It seems like an eternity since Miley Cyrus was seen wobbling around on stage, at the Video Music Awards ceremony, after ripping off a bizarre mouse costume to expose her fleshy-colored undergarments. The young singer then proceeded to writhe up and down Robin Thicke, with her tongue unfurled from her mouth.
Whilst it’s fair to say that a significant proportion of the American audience remained somewhat befuddled by the eccentricities of Miley’s performance, many of her fans have stuck by her, choosing to describe the performance as edgy and mature.
The controversy surrounding the singer’s activities has not deterred her one bit, however, with her unconventional approach seeping into other recent performances, comprising of dwarf twerking and naked wrecking ball-riding. But, are these simply publicity stunts or just an extension of her new approach to music?
Wrecking Ball Music Video
On the surface, Miley seems to be attempting to emulate her shock VMA performance, in her latest Wrecking Ball music video. The video commences with a glum-looking Cyrus, facing the camera with tears streaming down her cheeks. Standard fodder for many pop videos; so far, so safe.
In the ensuing shots, Miley is then seen wielding a sledgehammer, as a wrecking ball swings in the backdrop, destroying a series of concrete walls. Like a bullrider at a rodeo, Miley hops aboard the wrecking ball and begins to swing around gracefully. Fair enough.
I would estimate that it’s at the one minute mark, where the general tone of the video begins to shift unassailably. Inexplicably, Miley begins caressing and licking her sledgehammer (not a euphemism). Her clothes also mysteriously disappear, as she continues straddling the oscillating wrecking ball, stark naked.
Liam Hemsworth Factor
Many are still trying to get to grips with the connotations of the video. The involvement of the wrecking ball is, presumably, there to represent the destruction of a relationship. Many have indicated this is a, non-so-subtle, nod to her boyfriend, Liam Hemsworth.
Following Miley’s VMA showcasing, Hemsworth was reportedly unimpressed, according to Us Weekly. An inside source, allegedly close to Hemsworth, claimed that the Australian actor was “over her,” before announcing the star’s decision to “make a clean break.”
Meanwhile, the singer has attempted to defend her new, raunchy style, signifying that it is almost like a coming of age. Frankly, a number of other stars have engaged in controversial acts to whip up media frenzies, and with great success. Perhaps the reason Miley is so different is that she has grown up in the media’s spotlight, unlike so many of her contemporaries.
However, what of the nudity? Is this suppose to be a sign that the star is now free and uninhibited, or is it just simply a part of another publicity stunt?
Bangerz Track list Revealed
Despite the storm of controversy that surrounds Miley’s VMA performance, the event certainly managed to generate enormous publicity for the star. Social media networks were swarming with news about Miley’s audacious attire and “twerking” gyrations, whilst news reporters similarly fixated on the crazed spectacle.
Many people argued it could signal the demise of her career. With her fans enduring support, however, the opposite seems to be true. Still very much in the media’s eye, the star’s latest music video has performed admirably on YouTube, generating over 12 million views, within a 24 hour period.
This prompted Miley to offer her appreciation to her fans. She also released the entire track list for her imminent album, Bangerz, in a series of tweets:
A number of her songs feature guest performances. Rapper, Nelly, performs a guest verse for the 4X4 track and Future stars in My Darlin,‘ whilst Big Sean and French Montana collaborated with Miley in Love, Money, Party and Do My Thang, respectively.
Twerking with Dwarfs
After the negative backlash, that spawned from the VMAs, most people would have expected Miley to keep a low-profile. However, Cyrus seems to be doing quite the opposite. Aside from her risqué Wrecking Ball video, she was also recently seen twerking with a group of dwarfs, during a performance on the German show, Schlag Den Raab.
The 20-year-old graced the stage with a rendition of “We Can’t Stop.” Whilst one of the dwarf dancers was performing the new twerking craze, on-stage, Miley playfully slapped her on the rear.
Miley Cyrus is clearly now heading in a completely different direction, both musically and stylistically. In a bid to cast aside her young, cutesy image, the Hannah Montana star is attempting to follow in the footsteps of the likes of Lady Gaga and Madonna. With the singer straddling the boundary of sensationalism and (what some might consider) distaste, will the publicity be enough to keep her career in top gear? In an age where sensationalism sells, I would wager money on Miley’s career continuing to prosper.
By: James Fenner (Op-Ed)