why i was so disappointed with miley cyrus and her performance at the 2013 mtv vmas

From beginning to end, the 2013 MTV VMAs was an entertaining romp through today’s popular music (which just happens to be extraordinarily hot time for pop music), despite one poor showing from one red-lipped tween-icon gone raunchy twerker who made America absolutely aghast at her tasteless performance. I am of course speaking of Miley Cyrus and her tacky, teddy-bear-filled debacle with a Zebra-striped Robin Thicke.

I was so disturbed by her performance that I of course took to Facebook:

 Moms upset about the Miley Cyrus performance at the 2013 VMAs

Most of the people who commented on my post agreed with me, however one of my lifelong friends, a guy friend, who has seen me do similar dance moves at countless parties and table tops through the years, called me out, in a loving way of course, as being a little Tipper Gore-ish in my comment. I appreciated the comment because it made me think about why I had such a visceral response to her Miley’s performance (and I use that word lightly).

I came to the realization that yes, as a mom, I was disturbed by watching a role model for tween and teen girls dry humping a foam finger and shoving her tongue deep down the camera-guy’s face. It made me wonder, does she really think it’s an attractive and a positive way to showcase her talents and represent herself, particularly to the young women of the world who look up to her? Apparently so since it’s the only type of performance she’s been able to do lately.

But beyond the protective parent in me who worries for the future of my daughters, as a lover of all things performance, I was mainly bothered by the lack of creativity, class and production value of the entire segment, including Robin Thicke and TI who were just as eye-roll inducing.  These folks get paid the big bucks to ENTERTAIN the masses, in ways that we don’t otherwise see in Tijuana clubs or on The Jersey Shore. We’ve seen Miley twerk, on more that one occasion. We’ve seen her make sexy pouty lips and puppy dog eyes. On this star-studded night, where the best talents in the world converge, the least they can do is give us something we haven’t seen. Be bold like Gaga or Katy Perry who both ROCKED the house last night, both of whom were sexy and stunning without being slutty, and both of whom put a lot of time and energy into creating a memorable performance (though one could argue that I Miley’s performance was memorable since we’re ALL talking about it). Katy & Gaga showed us though that female performers can be sexy while strong and dazzling without grinding on inanimate objects.

Side note: I cannot over look the incredible performance by the uber-talented Justin Timberlake who made me swoon and squeal, but I will save his performance for another blog post.

So call me Tipper Godwin if you wish, but I would rather watch the Trojan condom commericals with my kids, because at least they are clever and witty and entertaining.



  1. 1
    Laura says:

    I missed the show but I am so happy you brought up this topic. It’s one thing to twerk in private with your pals but not on national television in front of young fans. Poor taste Miley. I love your last sentence Mary!

  2. 2
    laura says:

    I think that entertainers take advantage of the fact that, good or bad, we’re going to watch. They can be as lame as they want to be, because we are going to tune in and be glued to the screen until the credits roll, and even then continue to be glued to make sure we don’t miss any post show commentary.
    And I think, for this, they suck. Damn them for taking advantage of our love and loyalty for the arts and music. What, because we didn’t have to buy an overpriced ticket to your show you can just completely drop the ball? phfft whatevs BUT this is why Gaga and Katy will continue to shine and get all the love and social media attn they deserve. Or at least I hope they will.

    As for Miley, I feel like when performers do something so tragic such as her performance last night, they should be automatically shunned and blacklisted for a full year. She needs to be D-listed. Maybe then she’ll take a step back and reevaluate her presence in the music world. I had hope for her. I really did. But you know who else I adored and had hope for, for the longest time?? Lindsay Lohan. And you see where that went.

  3. 3
    laura says:

    ALSO – am I the only one who feels like Miley is trying to be Gwen Stefani? Between the hair, red lipstick, and the body moves, all I see is is a Gwen copy-cat and (with the added yuck to her performance), frankly, and insult.

  4. 4
    Sherri says:

    I didn’t even know what the hell was going on until I woke up this morning and saw your FB post. Naturally, I immediately googled the performance video. Crude and classless is really all I could say. I wonder how Robin’s wife felt about him walking up behind Miley mid twerk? Someone would have been sleeping on the couch last night! And why was he dressed like Beetle Juice?

