Generation Miley

 

 

 

 Miley, Miley-Bo-Biley. What are you doing, girl? It’s a question many have asked over the past few months, from Jezebel’s poignant piece on the racial issues with Miley Cyrus’s new music video, to The Grio discussing Miley’s apparent obsession with modern-day ghetto culture.  But after Miley’s recent, uber rachet Video Music Awards performance, it’s all starting to make sense; Miley Cyrus is my generation, the good the bad and most definitely , the ugly.


The Good

Millennials don’t care about race or sexual orientation. A recent Pew Research Study showed that an overarching majority of 18-29 year olds support interracial relationships and marriage, averaging at about 90% across the board. We are a generation of open minds, with the most progressive  social views.

 

In Miley’s recent music video of ” We Can’t Stop”, Cyrus is most definitely referencing blackness, but in the same way white people imitate black people by tanning for darker skin. You won’t find many white people that tan because they actually want to be black. No, they do it for the superficial reason that they will look more toned, and appear to glow a little more as a result. Miley twerks and wears gold teeth and does all those offensive things black culture experts are least proud of within black culture not because she wants to be black, but because she wants to be cool. Be edgy and “badass.” When the time comes that twerking is no longer cool, bet you won’t catch Miley doing it. Professor Akil Houston of Ohio University had to say this about whether Miley will stick with this rachet girl persona for long:

…Madonna. Consider her career trajectory and the different stages of representation she has in her public performance. If Miley plans to have the longevity of a Madonna, we will see many shifts.

 Miley flirts with bisexuality because to Millennials, queerness is cool. So cool in fact, that every cool kid wants to get in on it. Dare I say, that’s a good thing.  To come from a time not so long ago that queers were expected to hide their relationships and “unearthly” desires from the world into a time where every female pop singer worth her weight in pennies has at one point hinted at their desire to kiss girls, looks like progress to me.

 

 The Bad

Millennials don’t care about race or sexual orientation. We are the colorblind generation.

Through research and continued study on the topic, Professor of Social Psychology at University of Washington, Anthony Greenwald, found that though younger generations ” think only older generations are still racist,” studies show biases with youth, as well.

“The truth is, we’ve found no indication that race bias is any less apparent among young people [than it is] among older people,” he said.

But the problem is thinking we live in a post-racial society. Ever heard the lovely comment “ I don’t see race?” That’s my generation for you. We are a generation that basks in ignorance.

 We don’t care that over three hundred and fifty years ago, slavery exist, and that we’re still facing backlash from it to this day. It’s old news. We don’t care about “the n word” and it’s extremely negative history. So much so that we throw it around along with the word “fag” constantly, because it’s “no big deal” anymore. In response to Rachel Jeantel’s thoughts on the n word, CNN’s Don Lemon interviewed three intelligent college students that admitted they, along with their peers (black, white or otherwise), have used the word “nigga” in “non-racial” way.

Jeantel explained to Morgan that “the whole world say it’s a racist word” but the version of the word that she testified Martin had used in reference to Zimmerman, spelled “n-i-g-g-a” doesn’t mean what most people think it means. It doesn’t mean a “black male” as Morgan assumed, she said, but rather any kind of man…

Assimilation isn’t always a good thing. While it’s great that generation y-ers are becoming one culture wise, it’s important that we recognize the different walks of life it takes to somehow meet each other in the middle. Let’s talk queerness for instance. the phrase “that’s gay” is thrown around constantly to mean something that, quite frankly, sucks. Gen Y’s apathy towards our differences can, and does, sometimes lead to accidental discrimination-which sorry to break it to you- is still discrimination.


The Ugly

We Millennials are a sloppy bunch.We appreciate rachet culture because it is innately rebellious against authority. To go out and present yourself to the world unattached to any rules or any etiquette is exciting for us.

It is super easy to borrow from the experiences of others as a way to be “fun,” or stretch boundaries on what is “acceptable,” without any acknowledgement of context or framework.

You know how old Hollywood with it’s Rosemary Clooney’s and  Audrey Hepburn’s used to do everything with a classy flair? We’re the opposite. Celebrities that don’t present any hint of rebellion bother us; #AnneHathaway. We’re all about pushing the envelope, the more outrageous the better. We get bored easily and we want to be entertained, and we’ve found that the best way to be entertained is to amuse ourselves with our own ridiculousness. Youtube is so popular now because Millennials, as the driving force, are constantly looking for the next crazy thing. We’re go, go, go all the time. To quote Miley “ We can’t stop, we won’t stop.”

 

The Real

Miley Cyrus may be a hot mess, but she’s our hot mess.  Her VMA performance was merely a reflection of just about every modern day American high school and college dance party. The only shock comes in Miley’s adamant attempts and successes of putting such offensive “young people trends” on blast. Let’s be real,  the term “twerk” didn’t make it into the dictionary for nothing. No wonder I can’t discuss my qualms with Miley with a group of my peers without at least half of them squealing,

 

“ But she’s so real!”

 

“I feel like we could be friends!”

 

I get it now. Miley is simply reflecting Generation Y of America in all our disgusting awesomeness.

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