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Thank You, Miley

A raunchy VMAs performance renews faith in a generation

by Published: Sep 25, 2013

If you don’t live under a rock then you know Miley Cyrus’ raunchy per­for­mance dur­ing MTV’s Video Music Awards nearly caused the inter­net to implode.

As a refresher, the 20-year-old for­mer Disney star per­formed at the VMAs with singer Robin Thicke. Dressed in lit­tle more than her under­wear, Cyrus brought the strip club to the stage and left mil­lions with their mouths gap­ing. At a reported rate of 300,000 tweets per minute dur­ing the broad­cast, accord­ing to Forbes​.com, view­ers tweeted reac­tions that included shock and out­rage. Although many are call­ing for Cyrus’ pub­lic ston­ing, I’d like to express my grat­i­tude to her. Thanks to her and that provoca­tive foam fin­ger, I have renewed faith in my generation.

My faith in Millennials began to wane in late 2009 when the tele­vi­sion show “Jersey Shore” came onto the scene. “Jersey Shore” fol­lowed the lives of eight house­mates spend­ing their sum­mer at the Jersey Shore. The series gar­nered record rat­ings for MTV and it became the network’s most viewed series tele­cast ever, accord­ing to tvbythenum​bers​.com. In 2010, the cast was fea­tured on Barbara Walters’ “10 Most Fascinating People” list. Like Cyrus’ per­for­mance, the show was sex­u­ally explicit and ref­er­enced par­ty­ing at every turn. Viewers watched the room­mates drink them­selves into obliv­ion, fight each other like wild ani­mals, and have sex (also like wild ani­mals). In one famous episode, a full-blown cat fight, com­plete with hair pulling and scratch­ing, erupts between the female room­mates. In other episodes, the male room­mates bring back ran­dom women from the bars and take them to the “Smush Room.” Despite the sala­cious con­tent, more and more view­ers tuned in every week.

The way my gen­er­a­tion embraced Jersey Shore appalled me (oh, and don’t even get me started on the Kardashians). I hon­estly believed all hope was lost. Thank God for Miley Cyrus. The shock and out­rage fol­low­ing her VMA per­for­mance was exactly what I’ve been wait­ing for. My peers’ reac­tions have made me hope­ful that we may be expe­ri­enc­ing a broader desire for greater deco­rum. If it weren’t for Cyrus and that obscene foam fin­ger, who knows if society’s pen­du­lum would have ever swung back toward its civ­i­lized center.

It appears to me that this is a case of fight­ing fire with fire. However, this time it worked. Cyrus’ ridicu­lous behav­ior was exactly what was needed to snap Millennials out of their infat­u­a­tion with lewd tele­vi­sion. What I once believed was a hope­less down­ward spi­ral of a sit­u­a­tion has now taken its first step to being rec­ti­fied. Cyrus’ per­for­mance sym­bol­ized rock bot­tom, and Millennials are say­ing they won’t stand for it.