Let’s stop talking about these young girls and what they are willing to do with and broadcast about their vaginas. All the slut-shaming in the world will not change the even more disturbing fact that Miley’s vagina (like Taylor Swift’s) is technically not even hers to begin with; it may have been her we saw on stage, tongue out, grinding up against some dude dressed as Beetlejuice. But what is a pop star’s body, if not a front for the promise of sex or the thrill of the empty glimpse into the private lives of public people.
If it’s a song you’re selling, all “We Can’t Stop” really has to offer is the startling clarity of how little it takes to write a good song or make good music. Then again, who still goes into the music industry to make music?
All this only signifies a career so concerned with turning a profit that Miley Cyrus’s vagina becomes the precious commodity at the heart of the transaction. Watching her “grow up” only means seeing more of it.
Before going into what’s wrong with Miley Cyrus’s VMA performance, it also helps to ask what on earth would that performance would look like without the tongue and the twerking. (Which is nothing.) Without any allusions to coke, without the appropriation of what other minorities have suffer through, by a white body that never has to suffer the consequences, without the usual things that get people talking, “We Can’t Stop” is derivative, overproduced tripe that sounds like it was written using madlibs and a Nokia 3210 (and it probably was). It’s not even bad enough to merit negative attention, it’s just a mediocre song that happens to be dripping with coke snot.
To glamorize drug use diminishes the reality that when addiction hits, it hits like a train, as both truth and consequence. But to justify the issue–to sensationalize it through addiction alone, at the expense of reducing yet another celebrity’s life into a train wreck–also ignores the equally important discussions surrounding what drugs are without addiction, without criminality, and how without drugs, both Miley Cyrus and “We Can’t Stop” are, again, nothing.
The only people who can glamorize drug addiction are those who can afford to buy their way out of getting killed by it.