On Sunday August 30th, Miley Cyrus hosted what was supposed to be the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards. Instead, the show turned very much into “The Miley Cyrus Show” as the singer used her time on stage to continue to self-proclaim herself, with the support of MTV, as the “free-spirit” of Hollywood. The singer referred to herself as crazy throughout the night. As she hosted, MTV revealed short pre-recorded skits of Miley Cyrus with comedians and rappers that helped stir the conversation back to her and her great appreciation towards Instagram, weed, and sex. In case anybody tuning into the awards still didn’t get that Miley is the “wild” one in Hollywood, she resorted to numerous costume changes to emphasize her “craziness” and the sexual force of the woman she claims to be. So basically, Miley equals selfies, spliffs and nipples. Cool.
We’re all for self-expression and self-affirmation. Women were given their bodies to love and explore it. The question we pose here is why is it that women must pride “craziness” in order to explore their sexuality and freedom? The ex-Disney star feels more like herself the more she pushes the boundaries of gender and sexuality. Of course she does because she can reach an understanding of herself. In fact, she recently spoke about how her time on Hannah Montana and how playing a secret pop star may have led to “body dysmorphia” issues.”
However, it seems that Cyrus feels more like herself when she is on highly-viewed platforms such as Instagram and the MTV Video Music Awards – whether she is dancing with Robin Thicke or hosting it her damn self. Cyrus’ acknowledgment and self-love is not enough to satisfy her – that is clear.
If yesterday night was any indicator, the pop star needs the rest of the world to accept her identity as well. Her outfits were statements enough to anybody tuning in. The 2015 VMA hostess, however, could not contain herself from pointing out her fashion choices of the night, even at one point peaking out a nipple behind her dressing room door and announcing its presence as the cameras turned away.
We understand the part that it is Miley’s agenda to free the nipple and get the world to stop policing women’s bodies. But yesterday night also revealed a singer in a sort of identity crisis. When all you can offer to a conversation is how you look, then there is an insecurity buried there. When you claim to be reading up on all of the issues we are dealing with, whether from gender inequality to racial inequality, and you fail to recognize that another woman’s freedom might be in fact to cover up her entire body to the public or that the blonde dreads swinging behind your naked body appropriates Black American culture, a culture that you have offered no hand to aside from passing a joint along to a group of black rappers in your pre-recorded VMA skits, then there are a lot of problems here.
With high-visibility comes power and with power comes great responsibility. The 2015 MTV Video Awards targets the kids. After all, Kanye West said so himself. We will continue to put Miley Cyrus under a lot of pressure because she needs to do more than outfit changes because honestly, last night, unfortunately, the main take away for the majority of those young viewers and attendees was that blonde dreads were “in.” That is not progress. In fact, it’s the total opposite.
We challenge Miley and all our self-acclaimed feminists out there to do more and do more quickly because we’re all tuning in and expecting greatness.
In case you missed out or need to feast your eyes once again, here are Miley’s outfits of the night: