Last night, I got home from work, dodged a phone call from my mother, went to the library to pick up Mindy Kaling’s book due to my newfound obsession with her, and called my best friend Ilana to gossip instead of reading it. After the juicy “You’ll never guess who I hooked up with” segment of our conversation, but before the weekly “I’m going to die alone” closer, we came upon the same conversation that virtually every semi-pop-culturally aware person in the country came upon yesterday, after having watched the VMAs:
“Oh my God, did you see Miley’s performance last night?”
To be honest, I hadn’t seen it at the time it aired, as I was traveling back to Austin after visiting my parents in my hometown. I know what you’re thinking, and no, I didn’t meet the love of my life on my flight. I continue to get all airport chic — rocking full makeup, an adorable travel bag, and heels (which is not easy to do when you’re toting an extra 50 pounds around with you in an airport terminal), only to find that the man sitting next to me on the plane was not a handsome, funny, investment banker, traveling back to Austin after a business trip in New York City, but a monk with braces, and apparently emphysema as his breathing patterns were not only strange, but borderline concerning.
Anyway, back to Miley.
I did get a chance to watch her VMA performance as soon as I got home to see that Twitter was abuzz. I couldn’t help but think everyone was blowing things out of proportion a little bit.
“I honestly think we should cut her some slack.”
“No, she deserves it. Did you see her outfit?”
Sure, her red carpet ensemble made her look more like a cross between a gypsy and a Copacabana showgirl than a starlet, and I didn’t dig the Scary Spice horns, but we’ve all made poor fashion choices — I’m looking at you, popcorn shirts. Her performance wasn’t all that outrageous to me. She wore some clothes that were too tiny on her and danced like a skank. There are thousands of other 20-year-old attention whores doing the same thing every single weekend. It’s not a big deal. I did the same exact thing when I was her age. It’s weirder, I think, if girls her age aren’t doing that. I was asked to change my clothing for violating the dress code more times than I can count back in my day, and the tongue thing, while excessive, isn’t revolutionary. Everyone thinks they look sexy, not stupid, between the ages of 12 and 20, depending on maturity.
“Don’t compare yourself to Miley Cyrus. You would not have twerked up against an old man, then masturbated with a foam finger.”
Wouldn’t I have, though? Wouldn’t we all have? Granted, in my day, we twerked frontward, and it was called “party boy”-ing, my “old man” was a fraternity super senior, and my stage was a beer pong table in a dirty basement, but the only reason I was sliding my own hands down the sides of my body instead of a foam finger was because I didn’t have a foam finger.
The weird teddy bears and nude bikini were just an homage to the “We Can’t Stop” and “Blurred Lines” music videos, respectively. This whole persona she’s got is a cry for attention — a proclamation that “I’m a bad bitch,” and I don’t fault her for it.
There are two times in a girl’s life when she’s likely to go full-on party girl in a borderline try-hard manner, and Miley’s amid both.
1. When she’s getting over a breakup.
Famous or not, your first breakup is devastating. MiCy has described Liam Hemsworth as her “first real boyfriend,” turned fiance, and she’s NOT getting married anymore. That calls for a drastic change in hairstyle, and absolutely calls for a slut phase. Yes, she looks ridiculous, but I know tons of girls who brag and exaggerate their sexual conquests like a dude does during their slut phases. Sometimes, feeling like you’re a purely sexual being is a good way to distract yourself from the fact that you got dumped by one of the sexiest men in the world.
2. When she’s experiencing her first taste of freedom from her parents and/or Disney contract.
Former good girls always party the hardest. Why do you think the “party girl” sorority is upper middle tier? It’s comprised of the girls who were almost, but not quite cool enough in high school to go to all the best parties, and now feel the need to prove to themselves, the seniors who dumped them for not putting out, and any popular kids who might happen upon their Facebook pictures, that they can, in fact, be a fucking awesome time when given the opportunity. Miley will eventually be slightly more normal again, after the excitement of “recreating herself” has died down.
But for now, the girl is 20 years old, doing the same shit every 20-year-old attention whore does. Dancing around like a drunken fool is certainly more age-appropriate than, say, showing up to VMAs looking like you raided the closet of somebody’s mother. The only difference between every other girl Miley’s age and Miley are that people are actually giving her the attention she wants. No matter what anyone says, she’s exactly where she wants to be, and in a few years, she’ll look back at herself and laugh, a la Kelly Osbourne.
Miles, haters gonna hate. You don’t stop.
Image via Associated Press