing looked so familiar.

  • Mela

    Well there are some things in this world you can’t unsee…that pic Trent texted you is certainly one of them, but the whole “act” in general.

    I’d love to believe that Miley is in some way just shining a light to performers like Gaga, Rihanna, Britney, Christina etc when they’re being ridiculous and saying “this is what you look like” but sadly I don’t really think there’s any depth to what happened here. The girl is 21 and got a spot at the VMA’s and decided to put all her energy on the stage. I guess you can’t say she didn’t do that. But the result was a hot mess…and one of those moments where you’re second-hand embarrassed. But hey, she’s got lots of years to have a career “comeback”. I mean I think Lindsay must be on her 30th comeback already and nobody even talks about firecrotch anymore.

    On the other hand. #2…the hypersexualization of young Hollywood has so little to do with a woman’s right to be free and so much to do with a woman’s desperation to sell her sexuality for approval…only this wasn’t actually sexy in any way. You can tell because Robin didn’t slap it when he had the chance. If it was sexy, Robin would have slapped it right?

    • supercute

      To jump off your #2 point, this was not sexy at all, and I really think Robin Thicke did the best he could in this situation. I only watched the performance once (and really don’t want to watch it again), but it seems like he did his best to not touch her, or really even look at her for too long. I think he was trying to be as professional as possible while being respectful to the “colleague” he was performing with. If he had backed up or avoided her or acted like he was grossed out it would have completed escalated everything.

      All in all, I thought it was a shoddy performance by everyone, there was nothing interesting or captivating about it.

  • Joan

    In conclusion: Miley is a freaking lost soul. I agree with most of the things you said in point #2, though it doesn’t changes the fact that this was a pathethic excuse for a performance. In all possible ways. She’s doing things for shock value and ends up looking like a joke. I mean, as soon as she came out of the gigantic bear with her tongue sticking out and doing her best impression of what provocative and outrageous, I braced myself for the worst… The saddest part about this whole thing is that I’m sure she’s loving the fact that everyone is talking about it and will likely use it as an incentive to do it again and again. The negative response will be dismissed as “hater talk”. Before I found her slightly obnoxious. I’d hate for her to become insufferable.

  • Janet

    Miley Cyrus performance was just pure trashy and sleazy at the same time. I felt like I was at a run down strip club watching a underage girl with daddy issues out act.
    I don’t know whose bright idea was it to put Miley and Robin together but they should be fired. Robin came out trying to be oh sly and everything thinking like he’s Justin Timberlake but he just came off like a creeper when he let Miley do whatever that was to him. I felt like I need to call Chris Hasen and the catch a predator crew or something. It was just disturbing.

  • ella

    I just came across a really good comment on reddit by user notnotcitricsquid:

    “She was Michael Jackson’d.

    She didn’t have a childhood, she was contractually required to have a specific haircut, her entire life was formulated by her handlers, she didn’t get to hang out with friends if they weren’t friends formed through the set of a TV show, she wasn’t able to do things that other children do, she was busy working.
    Although yes, she is now set for life financially (her net worth is $100,000,000 if I remember correctly) she paid with her freedom and now she’s trying to regain some control over her life, unfortunately she’s discovering that the things she’s doing aren’t her and her greatest fear is probably that who she was paid to be is who she really is.

    The same thing is happening with Justin Bieber. They’re not bad people, they’re people that were taken advantage of and now just want to… feel…

    Miley is just trying to regain some control over her life. She’s becoming the exact opposite of what she was required to be before, she had to be kid safe? Not any more. She had to have long hair? Not any more. She had to sing about being in love? Now it’s about getting f*cked… etc etc.

    Although I’m sure it’s fun to mock a celebrity going through something like this, she’s just a vulnerable young woman trying to discover herself and trying to get used to being her own person, unfortunately for her it’s in a very public way…”

    • Krissy

      I disagree. Just because she was on Disney doesn’t mean that she was never able to party and act out as a teen. When kids are stars, not only are they surrounded by “yes” men…but the general public loves to enable their rebellion.

