Tuesday, August 27, 2013

My thoughts on the VMAs- and they're probably not what you're thinking

Since Sunday the internet and general american world has been in a tizzy over the MTV VMAs.

I want to address this as delicately as possible without alienating people who might have different views from me. First and foremost I am not conservative in any sense of the world. I believe in live and let live. I have posted on personal social media my thoughts on Miley Cyrus as a whole, and the performance in general.

But this is more than that.

I am a feminist, thus making this a feminist beauty blog. So I really, really felt that this was something I needed to address. On top of that, I am a fat-positive blogger- more on that later.

I don't care what you think about Miley Cyrus.
I care about why you think it.

If there's one recurring theme that I have seen ALL over the interwebs, it's this: sexism rooting in slut shaming.

Statements such as:

"She had potential to be classy, now she's trashy"
"She's trying so hard to be a mature woman but that's not how women behave!"
"Disgusting"

Here's where I have a problem with all of that :

It's not a woman's job to be classy.
That's right, repeat after me. It is not a woman's duty to be 'classy'.
It does not make you less of a woman if you are not 'classy'.
It does not make you less of a woman to perform in your underwear.
It does not make you less of a woman if you make provocative gestures.

I understand that lewd gestures and sexual images might make some people uncomfortable. My question to those people is: Why are you watching MTV?? 
MTV has quite the reputation for being filled with sexualized images and mature content.
Why did you expect anything else?

But the biggest part that I have a problem with is the deafening silence I hear about Robin Thicke.
Robin Thicke faced some flack when he released his hit song "blurred lines", a song that, at best, is a little creepy, and at worst, advocates rape culture. 

Literally the only thing I have heard about Robin Thicke is that he looked like Beetlejuice.

& as true as it is, how is that the only thing people have to say?

When Miley shook her ass against him (a dance move that you can find in any high school prom- I promise you), everyone has expressed vehement disgust against her. Yet not a peep about him. 

Funny how that works, isn't it?

This saddens me most because all of this backlash came on Women's Equality Day.
You cannot make this up, people. 
I saw some of the most disgusting sexist comments on a day dedicated to women being equal to men
What the actual fuck is up with that?

Women will not be equal to men until the male singers in that performance were held to the same responsibility she was. Women will not be equal to men until they can wear what they want without it throwing the whole world into a tizzy. Women will not be equal to men until the fact that they danced in a provocative way doesn't land the FRONT PAGE of CNN. 

I saw no equality in the criticism of Miley Cyrus- just blatant sexism.

The second issue I have with the whole thing :several advocate groups are up in arms about the commercials used in the program: specifically, a condom commercial.

I feel like my friends and I were the only ones who were absolutely disgusted by the Kia Soul commercial.

In case you missed it: the commercial shows the KIA cute cuddly hamsters obsessively working out in all different ways, then arriving at a red carpet event - the MTV VMAs perhaps? in suits and guess what! Now they are skinny!

Yes they took the adorable chubby HAMSTER spokesmen of Kia and turned them into "suave" "sexy" (??they are hamsters.) skinny 'famous' people (hamsters?) all in the name of the slogan: total transformation.

It was immediately apparent that this was just another way that the media had turned to fat-shaming. They took hamsters, an animal that by default is 'chubby', and turned it into a sickly thing that wouldn't be possible in nature (not that a hamster driving a car would occur in nature but I digress).

The thing that puzzles me the most is, where is the outcry here? Parents want to cry out about condom commercials...yet a commercial that glorifies obsessive workouts is A-okay?

Here's the thing: obsessive working out is a form of bulimia. True story. And kids these days have self esteem that's in the shitter, as evidenced by the studies suggesting a good portion of kids have dieted in elementary school.

That's not cool. 

If you think that those kids won't pick up on the undertones of that commercial- you're wrong. 
They are taking it to heart. 
They are developing eating disorders due to commercials like these.
 And I am outraged that not more people are outraged. 



I have a lot of opinions about the whole situation but I chose to only try sticking to the ones that were relevant to this blog. I encourage RESPECTFUL discussion in the comment section and will engage in all types of conversations. Please leave a comment with your thoughts. Hopefully you took more from this article and your comment won't be about Miley, or her outfit. It will be about feminism and fat-shaming, and your opinion on the two. 

Follow your bliss, 
Ember Darling

13 comments:

  1. Oh boy...I don't want to sound like a "hipster" or whatever but this is the perfect example of why I don't really follow "mainstream?" pop culture (I may have said that wrong but I'm sure you get it) because it's all about making people feel badly for who they are. While sure I know lady gaga and ke$ha <---I couldn't pass up the money sign) there known for saying "be your own person" and all that good stuff but I hate to be the downer here but it's all comes in cycles. They are sort of rebelling against Britney Spears and all the "perfect/preppy" pop stars but it's still like they're saying "be yourself, as long as I agree with it or as long as you're something like me". I hate to be a bitch but we're in a pretty bad place if pop stars have to tell you to be yourself for god's sake! Oh about slut shaming it honestly pisses me off because "sluts" don't sleep with themselves!! Nope, all the men that have sex with the "sluts" are totally cool. I'll admit I'm a little more conservative in the terms of screwing everything that walks but to each their own. But I do agree it's not right that it's not okay to be a "slut" but a "tool" is fine. As I said someone has to sleep with the "sluts". Oh and fat shaming. I've been fat my whole life and have had shit for self esteem up until about last year, and it's still a little shaky sometimes, I'm not perfect but a lot better than I was. I honestly used to think I deserved to be treated badly and disrespected because I'm fat. I didn't think I was worth much more than that. Now, I won't put up with that shit. I don't know how I made the change because our culture certainly didn't. I didn't see that commercial (I didn't even watch the vma's) but it sounds repulsive. And I think them whining about a condom commercial is pretty pointless...considering they probably cry about teenage pregnancy too. -Will be continued

