Miley Cyrus Halloween costumes and slut-shaming

If one thing’s been made starkly evident by this whole debacle, it’s that Miley’s understanding of ‘sexy’ is flawed

Share
Related Topics

Every year America goes nuts for Halloween and, this season, pop star Miley Cyrus is the holiday’s it-girl.

Shockwaves are still reverberating after the 20-year old’s ‘creepy sexy baby’ performance at the MTV Video Music Awards (her words to Rolling Stone), further fuelled by the release of that naked-swinging, hammer-licking ‘Wrecking Ball’ video.

So, come 31st October, the streets will be brimming with replicates. Robin Thicke is an optional extra because, despite the fact that she was duetting with him on his arguably rapey song, Miley’s the real villain here.

There’s a full range of attire available including ‘Twerk or Treat’ t-shirts, foam fingers and teddy bear tees. The nude latex bikini (that one that made her look like an oh-so-sexy naked child) is proving harder to find.

Worldwide criticism of Miley’s recent outings has been relentless, while debates surrounding ‘slut-shaming’ abound – here is a liberated adult, capable of making decisions for herself, so who are we to decide whether her sexual morals are loose, and publically attack her if she fails to conform with patriarchal expectations of how females should behave?

How Miley chooses to express her sexuality is up to her, but the question must be raised – is it really? Modern pop culture continues to dictate that for the average woman to achieve commercial success, gain influence and appeal to men, she must be controversial, flashy and ‘sexy’. For a child star like Miley, palpably eager to rid herself of a squeak-clean Disney past, there is little wonder that she has bought into this unofficial rulebook for 21st century fame.

Stripping, twerking and simulating sexual activity were not the only tools Miley could have used to let the world know that Hannah Montana had grown up, shed her V-plates and become a real woman, but they were the ones most readily at her disposal.

New documentary Miley: The Movement, due for release tonight, overhears her admitting “I’m more nervous than a motherf***er, I’m not gonna lie”, moments before storming the stage in that now notorious teddy bear leotard. Of course she was nervous - the whole situation could not have been less natural for a young woman but a year out of her teens. It was not the ‘real’ side of Miley that the world saw moments later though, was it?

“You’re always going to make people talk, so you might as well make them talk for two weeks rather than two seconds,” Miley told MTV. Maybe, but once upon a time not so very long ago, it was genuine talent that stole the entertainment headlines.

Speaking of talent, Miley has recently admitted that ‘Wrecking Ball’ video was intended to channel Irish singer-songwriter Sinead O’Connor’s ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’. A key difference being that, while Sinead’s iconic shaved head was an assertion against traditional gender stereotypes, Miley’s ‘most modern version’ is the opposite, conforming to pop culture’s prioritising of overtly sexualised behaviour. 

If one thing’s been made starkly evident by this whole debacle, it’s that Miley’s understanding of ‘sexy’ is flawed. Her ‘sexy’ may appeal to 13 year-old boys who have just discovered what images of nudity can do to them ‘down there’, yet it will - or should - fall far short of the mark for real men, whose experience has taught them that ‘sexy’ in the true sense is an altogether more intriguing, exciting concept.

Sexy is about alluring mystery, deep attraction and, most importantly, the desire to learn more about someone who demands respect. Miley’s distorted presentation risks damaging how young people view sexuality, while doing little to encourage the much-needed instilment of important, too-often-forgotten values.

The fact remains that sexual equality can only be achieved when there is one standard for both men and women. But while Miley’s new status as leading Halloween get-up will rightly invite argument over slut-shaming, a lack of self-respect is clearly still seen as ghoulish, and that’s something to cling onto.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Education Recruitment Consultant- Learning Support

£18000 - £30000 per annum + Generous commission scheme: AER Teachers: Thames T...

All Primary NQT's

£100 - £120 per day + per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Description Calling a...

DT Teacher - Food Technology

£100 - £145 per day + Pension and travel: Randstad Education Maidstone: SUPPLY...

Supply Teachers Needed in Thetford

£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Supply teachers neede...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Why black cats make amazing pets, and take good selfies too

Felicity Morse
Children of a bygone era  

Kids these days aren't what they used to be — they're a lot better. So why the fuss?

Archie Bland
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star