      It is the waiter that wants to get a great tip from the millionaire teen so he lets them drink alcohol. Its the college kid that thinks it would make a great story, that one time he hooked the star up with drugs in his town. It is the private jet employees who are contractually bound not to talk about the sex and drugs that they see minors using. Enablers are everywhere!

      Finally, by doing this, she is simply living the child-star cliche to the hilt. If she really wanted to be a rebel, she wouldn’t be grovelling for sexual approval.

    • ella

      “Just because she was on Disney doesn’t mean that she was never able to party and act out as a teen.”

      Well, it’s just a fact that she was severely restricted in what she was able to do. Like the example of her being contractually obligated to have a certain haircut.

      “If she really wanted to be a rebel, she wouldn’t be grovelling for sexual approval.”

      By this logic, if teenagers really wanted to rebel against their parents, they wouldn’t drink, do drugs, have sex and stay out past their curfew because that’s what teens have been doing to rebel for generations. It still feels new and rebellious to them because they haven’t done it before. Yes, what Miley is doing is cliché, but it’s cliché for a reason – it’s a route that many young women take when they want to rebel against all the forces in their lives telling them not to behave this way.

    • Krissy

      I completely disagree that she was severely restricted in what she was able to do, especially compared with an average teenager. I don’t think this is about restriction and freedom, it is about getting attention.

      I guess we will have to agree to disagree! :)

    • stfuChivonne

      A few years ago there were the bong pictures circulating of her at a party. There are also the pictures from when she was around 14 of her in multiple poses that IMO were not appropriate for her age. I’m going to have to disagree with this theory. From what little I’ve seen it seems she was quite able to party. Most of the Disney stars aged out and still managed to keep their cool. It seems she had a lot more freedom and lacked some grounding. But this is all from an outsiders perspective.

  • Krissy

    I am fine with artists being sexy, but that was NOT sexy. And for the record, just because you fail at being sexy does not mean that you weren’t trying. That performance was a whole lot of trying to be sexy, trying very very desperately.

    I think if she had some kind of performing skill (like singing or dancing), she could funnel that need to feel sexy into something worth putting on a stage. As it was, she looked awkward and very uncoordinated, like she has no groove. I was embarassed for her. It was obvious that she was masterbating because there was no other choreography that she was capable of.

  • lost in here

    All I can say is I’m old. I just didn’t get what she was trying to go for. My 30 year old mind what shouting “girl, put some clothes on! Put your tongue back in your mouth and sing your damn song.” Yeah, people are talking about Miley but its mostly what the hell is wrong with her.

    • sfmom

      Apparently 30 is the new 60. (turning 30 in a few months, had the same reaction as you)

      get off my lawn.

  • al

    Here’s hoping that MTV is sending Britney as many “forgive us” baskets as possible…because a VMA without Britney is just basic as hell. All of these girls tried to make something iconic happen and it was a complete fail, they just make it so easy for her to comeback.

    • @al — “Here’s hoping that MTV is sending Britney as many “forgive us” baskets as possible…because a VMA without Britney is just basic as hell.”


  • cutitotu321

    Miley has been testing this shtick out for months now so it was no surprise to me. I honestly think that she knew EXACTLY what type of response this performance would elicit and it’s exactly what she wanted. Everyone is talking about her. For weeks it’s been all Gaga VS. K. Perry and both of them were a snooze last night, even Gaga’s ass could not save her from that lame song and Katy’s cheesy Christina Aguilera “Dirrty” rip-off performance (without the dirty) was the most anti-climactic close-out performance ever. There really is no point in trying to intellectualize a performance, next week she’ll get bored, dye her hair and be a whole new person, but for now, she has achieved what every artist hopes to achieve by appearing at the VMA’s, SHE IS THE HEADLINE and being talked about at water coolers across the Globe.
    Now to “intellectualize the performance” lol, I just think that many of the young female popstars today are trying to push envelopes that have already been pushed off the damn table. After Madonna’s Sex Book, you really can’t go further short of live sex or straight up porn so its really pointless. I have no problem with being sexy or naked but please do not diminish yourself to a booty model, Miley lost command of the stage. Christina, Britney, Beyonce, Madonna, even Gaga always remain the main chick in charge, they may be sexy AND NEAR NUDE but they kind of dampen it with actual choreography, they don’t just get on stage and jiggle their flat-non-asses in front of the audience. That’s where she failed. She gave it away and she does not have ass. I AM SOOO TIRED OF FLAT ASSED GIRLS TRYING TO “TWERK” #SHOTSORSQUATS!!!!!! #SHOTSORSQUATS!!!!!! #SHOTSORSQUATS!!!!!! #SHOTSORSQUATS!!!!!!

