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Miley’s VMA Twerk: Why Do We Freak Out When “Good Girls” Go “Bad”?


At the MTV VMAs last night, Miley Cyrus twerked up against Robin Thicke, who was seemingly dressed like Beetlejuice for some reason and everyone is reacting as if their “childhood has been ruined.” No really, I got a headline in my email today saying, “Watch Miley Cyrus’ Childhood-Ruining VMA Performance.”

Look, did I like Miley Cyrus’ performance? Hell no, it just wasn’t good. If anything it was bad not because she was trying so hard to be sexy, but rather because nothing about it seemed natural or choreographed. Her dance moves were forced but the performance didn’t seem planned at all. It was almost like, Miley went out there saying, “I got this!” without giving much thought as to what was going to happen on stage. “I’ll just stick my tongue out and thrust.” The performance was lazy. The best part for me was Robin Thicke, 2 Chainz and Kendrick Lamar.

Nevertheless, I’d like to discuss how negatively we react to child stars who are merely growing up. We reacted the exact same way when Britney Spears ripped off her black tuxedo to reveal a skin tight nude colored outfit. “Oh, she’s gone too far! There must be something wrong with her!”

Miley Cyrus twerks on stage and my entire feed is clogged with people throwing shade at this 20-year-old girls ass. The same eyebrow raising reactions were served up to Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens and Ashley Benson when they did Springbreakers.

Why does everyone freak out when a “good girl” goes “bad”? I don’t think there is any such thing as being a good girl or a bad girl, as much as Robin Thicke would like us to believe otherwise. Especially because when we talk about “good girls” and “bad girls” we are actually, really, obviously, only talking about one thing: sex. When a good girl goes bad, we’re merely suggesting that she has become sexual and that that is bad.

The only thing that has changed amongst these Disney “princesses” is that they dressed more revealing, had more adult roles or sang songs about sex. Miley, Selena, Britney, Christina, Vanessa—none of them were ever “good girls” they were just young.

Imagine if your parent or friend found out you were having sex and called you a “slut” and said that you “ruined the childhood” of your family, friends and siblings because “you used to be such a good girl.” Imagine how awful that would feel? Well, we do that to celebrities by the millions everyday.

No one’s childhood was ruined by seeing someone who used to be on the Disney Chanel twerk on stage or have an intimate sex scene in a movie, the only thing that was ruined is a fantasy that was sold to you by that person’s marketing team when they were younger: that these girls are innocent, virginal and pure and that what corrupts young girls is sexuality.

Ryan Gosling, Justin Timberlake and Zac Efron got their starts on Disney yet no one has reacted to any of Ryan’s career moves as going bad when he has portrayed roles from serial killers to hyper-sexual men. Half of Justin Timberlake’s songs are about sex, after all he brought sexy back. Zac Efron got peed on by Nicole Kidman in a sex scene. No one batted an eyelash. No one blinked twice. No one raised an eyebrow. There was no backlash because it only seemed like these men were transitioning into more “adult roles”  yet when women do it, it’s seen as a fall from grace.

At the end of the day the only thing Miley Cyrus is guilty of is being weird and a little too much extra. But so what? She’s twenty years old and everyone has a phase where they are a “bit too much” or turn the expectations put on us on their head because it’s cathartic and it feels good. Eventually, we all get over it, we move on and we laugh about those stories of when our new social circles couldn’t imagine how we used to have been. The only difference is that Miley’s life is public and us muggles have the luxury of privacy. Even if it’s not a phase and Miley is really this sexual, it really shouldn’t be that big of a deal.

I think a wise man once said, “I disapprove of how you twerk, but I will defend to the death your right to get super turnt.”

[Lead Image Via. Hit Fix]

Emerald is an editor at CollegeCandy, lover of coffee, and pretend francophile. After studying writing and popular culture at NYU she decided to be a grownup and get a job. Tweet at ya' girl @EmeraldGritty.