    I did briefly post something on Instagram about it, then deleted it promptly. I’m trying not to be so judgmental in my older years, but that was damn hard not to. Plus, I figured it was just giving more attention to an already overblown social media extravaganza. Tomorrow it will be something new.

    It looked to me that she was on something, and if that is true and they let her go on stage like that, then shame on MTV for enabling performers to do whatever the hell they please. That is why I don’t idolize any performers. They really aren’t worth the millions they are paid, minus JT AND ADELE of course. I can find a dozen people in my own community worth idolizing who are actually doing good for mankind.

    One last thought on this… I also have a 20 year old daughter in her third year of college and I had to think, omg is this how she is dancing at parties!? Good God. I hope she has more class than that, but one never really knows.

    P. S. I will never look at a styrofoam finger the same way again.

  5. 5

    Ok … I was horrified by Miley Cyrus last night. Then I saw someone on Twitter comment that she was just having fun and embracing her sexuality. That she is the Madonna for her generation. It made me start googling ages. Madonna was 26 when she released Like a Virgin. She was 34 when she release Erotica. MILEY CYRUS IS ONLY 20 YEARS OLD! So, to say that she is just doing for her generation what Madonna did for us is way off base! I never want my daughter to see someone perform on a show like the VMAs (or in concert) like Miley did. I never want her to think embracing your sexuality is wagging your tongue suggestively all over the place, twerking on a sleezy looking dude and dry humping a foam finger. I am disappointed in MTV for allowing her to put on a performance like that.

    On a side note … I LOVE JT EVEN MORE!!!

  6. 6
    april says:

    This was obviously not a one woman show what with all the bears and big old booties and Robin Thicke. I am sure there were many people, mtv included, behind the scenes egging her on.

  7. 7
    Adam says:

    I really liked your post mama mary about miley-gate, and i agree with you about gaga and katy and their great performances, but i watched Miley with my wife and my 19 year old daughter and yelled out loud to the TV (hoping Miley would hear me) that i love that she’s doing what she wants, she did her time as a role model to america’s youth, now it’s Miley time, and i support her coming out party. i think it’s fun, and i’m happy she’s having fun too. She’s not Hannah Montana anymore, and the parents need to know that, and not call the little ones to the TV to see Hannah perform at the VMA’s

    I’m not sure if any of you have heard her lyrics, but after hearing/reading them i think it’s pretty obvious what kind of show was gonna happen:

    It’s our party we can do what we want
    It’s our party we can say what we want
    It’s our party we can love who we want
    We can kiss who we want
    We can see who we want…
    Red cups and sweaty bodies everywhere
    Hands in the air like we don’t care
    Cause we came to have so much fun now
    Bet somebody here might get some now…
    If you’re not ready to go home
    Can I get a hell no
    Cause we gonna go all night
    Till we see the sunlight alright…
    Remember only God can judge ya
    Forget the haters cause somebody loves ya

    well as a 40 year old dad of a 19 year old daughter and an 8 year old son, i love ya Miley

  8. 8
    theresa says:

    Apparently this not what she rehearsed and her management was not thrilled with the performance. Will Smith’s face said it best.

    It’s not like she isn’t talented. The girl can sing! This whole act of hers is taking away from that.

    I’m wondering how she’s feeling about her performance today.

  9. 9

    I know that I’m viewing her performance through “mom goggles” and that is why I didn’t enjoy it. Maybe, just maybe if this had been the show say 9 years ago I’d have no contention with it. I’m good with it being my problem and not her problem… because I do not view the VMAs as a family show whatsoever. I did take issue with Beyonce’s SuperBowl Half Time show because THAT is watched by families and people throw family parties for the big day – often the kids only coming in to watch that part. When I was Miley’s age I totally danced like that, didn’t care who saw, didn’t care what someone thought, just cared that I was having a good time. I chalk it up to immaturity. She doesn’t know better that this is a world class stage, not a titty bar.

  10. 10
    mariana salerno says:

    Agreed, very well said!! I by no means think we are prudish (not by a long shot), but that performance was just empty, desperate and sad. Is that the best they could come up with?!?

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