    • ClaireMichelle

      This is exactly what I was coming to say. She knew exactly what she was doing, and she knew she would be the headline and what everyone was going to talk about today. This will lead to album buzz and curiosity. This was just crazy and weird enough where it can fall into the “there is no such thing as bad publicity” category. Obviously that is not always true, but she didn’t do anything last night that was actually terrible that could legitimately backfire on her. But everyone, EVERYONE is talking about her. Even my mom, who has no idea who Miley Cyrus even is.

  • Megan

    Miley should watch this and take note…

  • t*

    This is what she wanted…ppl talking about her. Now where is her man?!?! “No disrespect to Paula” what about respect for her relationship with Liam Hemsworth?
    Oh hated it…it would have been better if she kept her tongue in her mouth.
    Glad to hear Robin Thicke is TeamPaula

  • Joan

    Seriously, she wore those shorts like a sports bra. The way her buttocks were squished into that thing, she may actually have bit more than it seemed going on back there.

    • cutitout321

      If she keeps dressing like that she gonna get one hell of a yeast infection……

    • Joan

      LOL! [By the way, my comment was in reply to yours. I missed the reply button, but I’m glad you got it!]

  • Karen

    I still haven’t watched the video, just seen a bunch of gifs, but one thing that bothers me is Robin Thicke. He is in this performance, too. It’s not just Miley doing her thing on him or to him… He’s a 36-year-old man doing his thing with a 20 year-old woman. I don’t really care that he’s married — it is a performance, after all — but for all the attention Miley is getting… Robin’s the real adult in this situation. His role in it just seems gross and lacking in any kind of self-respect or respect.

    For a long time, Miley has seemed really into herself and getting sexual attention. There’s always a subset of girls her age who get really into that. It seems like a pretty one-dimensional existence.

    But, again, I haven’t watched it, so maybe I’m missing something.

  • sfmom

    The whole thing was just gross but what I keep thinking when I see her is drugs. She’s so skinny and weird looking now…She’s all bones and I’d think someone who’s current schtick is all about booty would be more comfortable having an actual booty. Someone get the girl a damn sandwich.

    Also noted – all the audience reactions, but where was Liam? I’m sorry, even if she is a performer, that was just so completely over every line of taste in every way. Sure she’s having fun, but she can do that on her own time and in a less publicly disgraceful way and with less disrespect to the significant others of all involved.

  • Vicky

    Put your tongue back in your mouth honey, no one wants to see it.

  • Kendra

    As awful as the whole performance was, the worst part was that little patch of hair bobbing around in the back..She couldn’t get into those knots in front, so it just kind of flopped around..Along with her floppy booty..Heyoooo!

    No, but seriously, she’s the worst..

  • db

    Shannon – et al. I find the hypocrisy of this “Miley controversy” at bit much. MSNBC has a huge rant article, but if she was not caucasian or a former Disney “star.” We wouldn’t be talking about this. Why isn’t everyone up in arms about this (sexual antics, near nudity, etc.) when it is a mainstream hip-hop act having women doing the exact same thing or worse in videos and on award shows? If anything else, those don’t those actions demean women, of all colors, even more?

    Ironically I’m reading the Macklemore interview in Rolling Stone and he basically says the same thing – He can get by with foul language in Thrift Shop because (in his words) “…I do think we have benefitted from being white and the media grabbing on to something. A song like Thrift Shop was safe enough for the kids. It was like, ‘This is music that my mom likes and that I can like as teenager,’ and even though I’m cussing my ass off in the song, the fact that I’m a white guy, parents feel safe. They let their six years old listen to it. I mean it’s just…it’s different. And would that success have been the same if I would have been a black dude? I think the answer is no.”