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  2. I'm sorry but if your children aren't old enough to see a condom commercial they should be watching MTV at all. Or maybe even listening to pop music in general. I don't want to be a prude but pop music is filthy (not saying what I listen to isn't but it doesn't claim to be clean either) I think all Katy Perry has to sing about is sex between different lifeforms (Aliens, birds and bees, teenagers...I mean come on!) I like that you brought up both commercials because people aren't concerned about things such their child's self esteem, mental health, or body image but SEX!? Oh no! I might not be a great example but I was jamming to Britney Spears (I'ma Slave You era....yup) and I turned out alright aside from the years I put myself through hell for my body. I am currently trying to loose weight but it's because I am unhealthy and unhappy but I don't have unreal standards, in fact I'll more than likely be labeled "plus size" my whole life and I'm down with it, I just want to be healthier. In fact I might be the only person who never wants to find their rib cage haha! Everyone has their own definition of beauty and you should only go by your own. Because trust me, when you try to please everyone else you'll only be unhappy and you truly only have to answer to yourself. Thanks for letting me get on my soap box :)

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    1. I agree with EVERYTHING that you just said!!
      Like you said we are in a bad place if pop stars have to tell us to be ourselves. I agree that usually it comes with a condition though- like you said, be yourself as long as it's to my liking. I lean more 'hipster'-y as well but I also enjoy mainstream music mostly pop because I just can't help it haha. And people want to act like music is dirtier now when in reality music has ALWAYS been dirty. I want to compare various popular songs throughout the decades and prove to people that lyrics didn't just suddenly 'get dirty', they've always been that way!
      Also like you said "sluts" don't sleep alone, yet its the girl that always gets the crap for it.
      I'm sooo glad you stood up for yourself and now demand better for yourself! I feel the same way. I just thought "boys won't like me, duh, because I'm fat" and now I'm like I am so fabulous in so many ways, if a boy is picky about weight then I'm not for him! Onto the next! and LOL sooo true about crying about condom commercials AND crying about teenage pregnancy. Education is the key, people. It's uneducated people that get pregnant on accident. Also again totally agree if your child is too young to learn about sex (in my opinion that should start as early as middle school, I had sex ed in middle school!) then they are too young to be watching MTV! Period!

      LOL @ Katy perry...you're so right! :P

      and yep... it's sad when people care more about the thought of sex than what eating disorders their child might develop because of commercials like this one. I wish you luck on your road to health and definitely agree with you, if I change it's going to be just to feel better, without some "I must be a size __" goal.

      Thanks so much for sharing all your thoughts! I loved hearing them especially because I agreed with most if not all of them ;)

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    2. also here is a link to that commercial!

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LsJiGF_Groo

      after you watch it let me know what you think. Maybe I'm being too touchy. BUT everyone in the room thought the same thing as me.

      ALSO the irony is that Lady Gaga would let her song be used in that commercial. When her whole schtick is "born this way" okay so born this way, unless you were born fat? OKAY.

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    3. Absolutely! If someone won't like me because of my weight I don't want anything to do with them either!
      And education is key! I'll never understand the people who shun sex-ed for their kids.
      I'll check out the commercial tonight since I have really limited internet and it's unlimited from 2-6 am which if I'm up is my youtube guru watchin' time :o) lol

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    4. and Lady Gaga... *SMH* haha

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  3. Replies
    1. thank you so much! thanks for commenting too! xo

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  4. Finally, someone with their head screwed on right! LoL. I agree with most of what you said and I have never liked the fact that men can be "players" and praised for sexual activity and women are "sluts" and downgraded for even half of what men do. I also don't understand why Lady Gaga gets no flack for walking around in a bikini that had her cleavage showing and Miley gets all the flack for wearing a nude colored bikini that covered more. People just love being so negative and picking on one individual.

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    1. exactly! total double standards for sure. And I agree! thanks for commenting! xo

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  5. I believe Robin Thicke is married too- shouldn't people have been more outraged that he allowed such a young woman to rub against him?

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    1. A good point! I saw LOTS of people pointing out that Miley is engaged, but no one cared that Robin thicke is married. I see it as a performance and shouldn't matter if they are 'taken' since it's just performing, same as if they were in a movie and had a sex scene. However if you're going to call out one person, you have to call out the other, too! Thanks for stopping by and commenting! xo

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EmberDarling