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Deborah Cruz Headshot

Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke's Vulgarity Is a Symptom of Our Failing Society

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Okay, Miley Cyrus, I get it. You are not Hannah Montana. After last night's VMAs, everyone is wondering just what the hell went so wrong in Miley Cyrus' young life that warranted the We Can't Stop/Blurred Lines Mashup performance. Was she over the top? Absolutely. Was she embarrassingly crass on stage? For sure! Is she some sort of anomaly who has gone completely off her respective Disney rocker? I'm going to say, probably not. My bigger concern was Robin Thicke, 36, in a Beetlejuice suit pushing his junk up on a twerking Miley Cyrus, 20, and all the entire Internet blames her. It takes two to make things go that wrong.

In my opinion, Miley Cyrus is not doing anything worse than most girls her age on college campuses and in clubs all over the country are doing every weekend. The only difference between Miley and other 20-year-olds is that she is in the public eye and she used to be a Disney kid. You can't be a Disney kid for the rest of your life, even Annette Funicello got a little down and dirty with Frankie Avalon in those beach movies. I'm starting to feel like either there is a Disney curse imposed on all young stars. Really where else can you go on the moral spectrum but down after Disney?

Miley Cyrus twerking, I find mildly offensive mostly because she has no ass to speak of but then again, I find twerking in general to be in poor taste. The Chucky Cheese furry leotard she was wearing when she took the stage with all the gyrating teddy bears surrounding her was something nightmarish but did she really do anything worse than Lady Gaga, Britney Spears or Madonna? Hell, no. She just happens to be a little more in your face with her tongue hanging out about it.

Miley Cyrus seems to want to shed her Disney alter Hannah Montana so badly that she is willing to destroy herself in the process. Who could blame her? Honestly, who wants to be type cast as a crooning, saccharin southerner with a penchant for bubblegum snark and getting into I Love Lucy-like trouble, for the rest of your life?

She is growing up and is testing her boundaries. No matter what bad taste this performance left in your mouth, you have to consider two things 1) she didn't choreograph this fiasco herself and 2) everyone in the world is talking about the VMAs and Miley Cyrus this morning. Whether you think she is having a mega-meltdown or is the sanest young star in Hollywood ever, you will never forget that onstage performance. I'd say mission accomplished.

Robin Thicke is a married man more than 16 years Miley Cyrus' senior and a father; he should not have been pushing up onto a 20-year-old girl. But no one is saying anything about Robin Thicke's part in all of this. In fact, I've heard women come to his defense, insisting that Miley ruined his hit song Blurred with her onstage nastiness. Did the Beetlejuice suit give him pervert immunity?

Are we really such a woman-hating society that instead of considering for a moment that Miley Cyrus might need some parental guidance and love, we judge her with impunity? Shouldn't someone try to help get her back on track? Where are her parents? Where did her fiancé go? Doesn't she have any friends?

As someone whose already been through the finding yourself process, I know I did some stuff that I am not too proud of, only my "twerking phase" was not televised and exploited. It was limited to a few hundred people at a club or at a frat party but I made a lot of bad decisions; way worse than twerking and sticking my tongue out while dry humping a foam finger. As a woman, I know the early 20s is exactly when this happens. Freedom plus alcohol equals bad judgment.

As a mother, I know this can happen to even the best of children. Do I hope my girls don't go through this phase? Yes, I hope they bypass it all together. Will they? Probably not. Will I shame them and mock them? Never. Will I worry? Of course. But most of all, I will be there to catch them when they fall and probably not clapping at their public humiliation.

Miley Cyrus may have stepped over some invisible moral line. She made us all uncomfortable watching, but so did Robin Thicke. They were both on the stag performing and equally culpable. Miley Cyrus taking the brunt of the blowback is just a symptom of our society that tolerates and perpetuates rape culture.

What do you think of Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke's onstage performance at the VMAs?