    Why as a society, and women especially, do we not apply the same standards of respect and decency across the board? It makes us all hypocrites that it’s acceptable for one group and not another.

    off soap box now.

  • Deb Hodgon

    Two words…Bloody disgraceful! I’m very open-minded and rarely get embarrassed by stuff, but I had a very hard time watching this. FFS Miley, you’re better than this.

  • ada_1601

    I have to admit… My face went through the 3 stages of the Smith family while watching the performance. I’m over Miley, it’s like she’s trying so hard to separate herself from Hannah Montana that she’s being outrageous just to prove that’s not her.

    I’m also over Lady GaGa, I LOVED her when she first came out, but by Born This Way (the Album not the song) I just got tired of all the antics. I still love SOME of her songs, but I’m not nearly as excited by her music as I was… Fame and Fame Monster to me are her best work (with Born This Way – song added in)

    I fully believe in self-expression and embracing an artistic element. But sometimes (case in point Miley’s performance) they actually push the audience away from them as an artist because you wonder if they are going through a crisis.

    I wanted to like Miley’s song (and I don’t really), I wanted to like Lady GaGa’s new song (and I didn’t although I wasn’t too weird-ed out by her performance, and could appreciate the artistic part of it), but I did enjoy JT and Katy Perry (and I am obsessed with her new song).

    That’s my 2 cents (more like 10… my apologies!!!)

  • Joe

    thanks for the analysis, Shannon, i think it’s all of all that & that Miley actually get alot of it (understands) & hopefully she can separate her need for attention from the relentless demand for fresh publicity; overall one of the better performances of the night–great song, fun performance (not reality: performance)

  • Rowena

    She looks like this little lemur in “Madagascar”. You know, the annoying one who always says “me me me me me”… Well she is just like him. Juste replace all the “me” with her tongue.

  • blaqfury

    I think i’m mostly concerned that out of the headlining female performers, Katy Perry was the most covered up with a sports bra and boxer shorts… sigh…..

  • MC

    OMG, Shannon and everybody here you’ve got to check out this “News” report form the onion that came out in 2008 predicting to exact thing in 2013!!!

    • Joan

      Mind. Blown.

    • OG Emily

      @MC and @Joan Mind.Blown.x.2

      My favorite Onion story ever is “Fritolaysia cuts off Chiplomatic Relations with Snackistan.” If that really happens I’m outta here.

  • Samantha

    Honestly, I’m just glad that she isn’t strung out on drugs. If twerking is the worst thing that she is doing…okay. I mean, it isn’t ideal but Miley has always been kinda out there.

  • Samantha

    I just watched the performance, I take back everything I said. I don’t want to see that shit

  • Kelly

    man o man, if i was Liam, I’d be running away. I mean think about it, everyone knows that you’ve proposed to her and slept with her (all normal things for two ppl love obviously), and then she does THIS?? On national TV????????? EWWWWW. What kind of person would still want to be intimate with a girl that has put such horrible images in your head? ***My brain is melting***

    I think she was going for grotesque, but maybe didn’t think it all the way though. How much turmoil is this causing her parents and her fiance? Wow. just. WOW.

    She must be a different person behind closed doors. Liam seems like a classy dude. I just can’t. understand. this. relationship. anymore.

  • ClaireMichelle

    I can’t wait for Miley to really find herself and her identity, because I really like her and I am rooting for her. This was weird. But she seems like a really cool and hilarious person. I wish she would let that shine more, and stop being SUCH a character. Obviously, she is an entertainer so she may be a character for her entire career. I just look forward to the day when she is more comfortable with herself.

  • Mia

    And Miley’s mother gave a standing ovation to her daughter’s performance…that performance…yeah..

  • Joe

    sidebar: it’s called twerking now, but my girlfriends from the Caribbean have been dancing like that ever since i first met them (in the early 90s!) it’s nothing new, truly doubt my friends invented it, it’s just marketing

  • Sandy!

    Best part of it all is that yesterday was Billy Ray Cyrus’s birthday.
    Bet daddy was REAL proud!

