Every year the MTV Video Music Awards causes some kind of controversy. This year’s character was bound to be Miley Cyrus judging by her character and lack of restraint.
I’m usually not into watching much television and haven’t ever actually watched a run of the VMAs from start to finish. This year, though, I saw a lot of videos from my friends on social media platforms such as Snapchat. When I first saw Miley, I was already slightly disgusted. Her appearance seemed to be another attention act, just like most things she does.
Despite showing up with no boundaries and a promise to deliver a “psychedelic” and “raw” show, all she managed to do was come off as she always does, an act. Whether she understood or not (which I’m sure she did), she managed to ornamentalize black culture before degrading it throughout the night. Her long, blonde dreads were the first thing that stood out, of course followed by my remembrance of how she continually puts down the struggles of women and men of color to provide a larger base for her own “feminist” movement.
What Miley considers feminism isn’t what I do, and I consider myself a pretty big feminist. Though I don’t have an issue with making a scene if it’s to prove the right point, the way Miley goes about doing so goes so far as to repulse me. Her movement is about her, not about continual struggles or providing change for everyone.
She’s done a lot of things that I respect in the past, but looking back on it she seems to take the wrong approach time after time. Even when she tries to put others in front of herself, it comes back as some kind of pious movement with her name branded across the top.
Nicki Minaj sees this too, in my opinion, and doesn’t put up with it like everyone else does. Nicki is a feminist through her actions– not ones that she makes to prove her point, but ones that she makes to prove the point.
Everyone saw what Nicki did to Miley, but many didn’t understand what happened beforehand. Miley went on the record about Nicki’s frustration over white women continually being granted greater opportunities than women of color in the music industry. Nicki explained that many videos of white women that were less impressive and successful than her hit, Anaconda, received nominations white she didn’t.
Miley’s response was filled with her usual love and openness, which is truly just her turning the blame towards other people. Accusing Nicki of being jealous, but in the kindest, “that’s-a-yoga-mantra” way, Miley tried to shut down the controversy without giving it the attention it deserved.
While accepting the award she ended up winning for Best Hip-Hop Music Video (Anaconda), Nicki brought the light back to Miley asking her, simply, “what’s good?”
Media has been blowing up every since with references to her dragging Miley through the mud after the huge show she put on. It’s nice to have a laugh over it, but what was happening in actuality was a pretty important event.
Nicki called Miley out from the perspective of one of the most successful, influential colored women in the country. Miley was guilty of committing both patronizing and racist behaviour on top of trying to silence Nicki’s comments.
The clap and the comments may have been comical, but what they stood for wasn’t. Nicki showed a lot of courage in what she did and I wouldn’t be surprised if she comes under fire because of it, but what she did earned her mad respect in my book.