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September 9th, 2013
Here at Much, we often share similar feelings towards pop culture. Memes of Jay Z diving into water? Love ‘em. Awkward interviews with Eminem? Bring on the cringe. But somethimes we find ourselves at odds with one another and today that’s the case with the release of Miley Cyrus’ new video for Wrecking Ball. I hate it.
Maybe hate is a strong word. I disliked it very much, or even worse, I was disappointed in it. I was hoping that after the media storm that broke out around Miley’s MTV VMAs performance that really, the young pop star was leading the next wave of feminism and we just didn’t see it. But alas, if Miley’s plans are to rewrite the Feminine Mystique, she needs a few revisions.
Cyrus teamed up with controversial photographer Terry Richardson to direct her new video, which should have been the first indication that it would be exploitation masked as ‘art’.
The video begins simply enough with Cyrus doing her best Sinead O’Connor and emitting visceral emotion in a single tear. I really could have watch three and a half minutes of this, but that was not the plan Cyrus and Richardson had in mind.
Instead, they decided to overshadow a powerful and beautiful song with a salacious and overtly sexualized attempt at art. Miley spends much of the video atop a wrecking ball, a fair concept for a video titled Wrecking Ball that included lines like “All I wanted was to break your walls”, but the two voyeurs didn’t stop there.
For the parts when she is (barely) clothed, Cyrus writhes around in a pair of white panties and a barely-there white tank top that look more like little girls clothes than the lingerie of a 20 year old woman, adding to the creepiness factor of the video.
When not wearing her junior underwear, Cyrus appears naked in the video. I was okay with this. It could easily be interpreted as Miley showing her vulnerability in a relationship in a physical way. Fine. No problem. But this is not a woman who is representing heartbreak. This ‘come hither’ look is going for the shock of another Twerk-gate and frankly, another YouTube record.
This is not meant to be art.
This? Come on.
What upsets me the most about Miley’s video is not the fact that she appears naked or wears little girls clothing, although I do have big issue with the way she’s gone about both and promoted some kind of pre-pubescent and dangerous Lolita fantasy, or that she still, apparently, can’t stop sticking her tongue out, although all of these things give me great concern.
What upsets me is that the majority of the video is great. Stylistically, it’s interesting to look at and Cyrus is beautiful with her simple make up and emotional performance. But then she has to go and promote some misconstrued ideal of sexual empowerment that she’s created for herself, which is frankly harmful to young viewers. We get it, Miley. You’re not Hannah Montana anymore. But you didn’t have to lose people’s respect and your dignity to get that point across. She’s just being Miley? She needs some guidance.
Don’t agree with me? Keep an eye our for our counter side to the argument coming later today in the blog.Tweet