Look, I completely understand how people feel about culture appropriation, but at the end of the day, it's something you can't avoid.
As a New Yorker, I live in a huge melting pot, and with that melting pot comes a lot of mixing and blending that is completely inevitable. As a people, we have all "borrowed" something from another culture knowingly or unknowingly; whether it be a turban, a cross necklace, a dashiki, or some grills. No one is genuinely original nowadays, because everything is inspired by something else.
And honestly, culture appropriation can be good, it means people are opening up to new and exotic things. The only time it becomes bad, is when you're making fun of a culture, and this is where Miley Cyrus comes into play.
During Miley Cyrus's performance, her dancers:
- Were all black, with big round booties.
- Had huge teddy bears on the back, so big the girls could barely move.
- And lastly, they had on shades, so you could barely see their faces.
Miley made her dancers look ridiculous. And I understand "ridiculous" might have been the look she was going for, but:
- Why are you the only white women on the stage?
- Why is no one else have wearing a cute little Bear Bikini?
- And lastly, WHY ISN'T YO HAPPY ASS TRYNA TWERK WITH A BIG ASS BEAR ON YOUR BACK?!
Now I know a lot of people will disagree, but THAT IS RACIST. You are obnoxiously differentiating and segregating the dancers from yourself! You're making yourself look cute and small, while these other women look like tacky big duffy fools.
What would make this charade less racist is if Miley had dancers of all different races, wearing Bear Bikinis just like her, but she didn't.
Now, before we move on lets compare Miley's performance to other performances that night.
And here is everyone else...
|Photo: The Washington Post|
Does anyone see the difference yet?
Well if you don't, I will tell you - the other entertainers, had their dancers look like actual people, like dancers and NOT like props.
Oh, but it get's better. I had the opportunity to work the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards. And after Miley Cyrus's performance I had three white women and one white male ask me questions about the wonderful Art of Twerking. One asked if I liked to twerk, another asked me if I could teach her how to twerk, and the other two asked if I could twerk for them. Even having the nerve to ask if I could "twerk over to him" instead of walk to answer his question.
Now, I could be wrong, but I believe if Miley Cyrus had not performed that night, I wouldn't have to deal with any of those ignorant comments or micro-aggression (small discriminatory insults or behaviors that White people do towards minorities). Point blank, it's not fun being made into an object of entertainment for someone else's profit or popularity.
What Miley doesn't know is that she's planting the idea into ignorant non-coloreds, that it's okay to use Black women as props. She's belittling us. Making us look ridiculous and class-less all for her own self-gain - and that my friends is when cultural appropriation goes bad.
I wouldn't care if she had cornrows and some grills. I don't give two booty hairs if she wants to sound black, or believes she was Lil' Kim in a past life, but once you bring Black women on the stage with you and (indirectly) make fun of them, that is when you have gone too far. That is when you have crossed a line.
Now I'm not sure if Miley knows what she did was offensive, but those of you who believe what she did "wasn't racist", I ask you to think again. I mean obviously this is my personal opinion, but I will tell you this, my feelings were hurt, and that night I was ashamed to be a Black woman.