It seems to be the only thing anyone wants to talk about at the moment – Miley Cyrus. She’s certainly returned to our screens with a bang after her Hannah Montana days ended back in 2011 and she seems hellbent on ditching her butter-wouldn’t-melt Disney image.
It’s no surprise however – the American singer attempted to do so back in 2010 when she released her single ‘Can’t be Tamed,’ alongside a provocative music video for those of us who didn’t quite understand through her lyrics that Miley “can get a bit crazy, have to have her way, 24 hours a day cause she’s hot like that.”
After the backlash of her heavily criticized VMA performance started to die down, Miley has yet again made the headlines after becoming involved in a twitter feud with Sinead O’Connor. Then again, what celebrity hasn’t since Twitter became a worldwide phenomenon?
The feud was ignited when O’Connor posted an open letter to Cyrus via Twitter, urging her to ignore the industry pressure to “prostitute” herself. Cyrus then responded to this by comparing O’Connor to Amanda Bynes – a celebrity who has recently been forced to undergo treatment after her erratic and bizarre behaviour was publicised for the world and his wife to see.
Of course, O’Connor took great offence to this and angrily told Cyrus: “Have you any idea how stupid and dangerous it is to mock people for suffering illness? You will yourself one day suffer such illness, that is without doubt.’ Four letters later and the feud is in no way about to wane.
Simon Cowell has also become involved after O’Connor blamed the music mogul and colleague Louis Walsh for “the murder of music and rock ‘n’ roll” as well as “the sexualising of extremely young people making records.” He appeared to poke fun at the Nothing Compares 2 U singer in a tweet, replying: “I think Sinead O’Connor would be a real fun guest judge on X Factor. She loves the show and everything I do. Let me know Sinead.”
The whole scenario between the two women is getting ridiculous. Understandably, Cyrus wasn’t going to react kindly to O’Connor’s obvious taunt regarding her recent, provocative image, especially when Cyrus has stated she’s now “happier than ever.” And of course, mocking those with mental illnesses isn’t exactly the wisest move to have made either. But is the feud going too far? Sinead O’Connor has threatened the 20 year old with legal action and has uploaded tweets saying: “I have no interest in the ‘feud’ which media want. There is no ‘feud’ as far as I am concerned.”
Really? To those of us living in the ‘real’ world, penning four open letters and sharing them with millions of users across the world isn’t the best way to approach an underlying ‘concern’ for a young star faced with industry pressures. O’Connor should have got ‘her people’ to talk to ‘Cyrus’s people’ and perhaps this bitter feud wouldn’t have ensued in the first place! Even a private letter would have been more appropriate.
Regarding industry pressures, is it that there is this pressure for performers to take their clothes off and parade around on stage or is it that actually, they quite like doing it? There’s been a lot of attention surrounding Miley Cyrus, her VMA performance and her two most recent music videos: We Can’t Stop and Wrecking Ball.
What’s ironic is that actually, Miley wasn’t the only pop star causing havoc on stage – though she was the only performer to have life-sized Teddy bears dancing around her in a ‘twerktastic’ 5 minute stunt. Lady GaGa opened the show with her new single Applause and had no airs or graces about bearing all in a white thong and seashell bra. And clearly – neither did anyone else!
Rihanna has been releasing overly sexual music videos for years – S&M, Te Amo and Rude Boy definitely didn’t fail to impress and her recent video, ‘Pour it up’ is probably her most daring yet. In fact, how anyone can point the finger at Miley for twerking in nude coloured underwear, when the Barbadian artist is herself straddling chairs, thrusting her crotch towards the camera and gyrating on poles I don’t know.
Annie Lennox isn’t best impressed either. Talking to BBC Radio 5 Live, the singer said: “I’m all for freedom of expression, but this is clearly one step beyond, and it’s clearly into the realm of porn.” She even went on to say she’s is “disturbed and dismayed by the recent spate of overtly sexualised performances and videos.”
There’s been a lot of talk about the issue and many are concerned that the line between porn and music is slowly diminishing because of young performers pushing the boundaries. This isn’t a problem that’s only just arisen. Yes, perhaps it’s finally reared its ugly little head, but sexually fueled music lyrics and videos aren’t something entirely new.
It’s fair to say that MTVs VMA broadcasts have a habit for causing controversial headlines in the papers – starting with it’s very first broadcast back in 1984. The public were outraged with Madonna’s performance of ‘Like a Virgin’ and she didn’t stop there. She portrayed Jesus as a black man, nailed to the cross whilst she performed sexual acts in her ‘Like a Prayer’ video and went on to famously kiss Britney Spears in 2003 at the VMAs – twenty years after her wedding-dress laden performance of ‘Like a Virgin.’
It’s evident that nowadays, if you want to get noticed, you need to shock people into paying attention. That’s exactly what Madonna did, Britney did the same in her ‘I‘m a slave 4 U’ video and now, Miley, Nicki Minaj, Rihanna, Lady GaGa… the list goes on – are doing the same. It may be a problem and it’s extremely prominent to society right now, but one thing is for sure… the issue is by no means new and promoting sexual behaviour in videos and lyrics seems to be something that up until now, has always been majorly overlooked.
For those of you who are disputing the fact that music videos are getting worse, feel free to check out Skepta’s ‘All over the house’ video – I’m sure you’ll change your mind.
You may even decide that Miley is a saint in comparison!