In Defense Of Miley Cyrus, What About Robin Thicke?!


Miley Cyrus’ VMA performance Sunday night sent a virtual shock wave through pop culture. Her hyper sexualized dancing, also known as ‘twerking’, her barely there latex outfit and her strategic use of a foam finger galvanized the masses into an all out attack on Miley, and I think it sucks!

Don’t get me wrong, I see what they’re all seeing: a nearly naked role model, turned pop star gyrating all over the stage, bouncing her booty like she’s on the stripper runway. Did I think it was entertaining? Hardly. Shocking? Absolutely. Offensive? Not really.

What I do find offensive is how viciously Miley is being attacked, and from what I can gather much of the vitriol is being hurled at her by other women. Okay, perhaps they are deeply upset that she’s setting back feminism and true artistry on the stage of that bastion of female empowerment, MTV. If that’s the case I can kinda get behind that, though I might be tempted to twerk a little while I do it because hey, it’s my booty and I’ll shake it if I want to.

However most of what I’ve read in Facebook posts and Tweets has been more in relation to her body. Comments like: ‘she’s so skinny, she has no ass, gross!’ Or: ‘too skinny and no ass = not attractive’ Or: ‘Dear Miley, eat a snickers you get a little slutty when you’re hungry, sincerely everyone watching the VMA’s.’

Then there was a post in my newsfeed with a screen grab of her derriere next to an uncooked, plucked chicken asking me to rate who’s ass was more attractive. Many of the comments below mocking Miley and calling her ugly were from women, adult women I might add. It seems pretty clear that things have moved out of a feminist debate and right into the appearance based bashing so common on schoolyards and well, the internet.

But that’s not all. You’d hardly know it by the headlines or the insults being slung Miley’s way, but there was actually another artist on the stage, you know that guy dressed as Beetle Juice that she was twerking against? Robin Thicke. It was his song Blurred Lines that really brought out the animal in Miley. Robin danced in place while she bent over and gyrated against his crotch. He displayed a sexy grin that made it clear he was enjoying the charade, or at least pretending to.

Did I find this offensive? Again, not really. But I did find it as uncomfortable as Miley’s part. After all he’s a man, nearly twice her age mimicking a sex act on stage with her while he’s fully clothed and she’s wearing just enough flesh colored latex to cover her lady bits. Yet as far as I can tell no is upset with him, they’re throwing it all on Miley.

Even Robin’s own mother, Gloria Loring got in on the Miley bashing telling The OMG! Insider, “I don’t understand what Miley Cyrus is trying to do. I just don’t understand. I think she’s misbegotten in this attempt of hers,” Gloria said. “And I think it was not beneficial.” As for her reaction to her son’s part, apparently she understood it because she said: “Him? Loved it!”  Seems like she has the same double standard as the rest of America.

Let me be clear I’m not trying to condemn Robin, I think he’s a great artist with great swagger, I’m just saying I think it stinks that Miley’s taking all the sh*t and he’s coming up smelling like roses.  Doesn’t really seem fair.  Especially when you consider that one of the parts that seem to offend the masses the most was Miley’s use of a foam finger. For those of you that had better things to do than watch this 10 minute train wreck (congratulations) Miley was wearing one of those oversize foam fingers, the kind you see sports fans wearing in the stadium, and she used it to mime touching Robin’s junk.

Yup, as I said shocking and kinda creepy. When I first saw it I couldn’t help but wonder who came up with that bizarre idea and assumed it was probably Miley, since she was the one wearing it. But then yesterday I got the answer when Robin’s latest music video was released. Guess what? Foam fingers galore and no Miley. Seems it wasn’t her idea after all.

Either way it doesn’t really matter, what does matter is how Miley feels. What, you say, why should we care about her, she’s a pop star she has no feelings, why would she care if the entire Twittersphere is tearing into her. And maybe she doesn’t care, maybe she’s loving all the negative attention because what the hell, it’s making her even more famous. Maybe she really is as thick skinned as she appears to be, but then again what if she isn’t. It wouldn’t be the first time a young woman has used an I don’t care, tough girl attitude to cover up pain and insecurity.

And it isn’t as though this sort of sex shaming and body image bullying is reserved for only the famous. It happens in everyday life all the time and often it is women that are the harshest. We jump on each other for wearing the wrong thing, for acting slutty, for being too fat or too thin. And the more we judge each other, the more we judge ourselves. The more we feed those judging voices in our heads the more power they have to destroy us.

So, next time you see another woman, young or old, acting out her sexuality and getting attacked for it, why not stick up for her instead of jumping on the hate train. You might not agree with her actions, for all you know deep down she might not even agree with her actions, but isn’t true feminism is about sticking together not tearing each other apart?

Allison Swan

Allison Swan was born and raised in Vancouver but after graduating from college with a degree in journalism, she moved to California in search of success, sun and surf. Three days after arriving in LA Allison was interviewing A-list stars at an Oscar party – talk about nervous! Since then she has covered everything from the Academy Awards to the Winter Olympics and even managed to land her own column, The LA Insider in Australia’s New Weekly Magazine. Over the years her idea of success has changed a lot but her love of the sunshine hasn’t and she feels blessed to live in Venice Beach where she can count on an average of 264 days of rays every year. And yes Mom, she always wear her SPF! 


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