Miley Cyrus's EMA performance and distorted feminism

Published 13 November 2013  |  
(AP)
Robin Thicke and Miley Cyrus perform "Blurred Lines" at the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday, August 25, 2013, at the Barclays Center in the Brooklyn borough of New York.

Miley Cyrus has labelled herself "one of the biggest feminists in the world" because she tells women not to fear anything. One would have to be fearless to give a particularly crude performance at the MTV VMAs, receive a mountain of criticism for it and three months later at the MTV European Music Awards light up a what looked like a joint in front of millions - amongst them worryingly, fans from her Disney Channel era.

The 20-year-old, who at the minute is the "most talked about artist on the planet", believes that through her raunchy performances she is empowering women, this however could not be further from the truth. By marching on a stage doing unmentionable things with a foam finger and wearing a nude pvc bikini back in August, she did not do a very good job of empowering young girls, but rather degraded herself. Her antics have caused other celebrities such as Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Lawrence and Sinead O'Connor, to name a few, to be vocal about her responsibility as a role model to young fans.

Cyrus does indeed have millions following her every move on Twitter and television. A vast proportion of them would have had her face plastered on their lunch boxes, duvet covers and pyjamas as the innocent and quirky Disney Channel sweetheart Hannah Montana. Her recent behaviour will undoubtedly cause parents to think twice about letting their little girls hold on to this merchandise.

It is worth asking, however, is Miley entirely to blame? She is a child star after all and as such may have been exposed to a lot as a young girl. Growing up in front of the cameras does things to the mind of a once prepubescent teen as we have seen time and time again.

Sir Cliff Richard believes that the industry is to blame for Miley's controversial performances and has gone as far as saying it has "damaged" her. "The industry has changed drastically and that damages young artists," he told Sky News.

The fact that she won 'Best Video' for her single 'Wrecking Ball', in which she is seen swinging from a ball naked, speaks volumes about the industry. By giving her the award, it almost says that she has set the bar for other female artists to adhere to.

In an interview with Radio 1's Newsbeat, the star said that her "on-stage persona" and revealing outfits were "all part of her act". Why do female artists feel the need to show plenty of skin in order to be recognised? What's wrong with philanthropy? Reports have said she is merely doing it for the attention and in turn she has also justified it herself by saying it raises awareness of her records.

Notoriety may grasp attention, but it is attention that comes with repercussions. The media trumpets that questionable behaviour will grab an audience. Janet Devlin, a young X factor contestant a few years ago, was told that she needed to unleash her inner party animal to get mentioned in the tabloids. She fought back and said that she was in the competition for the opportunity at the end of it, a record deal.

As Christian women it is important that we educate young girls and even ourselves about our worth. We were never made to champion sex and objectification. There is an immense pressure to comply to the surrounding culture and this can only be combated by the rising up of positive role models.

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