Now I’m really going to show my age. During a meeting this morning, 20-somethings Alex and Alexa asked me if I’d heard about the reaction to Miley Cyrus’s antics at the MTV Awards the other night.
I have little to no interest in either the MTV Awards or Miley Cyrus, but I was intrigued because Miley has apparently come a long way since Hannah Montana.
“What antics?” I asked them.
“Well, she stripped down to a patent leather nude bikini and did an extremely sexual dance. You can see it on You Tube,” Alex told me.
So I clicked on over and watched the six-minute performance, which consisted of 20-year-old Miley bending, twisting, arching and otherwise employing her lovely body to suggest a number of sexual moves. A big foam hand, with a polished nail, served as her prop, which she pointed, positioned and poked at some man (another popular singer whose name I don’t recall.) She licked the finger of the hand at the end of the segment.
Miley is a big “twerker,” apparently. And for those of you who are dying to know what twerking means, here’s the definition from Wikipedia: “Twerking is a dance move that involves a person shaking the hips in an up-and-down bouncing motion, causing the dancer to shake, ‘wobble’ and ‘jiggle.’ To ‘twerk’ means to “dance in a sexually suggestive fashion by twisting the hips.”
Imagine, we thought slow dancing in the sixties was sexy! And, remember when Marilyn Monroe sang a sex-saturated version of “Happy Birthday” to Mr. President, John F. Kennedy? We were aghast at her sequined gown, which hugged her voluptuous curves and showed off every inch of her generous backside. How naïve we were.
Anyway, while I personally thought Miley’s performance was utterly boring, she has created quite a buzz online, both pro and con. The more I think about it, the more I realize that we’re both duplicitous and conflicted, as a society, when it comes to sex and sexuality. On the one hand, Actor Will Smith and his family collectively had their mouths agape during Miley’s performance, but Mr. Smith is complicit in an industry that promotes sex, drugs and violence. Sharon Stone advises young actresses to get totally nude when they’re doing love scenes, while young actresses, including Jessica Alba and Emma Stone, say they wouldn’t be caught dead in the nude.
Kim Kardashian’s sex tapes turn her into a megastar, yet Monica Lewinsky is banished to oblivion for performing a little oral sex in the Oval Office. We idolize Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt yet we think it’s awful that two gay men or lesbian women would want to get married and, heaven help us, have sex!
I don’t know what’s worse: Keeping sex behind closed doors, like our parents did, or creating a Miley Cyrus. I guess it takes extremes to arrive somewhere in the middle.