Parenting

Miley Cyrus twerking with the bears and Blurring the Lines with Robin Thicke at MTV VMAs

Miley Cyrus twerking with the bears and Blurring the Lines with Robin Thicke at MTV VMAs

In a performance that has caused an outcry amounts many parent groups, Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke hit the 2013 MTV VMA stage with their hit songs of the summer. Cyrus opened the performance with her girl-power party single, "We Can't Stop." And it was, um, an interesting sight to behold. She came onstage in a very revealing bustier/hot pant combo accompanied by giant dancing teddy bears and combined her summer song with the summer's dance craze, twerking -- with a bear.

She then transitioned by pulling off her outfit for a flesh-colored vinyl bathing suit for the opening of Robin Thicke's single of the moment, "Blurred Lines," as he joined her onstage. The well-padded teddies weren't the only ones who were subjected to Cyrus' brand of twerk either -- Thicke got a healthy amount of it, as well. That and some feeling up from the scantily dressed pop star.

It wasn’t just viewers that were somewhat shocked; ‘N Sync’s Lance Bass said his young nieces and nephews watched the VMA's for the first time to finally see their uncle perform.  "I didn't know I had to warn them that their little Hannah Montana was going to be naked and humping a finger," Bass said in shock.

During a commercial break, he spoke more of the incident. "I think it's her thing. I think she shocked a lot of her younger fans, especially the parents, who might not be so happy with her thing -- and she's just being Miley," Bass said.  "I mean it is a big deal. Unfortunately I think young artists, especially coming from a Disney background, especially want to change that image. ... Lady Gaga does it. Everyone is like 'what can I do just to really shock people?' But Lady Gaga and a lot of people have really missed the mark a lot where it goes over people's heads."

While many parents are questioning the MTV age 14 take on the show, the MTV VMAs have always pushed the limit, so controversy and cheap marketing opportunities abound.  At a minimum it is a teachable moment.  Though it does spark larger issues open for debate, such as what is demeaning and degrading behavior for girls in general vs the additional exposure and PR rewards that Cyrus is getting and the message that this sends both to “formerly good” girls and the male population in general.

Until we see male singers prancing around in their underwear behaving like cheap hookers and strippers the stereotypes of the industry will be hard to shed.  Miley Cyrus may have gotten the shock reaction that she desired to shed her clean Disney kid image and it no doubt will pay off for her new agent, but the unfortunate impact on perpetuating the objectification of females in general is something that she will hopefully live long enough to understand.  Fortunately Taylor Swift provided a contrasting muse of class to help with the teaching moment for parents watching with their kids.

Check out the performance at MTV.com, here.


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