Miley Cyrus isn't just a one-woman show: she's a whole movement. That's what she's claiming anyway, according to MTV's documentary about Cyrus entitled Miley: The Movement which aired Tuesday evening and during which the word "movement" was used more than during a beginner's modern dance class.
When she's not explaining "the movement", Cyrus touches on arguments that her performance at the VMAs was too sexual, saying that it was clearly supposed to be funny. "If I really wanted to come out and do like a raunchy sex show, I wouldn’t have been dressed as a damn bear." Conversely, she also meets with Britney Spears to record a song that's featured on Bangerz and this exchange occurs:
Miley: My dad, I remember when the 'Slave For You' video came out, he shook his head and said, 'My eight year old is going to turn into a stripper, I'm scared.' I wanted to be hot like Britney and that's still what girls want to do in the pop industry.
Britney: [Stares, half-smiling]
Oh my god, we showed way more skin and did way more stuff for the video then what is actually there. Like, I cut out half the video because I am a mother and because, you know, I have children, and it’s just hard to play sexy mom while you’re being a pop star as well. I just have to be true to myself and you know, feel it out when I do stuff.
Spears also said that with her video, she wanted to "bring it back to the old days" when there was "not that much sex stuff going on" and it's just "about the dance," even though "a lot of sex goes into what I do." When asked if executives and producers were telling her to be sexier than she wanted to be, Spears said, "Yes."
Cyrus seems to have convinced some critics, including previously critical Jon Caramanica of the New York Times, who wrote that though Cyrus and Spears both idolize Madonna, it's Cyrus who is "closer in spirit" than Spears to the Material Girl. For their part, MTV doesn't miss a beat in showing footage of all three women performing at various VMAs past, clearly proud that they're the channel responsible for bringing these historic moments to the fore.
Cyrus's argument about her sexuality doesn't seem to have deterred all the critics, including Sinead O'Connor, of whom Cyrus told Rolling Stone she modeled her "Wrecking Ball" video look after. O'Connor has written an open letter to the starlet on her website, where she tells Cyrus that she shouldn't worry about not being like Hannah Montana any longer because she makes great music, but that she should be concerned with being taken advantage of by the industry:
You also said in Rolling Stone that your look is based on mine. The look I chose, I chose on purpose at a time when my record company were encouraging me to do what you have done. I felt I would rather be judged on my talent and not my looks. I am happy that I made that choice, not least because I do not find myself on the proverbial rag heap now that I am almost 47 yrs of age.. which unfortunately many female artists who have based their image around their sexuality, end up on when they reach middle age.
Real empowerment of yourself as a woman would be to in future refuse to exploit your body or your sexuality in order for men to make money from you. I needn’t even ask the question.. I’ve been in the business long enough to know that men are making more money than you are from you getting naked. Its really not at all cool. And its sending dangerous signals to other young women. Please in future say no when you are asked to prostitute yourself. Your body is for you and your boyfriend. It isn’t for every spunk-spewing dirtbag on the net, or every greedy record company executive to buy his mistresses diamonds with.
The full hour-long doc is online now but luckily for everyone, a "deluxe" 90-minute version of the movie will air on Sunday, reportedly with lots of other stuff. Until now, this shorter version will have to do its due diligence in convincing the masses to join #themovement.