Why America Labeled Miley A Slut And Praised Beyoncé

Why America Labeled Miley A Slut And Praised Beyoncé
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Last night, as the lights came on bright enough to reveal Beyoncé’s web-of-Spiderman-cage-thong lingerie, my heart stopped. America’s jaw dropped and its collective hands flew to its cheeks, much the way Beyoncé’s cheeks clutched that chair.

The performance was adventurous, provocative and infinitely sexual. When Beyoncé crooned about riding Jay Z like a surfboard, even Taylor Swift got excited.

For some on Twitter, though, something seemed slightly off. The Internet, by and large, was one of slathering love on Beyoncé, but fans of one former Disney star didn’t get it:

Tweets
Miley Cyrust tweets

Lost in this Cyrus wanderlust was a legitimate question: Why was Miley shamed for her provocative VMA performance, yet Beyoncé’s Grammy showing was beloved? Both artists wore revealing outfits and danced suggestively during a show perused by millions of their young female fans. Miley was crucified for her actions, yet Beyoncé gets more than a pass. Why?

Beyoncé is more attractive. Like it or not, this is a huge factor in the way she’s perceived. Miley’s bony body in revealing plastic is hard to watch, while Beyoncé is… Beyoncé. When you try to sell sex, you have to be sexy, and that’s a big part of what was missing from Miley’s performance.

The differences in the two performances are stunning, and that has a lot to do with the disparity in reactions to them. Beyoncé chose a classy, demure sexuality, featuring lingerie, captivating booty choreography and her husband. Miley chose to twerk a flat booty surrounded by teddy bears and backup dancers that some have called appropriated props.

She gyrated spastically, shoved foam fingers through her legs and rubbed her ass on a married man. Instead of real, raw sexuality, it became a Looney Tunes caricature of what sex is. It felt like the desperate sexual assertions of a child, which was uncomfortable to watch.

Cyrus is an artist who’s known more for her “outrageous” troubles than her music. In reality, smoking Salvia or exposing your labia isn’t really so edgy, but because she was once Hannah Montana, it becomes a big deal.

Beyoncé on the other hand has transitioned from child prodigy into adult icon gracefully, and her music is as good as its ever been (if not better). She’s earned the right to put on whatever kind of performance she chooses to, and her artistic intentions and integrity are given the benefit of the doubt instinctively.

Recently, Miley was quoted (falsely, according to her) as talking a whole lotta sh*t about Beyoncé:

“As Beyoncé grows in motherhood and all the crap it does to your body, it will create a vacuum for fresh young faces to rise up and no one else can properly fill that void right now.

“I’m the only white female singer that could fill that slot right now and do it right, you know… Beyoncé has been a big inspiration to me but she’s been out for such a long time.

“I got the total package, you know, the curves, the rhythm, and the voice.

“I’m just the best.”

This is definitely made up (who talks like that?) but the fact is, people believed it because it’s just the kind of thing Miley would do for attention. She can’t rely on her talent, so she has to pull stunts to stay relevant.

While Bangerz did well commercially, and some of its songs lived for a while in clubs and on the radio, can any serious music fan say it’s worth a damn? No. Whereas, the world will be spinning Beyoncé for years to come. Apparently, though, the Beyoncé-shaming commenced, after all, because we live in a nation of Puritans:

Beyoncé tweets

The real question, however, is, why are we slut-shaming anyone? Telling Miley that her performance was gross is an aesthetic choice, but what did she, or Beyoncé, do that was immoral or wrong?

The constant refrain is, what about the children that are watching? Any responsible parent has the duty to teach their children not to behave inappropriately just because they saw it on the Grammys or VMAs. Hiding sex from kids won’t ever work, and when you do so, or freak out when they see a Miley or Beyoncé performance, it makes them equate sexuality with shame.

Let these women cook!

Miley skipped the Grammys last night, opting instead to play Guitar Hero at home. Chances are, this had at least something to do with her disastrous VMA performance, and her fear of being under the microscope last night:

At the end of the day, Miley is just a big kid, trying to figure her sh*t out and have some fun. It can get gross and messy. Beyoncé is a grown diva whose sexuality is rich and complex. Either way, these women are allowed to express themselves, and shaming them for it is not a good look.

Do better.

Top Images Credit: Getty Images

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Doran Miller-Rosenberg

Doran is a Brooklyn native and a graduate of SUNY Purchase. As a journalist with musical omnipotence, he has covered rap, politics, sports and pop culture for a wide variety of outlets including Lost Lettermen, Brooklyn Fans, Société Perrier, USA Today and now Elite Daily.

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