Love her or hate her, you’ve gotta admit, Miley Cyrus has balls; wrecking balls, in fact. Once America’s sweetheart, Miley swiftly shed her squeaky clean image along with her clothes in the now infamous VMA performance of 2013. And she’s ben flaunting her sexuality ever since. From nude cover shoots to provocative outfits, the actress and singer/songwriter has ruffled some feathers along the way. Now, you’d be forgiven in thinking that this is yet another tragic tale of a former Disney Star gone rogue. But, there’s more to her than what meets the eye. You see, our gal Miley is obliterating gender stereotypes one tongue-wagging, twerk-fest at a time. And, it ain’t easy. Especially in a society that is determined to debase, chastise and confine women to sexist roles.
And who better to shed light on this issue than the phallic fanatic himself, Sigmund Freud? He is, after all, the founding forefather of psychoanalysis and all round sexpert. Arguably, his most influential work in the field of female sexuality relates to the Madonna-Whore Complex which sees men assign mutually exclusive categories for the women they desire and the women they respect. Love is considered to be wholesome and pure while sex is wicked and repugnant. Sound familiar? Unfortunately so. Although Freud’s work is widely criticised, the Madonna-Whore dichotomy is very much alive today in modern sexual dynamics and societal gender roles.
We’re told that virgin equals good, slut equals bad. But, not always. Women are constantly condemned by shaming anti-sexual messages by a society that values youth, attractiveness and overall sexual prestige. We’re damned if we do, damned if we don’t. If you cover up you’re frigid. If you strip down you’re a skank. It’s exhausting not to mention entirely unfair. So, what’s a girl to do? If you’re Miley Cyrus you do one thing and one thing only – buck the system.
Now, there are plenty of people who object to Miley’s new “style,” her schtick. Yes, it’s confrontational, it’s explicit, it’s obscene. But, it’s also very deliberate. I would argue that Miley’s not mad at all. In fact, she’s actually very smart.
Tim Maleeny, Chief Strategy Officer for Havas Worldwide advertising agency, knows a good bullshit artist when he sees one. And when it comes to Miley Cyrus his radar is red hot. You see, our Disney Princess turned wild child timed her fateful transformation very carefully – just before the release of her hit record “Wrecking Ball” no less. This publicity stunt gave Miley enough social currency to command the public’s attention just long enough for the new image to eclipse the old one. And didn’t it just. Miley’s performance has gone down as one of MTV’s most controversial moments immortalised by 10 million fans who watched on in utter disbelief while Miley “crotch-grabbed, faux-fingered herself and dry-humped a 36-year old Robin Thicke”.
Maleeny later told Fortune Magazine that “Miley Cyrus has only sustained her career by being polarizing and getting people to talk trash about her the day after a show… it’s exactly what she expected and wanted.” Once again, he’s spot on. Miley has gone on record saying that she knows exactly what she’s doing. She knows she’s shocking you. And that’s precisely the point. If you can’t join ‘em, beat ‘em.
Miley has successfully milked society’s uncomfortable sexual dichotomy of fear and desire for all it’s worth, returning to Forbes 100 Highest Paid Celebrities for the first time since her Hannah Montana days. And now that’s she’s made her point, she’s changed tact, startling society with yet another transformation; this time with something a little more subdued.
According to the tabloids, this new look has a lot to do with her rekindled romance with on-again-off-again fiancé Liam Hemsworth. The power of love, eh? Well, maybe, if it hadn’t been so expertly timed with the release of her new single, Malibu.
This revitalised image gave the track just the kick it needed to get people talking. Sure enough, it wasn’t long before Malibu hit number one on the Billboard and Twitter Trending 140 Chart which “measures the real-time acceleration of conversation around artists and their music.”
There’s no denying, the girl’s a pro. She can be the Madonna and the Whore and whatever the heck she wants to be. Because Miley’s got balls, wrecking balls. And she’s not afraid to use them.