  • luna

    i am so conflicted over this. my first thought when i watched her performance was, oh my god girl you need to tone down! and as i watched further, i started to think, i seriously admire her confidence and devil may care attitude. she does what she wants without giving a shit to what other people. and it is funny how girls get more heat than guys, if they did the same sexual-hinted moves on stage. are we moving forward? then again, does moving forward means displaying your sex moves for everyone to see, crude or not crude?

    i am all for celebrating your sexuality and being free to do whatever you want, as long as you don’t harm anyone in the process. she may be gross, she may be trying too hard and she may be disgusting or whatever, but i gotta give her balls for her confidence and courage to do what she did there.

    i hope Liam still wants her. if not, call me baby!

  • Jeri

    Let’s face it, Miley Cyrus is a better actress than singer, not by far but still acting is her thing. And this performance was just one big act, a parody of herself. I honestly think she was embarrassed, that was too much tongue. It was like PANIC TONGUE. “On no, no one is smiling, oh crap the Smiths look disgusted, just give them more tongue”…

    And clearly she knows there is nothing back there to twerk. SNL Miley, gave a great preview of what was to come with her intro speech…and it was just that. I had a million thoughts running through my head, and homegirl is delusional if she thinks there was nothing wrong with this performance. Again, another act. But I hope she takes it in learns and moves on, growing up and transitioning into a person you might think you want to be in challenging sometimes, but I’m not buying her music anytime and that’s just because her voices is grating to me.

  • Christy

    A 20 year old should have granny ass…
    Miley, Brazilian Butt Lift can be your friend! If you must dance around half nekkid, firm up dat ass!

  • Alyssa

    Whether she was doing what she wants to or not – the fact is that she’s meant to be an entertainer – that is the sole reason why she performed at the VMA’s. And she didn’t entertain me at all, I was dry retching the whole time watching it. I felt embarrassed for her and couldn’t stop grimacing. This girl loves Britney but she has absolutely the wrong idea bout how to entertain in the sexy but seductive way that Britney does.
    It was just gross.

  • Ella

    I know I’m late to the party, but I wanted to throw my opinion in the ring. I watched the performance and what mostly jumped out at me was she isn’t very good at jumping around and singing well. Girlfriend ain’t Beyonce. The next thing I thought was, “Wow, no matter how nice a body some has, there are clothes even they can’t pull off.” The last I was that I was basically watching a 20 year old girl, with too much money, rage against the world that made her famous and her parent’s divorce….Also….she’s making us watch and that’s just not fair.

    I have no problem with a woman being sexual. Anybody hear of Lady Cheeky? I’m on her site on the regular. I appreciate the crap out of good porn. What I’m watching Miley Cyrus do is just uncomfortable, because I recognize that not quite adult, I want people to see me as sexy, beautiful, and grown up phase of my life. I’ve been 20. I’ve done the provocative dances in clubs and very obviously(in my mind subtle) pressed my awesome boobs together in my low-cut top and basically stood on my barstool….to order a fraking drink. The whole performance was awkward to watch because I recognized an embarrassing albeit FUN time of my life. But looking back it’s still eye-roll worthy, hence the world-wide eye-roll. You get to a certain age and being truly sexy and sexual is natural and effortless or at least you realize it’s supposed to be. I’m basically Liz Lemon.

    Another thing women are taking issue with that I understand and agree with is the underlying racism of Miley’s new ‘image.’ Huffpost did a great piece on it here:

    It all reminded me of Gwen Stefani’s Harajuku phase. She appropriated the style and showed up places with her Harajuku girls and basically used them as PROPS! You think those Harajuku girls were invited to the wedding? How about Kingston and Zuma’s baby showers? I doubt it.
    You have a white girl, who grew up rich, and decides the best way to cast off her squeaky clean, country, white, image is by taking on black stereotypes, acting ‘bad,’ overly sexual, and surrounding herself with her props of choice-thick, black, women.

  • XadaX

    Team Miley

  • Pete

    Does it even matter that she can’t sing? Because if it does, she can’t sing. And she’s supposed to be a singer. She also can’t dance. She looks extremely awkward. She also can’t “twerk”. Neither can I, but I know this isn’t it.
    Remind me again, what is her actual talent?

    Is an education anywhere on the radar?