Miley Cyrus’s latest music video has made an impression. A Jezebel post calls out the pop star for using black women as accessories, and for making light of circumstances people have no control over.
Other blog posts say Jezebel is creating a problem where one doesn’t exist.
The music video, called We Can’t Stop, shows a barely dressed Cyrus dancing, crawling around on her bed, making hand gestures at the camera and wearing a gold grill on her teeth.
The song itself includes lines about doing cocaine (“Trying to get a line in the bathroom”), and though one line says “dancing with Miley,” it’s been pointed out it could be easily misheard as “dancing with Molly,” slang for MDMA or ecstasy.
The main issue Jezebel takes with the video is the fact that Cyrus doesn’t seem to understand that it’s not “cool” to imitate people who might not have had a choice in where they ended up. Recently, the singer danced onstage at a Juicy J concert to Bandz a Make Her Dance, a song about strippers. The lyrics are misogynistic, and the dance move Cyrus did onstage, called “twerking,” is associated with strippers.
In her new video, Cyrus is dressed head to toe in white and surrounded by three black women who are also twerking; Jezebel calls her out for a familiarly offensive theme in which white women are the focus of attention and black women are used as props. Are the women just there to give Cyrus street cred, the post asks.
“These women might be her friends, but the general dynamic created is that she is in charge and they are in service to her,” it says.
In reaction to Jezebel, many have argued that Cyrus should be allowed to do what she wants. Lizzy Acker writes on the blog KQED, “it’s ridiculous to call out a 20-year-old girl for experimenting with her identity and trying on different ways of being.
“If the only people who are allowed certain moves are the exact race of the person who invented them then I guess every single ballroom dancer, salsa dancer, white person at Carnival, etc, is a racist,” Acker writes.
What do you think: Was the music video insensitive, or are the video’s critics just being too sensitive?