Miley Cyrus' performance at the VMAs caused a world wide, online reaction that seemingly defined the moment as yet another childhood star's public breakdown. A type of breakdown which has become increasingly common during the 21st century that applies to the kid stars who realise they've labelled themselves for life. It can begin when their career comes to an abrupt end, or when it becomes too repetitive or in Miley's case when the cute tweenage idol decides her good girl image just isn't who she wants to be. Watching this sort of breakdown is like watching a caterpillar turn into one disturbed butterfly. It's uncomfortable, and almost saddening.
It would appear that Miley has decided to shake off her Hannah Montana image by creating content and performances that utterly sexualise herself and her music. She's claimed her new song Wrecking Ball's music video which involves her completely naked body straddling a pole is 'symbolic' but all I can think is that it's a cry for help. The sort of cry for help that says "I can't define myself as a little girl's idol anymore so I'm making myself a sex object to disown that image." which frankly does nothing for her, probably former, young fans.
She doesn't have an empowering way of owning the current objectification of women because she doesn't look in control. Her recent work looks desperate and helpless and frightening. It seems as if she's frantically trying to discover and demonstrate her sensuality but only resulting in a rather uncomfortable act of public humiliation. She could be hot, and sexy and own her body in a way that was liberating but she's throwing herself around to make her money and fame.
All the little girls who thought she was their idol are only going to witness a woman laying herself down to the patriarchy. Giving everyone a reason to objectify and sexualise her, taking no control over her body, image or influence.
Robin Thicke received little to no criticism on his performance with Miley at the VMAs but maybe that's because we were all shocked a woman in this day an age would allow herself to be so stripped of her own dignity towards her sexuality. Robin Thicke crudely objectified her on that stage but Miley bent over and told all the little girls to let it happen.
It is not hot. It is not sexy. It is not empowering. Miley did not own her body, and show the girls that she was in control of it and could use it to show sexual beauty and liberty. She disempowered herself, and her image, and it's simply becoming uncomfortable to watch.
The patriarchy doesn't have to possess her sexuality, but it looks to be as if she has let it willingly damage her image and power.