Miley Cyrus, Twerking & Cultural Appropriation



Ok so Miley Cyrus’ VMA performance in 2013 was… shocking. I recorded it as it was airing live from America so it was on at something ridiculous in the UK, like 4:00am or something, so I watched it before going to school and I was speechless! I know that Cyrus’ new adopted ‘persona’, if you can even call it that, that she unleashed in the music video for her song WeCan’t Stop, was seemingly different to that of her squeaky clean ‘Disney-girl’ image, but this was just cultural appropriation at its worst (and let’s not forget about the grotesque grinding on the #1 misogynist Robin Thicke). Twerking derives from African American culture and can be seen in areas such as dancehall that originates in Jamaica and the carnival style dance and has been done by many black artists before her including Nicki Minaj but it only seemed to get attention when a young, white girl does it. In this article, the author compares Cyrus’ act to the visionary Martin Luther King and her last paragraph very rightly sums this up: So like King, I too have a dream: I have a dream that female celebrities will one day feel that they don’t need to imitate porn actors on magazine covers and in their stage acts. I have a dream that the predominantly white music world will stop reducing black music to grills and bitches and twerking. And I have a dream that stupid songs about seducing “good girls” will be laughed at instead of sent to No 1. And most of all, I dream that I never, ever have to see Miley Cyrus gyrating against Robin Thicke’s crotch again. We won’t be free then, but it will be a start.”





Natasha Perkin

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