We can’t stop

When it comes to Miley Cyrus’ new video for her latest single Wrecking ball I will brazenly steal her lyrics from another tune and say We can’t stop and we won’t stopNever did I think I would thieve Ms Cyrus’ lyrics let along watch one of videos on repeat but times they are a~changing and I now know a) who she is and b) she likes to shock.

If you haven’t got a clue what I’m talking about then check it here:

But let’s rewind because I am jumping ahead of myself here and I need to get some semblence of what’s going on so that I can process why I have suddenly become obsessed with a 20 year olds naked body.

Sure I’d heard the name banded around over the years ~ her Dad was Billy ray Cyrus, she was Hannah Montana, she sang some songs ~ well, that’s all I heard really but that’s not surprising seeing as I’m in my 30’s and not particularly interested in the Disney Channel. Then I saw a few pictures of her when she’d cut her hair off and again I didn’t pay that much attention. I thought she looked great. She was a teenager for Christ’s sake, we’ve all been there. In fact I have actually, precisely been there. I had that same hair cut when I was 19 ~ the undercut, the bleach blond floppy bit at the top ~ it’s what you do when your hormones are running wild and you’re trying to decide who you are. THEN…..THEN I saw the VMA awards a couple of weeks ago and a whole new world opened up to me.

I can’t find a full clip to show you but all you need to know is that a lot ~ A LOT ~ of people have discussed it, commented on it, tweeted it & slated it. Mainly due to near nudity {a flesh coloured pvc bikini}, a tongue that never stayed in her mouth longer than 30 secs, a foam finger that was rubbed on her lady parts more than once and a doggy style twerking with a 35 year old man wearing a beetlejuice suit. It was shocking, surprising and a bad example to women and young girls. I couldn’t help feel that we’d all fallen/been pushed a few steps backwards and actually believed started to believe again that nudity and  sexual provocation is what is needed to get ahead in this world. I’m not naive enough to think that sex doesn’t sell ~ of course it does, it’s what makes the world go round ~ but there are ways of doing it . Humping, grinding, twerking and gurning in a barely there bikini is not the way.

A week later her Wrecking ball video came out and I understood more her need for the provocative act on stage, the millions of  youtube hits and the onslaught of headlines ~ Better to be talked about that not, right? ~ Regardless of what you thought of her VMA appearance it meant that you were going to check out her new single. And I certainly did.

I love the beginning ~ the simplicity of the close up ~ her skin, her eyes, her red lips, the tear, the spit bubble she tries to swallow. It reminds me of Sinead O’Connor. Then I watched the rest of the video. I put it on repeat and watched it twice more. There was lots to take in and I think I’m still processing it all.

My torrent of thoughts starts with the fact that I really like the song, I identify with it, it’s catchy and it has a killer beat. Then they progress onto the sparseness of the shots. It’s such an easy, simple video ~ Miley, a room, a wrecking ball ~ that I like watching it. In a way it washes over me with ease and is not too taxing. What I do find taxing or…no not taxing but definitely discussion worthy & perhaps disturbing is the nudity. Why? Why is her tiny body sat upon a dusty wrecking ball butt naked? My first thoughts were has somebody put a cloth down for her? My second thoughts were, again, why?

Why is she wearing  tiny white {provokes insane asylum images for me I’m afraid!!} underwear with no bra? Yes, she’s perky enough to get away with it now but she gonna need that lifting later in life. The sexual aspect of the video {licking a hammer?! Really? it’s dusty, you’ll have a dry mouth in no time, love.} is, I think, what I can’t stop looking at ~ Why is it necessary? It’s so extreme that it almost does the opposite and puts me off. It feels so try~hard and unnatural. I can say these things because I am an adult and don’t believe that the opposite sex are just attracted to that side of a woman. But what about the 13 year olds who don’t know this to be true?  Who do believe that if Miley’s doing it and she’s popular then I might have to?

As the video  comes to an end and I see that it’s directed by Terry Richardson and a few things slot into place. I understand more the presence of the sexual content and the shock value. After all Richardson is a man who, allegedly, photographs his young subjects in the nude ~that is he’s in the nude not them ~ and has had allegations of misconduct thrown at him by young girls he’s photographed.

It’s all a big pile of I don’t know what that I can’t seem to make sense of as a feminist, a woman and a lover of pop music. If her intention was to break the world record for most views in 24 hours then she won ~ 19.3 million hits ~ if her intention was to break away from her old Disney image then again she won and if her intention was that people talk about her, regardless of in what context, then I think she is the over all winner and should be named Queen.

What bothers me is that while she’s winner now, what about later? What about those young people, teenagers, who are incredibly influenced by her and think that this is the way to get ahead in life? What about our struggle to make women equal and to show that we don’t need to sell our bodies to get ahead? Why can’t I stop watching it? What is it about her that makes me go back to it again and again?

What about…..What about your say?

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