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In Defence of Miley Cyrus, I'M REALLY HAPPY FOR YOU AND I'MMA LET YOU FINISH BUT MILEY CYRUS DOES NEED TO BE STOPPED.
via Terry's Diary
By now you'll probably already have involuntarily eye-rolled at Miley Cyrus's tweet. But if, like me, you were listlessly scrolling through Twitter in your pants Monday night you'll know that it didn't come apropos of nothing and was in response of "WoC" Twitter dropping truth bombs on the new feminist media elite using the hashtag #SolidarityIsForWhiteWomen. In amongst the Dresden-esque tweet rubble was this gem:
And THEN came Miley's I KNOW I'M WHITE, BITCH tweet. Awwwwwwkkkwwwaaard.
Now, while I'm training my brain to shut down when anyone wants to launch into healthy debate about Cyrus, I found @Blackamazon's comparison really interesting. The reason why Miley Cyrus' totally natural and not at all staged transformation into a one woman twerk team is becoming a mainstay of the music media, is because it's wrapped up in issues of race AND gender. So I'm not surprised that male voices dismissively boiling it down to "hey, she's just a cute white girl that's discovered rap, whassthebigdeal?!" has WoC feminists spitting blood, when essentially the crux is "Miley's great, I could fuck her to 'Slob on My Knob' but then take her to meet my parents afterwards!"
While Rihanna does frequently make me face-palm, I've still always found the criticism levelled against her a little hard to swallow. Her dedication to posting industrial amounts of crotch shots and party pics of her louchely holding a jumbo blunt has been well documented and well criticised, but it's criticism I feel often masquerades as "you're a bad role model" but stinks of "awks, you don't wanna play into THAT black girl stereotype". Poster child of self-righteous new wave feminism, Lena Dunham, also dumped it on Rihanna about smoking weed and promiscuity, doling out advice about how RiRi should behave for her tween audience. Presumably because Dunham decided that it's Rihanna's responsibility to act as a role model to, umm, non-whites (and presumably because no ethnicities were going to get a look in on Girls anytime soon unless it was Donald Glover being shoved up Dunham's vagina, IDK, just riffing here guys.)
Meanwhile in Miley world she's busy being groomed as the caucasian version of Riri, easing us in with soundbytes like “I think alcohol is way more dangerous than marijuana" and "There’s a reason Bob Marley was like some kind of Rasta Mother Teresa”. This is all inbetween throwing up deuces on Instagram with Juicy J after being fast-forwarded backstage on a VIP pass and using a couple of ethnic girls as props to her, the main prize, in the video for "We Can't Stop". Miley's reincarnation will forever be filed under "LOLZ" in media coverage, while in contrast Rihanna is constantly vilified as Satan incarnate. Miley is rebelling from her country white girl roots, Rihanna is reinforcing the stereotype of the hyper-sexualised ~exotic~ woman. Miley is exploring rap music, Rihanna has a marijuana problem and herpes. Rinse and repeat into infinity.
It's a murky meeting of race and gender that not long ago reared its head in the movie world, with the furore around Angelina Jolie being cast as Marianne Pearl, or the cheerleading darling of American Beauty Mena Suvari being given some cornrows and cast as black girl Brandi (I know, fist bite) in the film Stuck. It is not just a case of "you're not allowed to take part in this because you're the wrong race", like, pretty sure the percentage of people who genuinely give a fuck about what Miley has on her shuffle is low, it's a case of white women across the entertainment industry still being neatly packaged, marketed and celebrated in favour of their WoC counterparts.
It's a topic so long and complicated and OMG could someone please write about Nicki Minaj's nose shading, but to condense it all, let's not hail Miley Cyrus as an angel here on a crusade to break down cultural barriers just yet. Because, call me jaded, but there is something about Miley's rebellion — the weird grabbing at her own butt or the millionth tenuous and self-conscious weed reference in an interview—that screams "culturally insensitive dickhead". As if every shock-jock step of it has been as carefully planned as an SAS operation. Her (albeit enthusiastic) immersion into ~hip-hop culture~ is not progressive, it's simply an appropriation of the music that's now monopolising the mainstream. Hip-hop's now a big industry and she's cashing in because child star Miley lives in a Truman Show style industry bubble so, while she may not realise it, surely this is all a cynical grab to make herself credible and shit on her Disney past? And there's the problem, Miley, was born out of the Disney factory and it'll take a lot more than one contrived album and hanging out with rappers to make her anything more than an industry puppet with a shit haircut.
Follow JFK on Twitter @FUERTESKNIGHT
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