Even if you didn’t watch the 2013 VMAs on MTV, you still knew about Miley Cyrus’ “controversial” and “racy” performance. Miley’s string of questionable behavior has captured international attention. Then her knack for headlines took off like a rocket the night of the VMAs and flew even faster with her Terry Richardson-directed Wrecking Ball video, replete with sledgehammer licking and nudity. Is Miley bigger than ever? Yes. Is she controversial? Yes. Is she a PR nightmare? Absolutely not.
Backlash? or Promotion?
The sign photographed above is cute, funny and attention getting, perfect advertisement for a bar the day after Miley Cyrus’ VMA performance in August. In her performance, Miley broke out in a teddy bear leotard to sing her hit single, We Can’t Stop, and then proceeded with a “twerking” number which involved singing Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines as she rubbed her behind against Thicke. As it all went down on live television, the Internet launched a social media frenzy, and news producers were immediately on their PDAs of choice. Clearly, with the backlash and controversy the performance generated, one would think that this event was simply a performance gone wrong.
The sign above made sense right?
Well…not exactly. If her publicist did have a drink that day, it would have been a cause for celebration.
In an MTV documentary called Miley Cyrus: The Movement, Miley openly talks about the media attention that surrounded her performance.
“You’re always gonna make people talk, you might as well make them talk for like two weeks rather than two seconds,” she said.
According to Forbes magazine, Cyrus topped Google’s hot searches after adding 100,000 Instagram followers and 50,000 Facebook likes. Billboard magazine reported the performance garnered 306,100 Tweets per minute during the East Coast airing of the show. To compare, last year’s VMAs had a peak of 98,307 Tweets per minute, whereas the Presidential election night in 2012 saw a Tweets per minute peak of 327,452.
Since Miley’s performance, she has scored two number one hit singles (We Can’t Stop, Wrecking Ball) and her album Bangerz debuted at number one in October.
Miley’s performance was meant to rival the controversial performances of past VMA trending topics, from Britney Spears to Madonna, from Lady Gaga to Beyoncé, Miley knew she had to stir the pot before she could truly begin her journey as the artist Miley Cyrus and breakaway from the Hannah Montana mold as a teenager.
In this generation, we’ve seen child star after child star go from innocent breakout sensation to troubled hot mess in court. Lindsay Lohan is most notably used as an adjective to describe this cycle. But there’s a difference between doing bad things in your free time, and doing seemingly bad things in your “art.”
There’s a difference between Lindsay Lohan vomiting outside of a night club and Miley Cyrus twerking on MTV. There’s a difference between Justin Bieber spitting, degrading former President Bill Clinton and Miley telling her fans to embrace who they are as individuals. There’s a difference between getting naked for a music video and getting naked in the streets, high on drugs. Miley is in control as long as she keeps her behavior exclusive to her performances and her music. Her talent is what got her here, and it’s her tenacity that will allow her to stay.
Until she ends up in jail for shoplifting or drug possession, her publicist should be able to sleep just fine, knowing that her client is fulfilling her dreams.
Do you think Miley Cyrus is a PR dream or nightmare?