The fallout from yesterday's VMA's is pretty brutal. The reaction from viewers on social media and the media in general is intense. If you haven't heard, Miley Cyrus performed her new song "We Can't Stop" and "Blurred Lines" with Robin Thicke last night. I saw about 5 minutes of the VMA's. After a morning at church and afternoon by the pool with my sisters, I flipped on the TV and sat down on the couch with a bowl of pineapple. Noticing the VMAs on a mainstream channel, I turned it on (hoping to catch a bit of *NSYNC's reunion) and instead my eyes were assaulted with Miley Cyrus' performance. My jaw dropped. My bowl of fruit set to the side. As I watched the horrifying performance unfold, my stomach turned and I literally almost gagged.
As a young 26-year-old woman, I get that MTV is known for raunchiness. I get that some of you careful parents don't even pay for cable TV to be in your home because your goal is to protect your kids from garbage (my family never had anything but clean VHS's growing up and I plan to guard my future children's eyes and minds from most of what is on TV.) Yet, the sad reality is that most children and teens today - Monday, August 26, 2013 - saw Miley's performance last night and/or they will see or hear of her performance today. In this digital age, it's inevitable. It already went viral. And it is being viewed and shared and joked about on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, news websites, and forums. It is being replayed on YouTube videos and on little kid's iPhones at almost every school in America today.
I know some wonderful Christians who are calling us to be loving - to be careful and wise and to not bash or hate on Miley. I agree, absolutely. I've loved some of her music (I used to belt out "Party in the USA" with the best of 'em!) I am praying for her. And if I sat down to chat with this broken, precious young woman I would take her face in my hands as I cried - I wouldn't yell or scream or judge or condemn. I would love her, be there for her, and talk to her honestly. Yet, I am not of the school who believes Christians are called to just be silent. Especially with what goes on in our dark culture. I for one do not believe I am called to smile and nod along with everything the media and our world throws at me. We are called to be strong. To speak boldly. To be upfront. To be very honest. To speak truth in love. And to not be afraid or ashamed to speak out. We are living in a world that is slowly but surely becoming gray. Robin Thicke's nasty song "Blurred Lines" is very telling of where we're at in our culture, isn't it? Lines are becoming blurred and when lines become blurred and boundaries are taken away, people get hurt. There is black and white, wrong and right. It can be so easy to be confused in this day and age. So I feel compelled to write honestly about what is true.
I personally felt violated while watching the performance. Disgusted. Shocked. Maybe you did, too. Take a quick look at Twitter this afternoon - many people felt shocked. And you know what the truth is? We should all be shocked and disgusted. And I truly believe it is important to talk about why. I am passionate about being really real and really honest here on my little blog. I think some Christians don't want to talk about real, relevant issues but I'm not one of them. I feel called to really be upfront with you guys - as if we were sitting in my living room chatting about real life over coffee. 'Cause, if I am not real, honest and straight-up with you, then why even write a blog?
The truth is that 1 in 5 women have been sexually abused. ONE IN FIVE, you guys. That's ALOT. And you know what? Anything that even remotely references little girls and sex in an equation together should be publicly called out and banned. Working with women and girls in ministry for years, I have personally counseled many, many women who have experienced sexual abuse. It's not a joke and it's never, ever something to parade around on stage as entertainment. Not only is it absolutely damaging to viewers (especially children) but it is provocative to perverted people who are sexually attracted to exploiting and abusing children. And who can deny this is unacceptable?
2. The performance was overtly sexual and undeniably pornographic. Let's be honest here: not only did Miley strip down to a skintight, nude latex bra and almost thong underwear that showed most of her bare backside, but her "dance" moves which involved a foam finger could hardly be called a "dance." They were something straight out of a strip club/porn film. I'm not going to link to the video or pictures here because many of my sweet readers are teens. But go read a mainstream news article on CNN, NBC or Fox - you will find that many liberal celebrities and writers are even speaking out, calling her performance sexually explicit. If you have seen it, you can't deny it. (And by the looks of it, poor Will Smith and his family may or may not need therapy after last night's show.)
The Parents' Television Council spoke out in outrage over MTV's choice to allow Miley to perform in this way on stage on a platform accessible to a national audience of all ages. "This is unnaceptable....MTV continues to sexually exploit young women by promoting acts that incorporate 'twerking' in a nude colored bikini. How is this image of former child star Miley Cyrus appropriate for 14-year-olds?"
Undeniably, Robin Thicke and Miley Cyrus performed in a pornographic, sexually explicit manner - purposefully and happily exposing millions upon millions of people (including young children) to porn. And this, my friends, is absolutely unacceptable. They are both adults (Thicke, a 36-year-old married father. Cyrus, a 20-year-old engaged woman) and they are responsible for their actions. Yes, we should pray for them. No, we should not hate them or abuse them verbally. But, we need to be upfront and honest about the facts: they performed porn and they are now responsible for that.
Take note of the audience positioned right below the stage at eye-level? Young people.
Miley is making a statement in her performance, setting an example of what "being an adult" looks like. She has transitioned from child star to adult star, giving kids a perverted view of what being an adult woman looks like.
My dear readers, I believe it's important to think about why we feel disturbed or disgusted by something. Thinking things through, being smart and really understanding why something in our hearts tells us "that is wrong" is key as we navigate the ever-darkening world and culture we find ourselves in. Stay strong, beautiful friends! Speak truth. Don't back down or get discouraged. Think through why you believe what you do. Be careful what you listen to, watch, and who you look up to: we are very influenced by what we see and hear, and who we admire.
Don't be confused by the blurred lines in our "gray" culture - recognize the black and white - wrong and right. Be encouraged! Be strong! And don't be swayed. Look to Jesus. He is the hope we have in this dark world.