Miley Cyrus: a combination of ‘twerking’ and racism.

Miley Cyrus’ new image appears to be ‘trendy’ and ‘exciting’ Her performance at the VMA’s gained an international response, especially on twitter where there were more than 300,000+ tweets per minute whilst it was going on. She did a mix of her own song ‘We can’t stop’ into a duet with the misogynistic singer Robin Thicke. This duet consisted of extreme attempts of tongue wagging and ‘twerking’/’groping’. I didn’t watch the performance at the time, instead I killed myself to watch the repeat, and here’s what I have to say about the whole thing.

Sorry Miley, but your new image is neither trendy nor exciting especially when it is clear that you have purposely chosen to exploit a lot of aspects of ‘Black’ culture. What people fail to understand is that Miley has something called WHITE PRIVILEGE, whilst she is praised for twerking, we have artists like Rihanna who is constantly slut shamed by the media and by music artists. We should also realise that in the ‘we can’t stop’ video and the VMA performance her back up dancers were BLACK and ANIMALISED. When I mean Animalised, I’m talking in terms of the costumes they wore to portray themselves. Does anyone else find this problematic? I want to know why these black women participated in this dance, and whether they see themselves objectified through a strong theme of racial hatred. When a white girl twerks, it’s entertaining, cool, young and hip but when a black girl twerks, it’s ghetto and trashy. Yes we have a problem.

Miley’s cultural appreciation was in fact racist and discriminatory to black people. She has imitated what she believes what blackness is, this imitation alone is shocking and disgusting. She is a good example of a person from a privileged dominant white culture. If you are black and you actually enjoy what Miley is doing I suggest you take a deeper look into the meaning behind all of this tomfoolery and open your eyes. Just a week ago, it was announced that Kanye West wants to pair up with Miley for a remix on his original song ‘Black Skinhead’. This song is already degrading, but adding Miley to the remix is just offensive. As a black woman I have realised that black men are the main reasons why black women are erased out of black culture, because they prefer to see and support NON blacks do everything black women have already done in the past and now.  if in 2013 and this kind of cultural appropriation is still celebrated, then I think it’s fine to say our generation has gone downhill.


This doesn’t actually mean that I’m open for slut shaming, by no means necessary is slut shaming appropriate for this subject, let alone appropriate at all.



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14 responses to “Miley Cyrus: a combination of ‘twerking’ and racism.

  1. Love this piece! Her sexualisation and objectification of black women was disgusting. “When a white girl twerks, it’s entertaining, cool, young and hip but when a black girl twerks, it’s ghetto and trashy” Yes!!

  2. Reblogged this on Rhetoric of Popular Culture and commented:
    Something to add to last week’s class discussion

  3. Tosin Akingbolagun

    I’m not about sure this article, you yourself are discrimating because there is no such thing as black culture. it’s a phrase people have used to describe the other, it’s like summarising the alphabet into ABC, I’m a Black Nigerian Male and my culture is entirely different to a black Jamaican male. Twerking is in fact a part of popular culture “black” (as you put it ) and “white” because we all have access to the same mass media that promotes it. So in fact she is not being racist she’s just taking part in activity that many young people participate in, difference is as Justin TImberlake put it she’s being watched by millions. You’re connotations are deductive but subjective, the black skinned dancers merely were doing jobs of their choosing, they cannot be compared to the Russian and Japanese child ballerinas.

    • Miley herself, has said that she wanted to create an image that is “urban” and “black”.
      Miley want’s a new image which is sexual – YES THAT’S FINE, but don’t associate yourself with BLACK WOMEN’S BODIES to be SEXUAL. I believe Miley has a fixation with twerking as a chance to feel “black” and It is clear that Miley cyrus is profiting from racial stereotypes as a way to create a new image for herself. She has imitated to what she believes is “black” and therefore encouraged more stereotypes. Miley can dance like a stripper, act like a thug but the problem is, that she shouldn’t associate it to any race, that’s my point.

  4. I have not seen the “performance” myself and nor do I want to. The many comments, tweets and pictures I have seen disgracing Miley are mostly about her feeble attempts at twerking. This is the first I have seen such comments being said. If this is what people think to truly be the case then the solution is simple – tell young people the real message! That is more the problem in today’s society. Wiser/Older people do not tell young people anything, no reasons, no facts – nothing. I’m sure if the older generation was to make younger people know the truth, the “real” meaning less people would pay Miley any mind. Instead, you say things from afar: judge, criticize and blame young people for everything and tell them that they ain’t doing anything – yet you don’t show them.
    And as for Miley trying to make a new name for her self…If I have learned anything from life, “there is no point in trying to be something your not. There is no point in trying to please someone else and not your self. And there is no true success or purpose when doing or living a life that takes mockery, shame and pain onto another. Because then, in all that time trying to perfect yourself, in the end your character is far uglier than you set out to be!”

  5. naush

    Loved this gabby and you are completely right, I totally agree with you, she is clearly exercising her white privilege and knowingly exploiting a culture

  6. Doyin

    I actually love this. You need to get paid for doing this. I also totally get what you’re saying as well you will definitely open peoples eyes with this piece.

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