There’s no rock under which you can hide to escape the fusillade of reactions that came in the wake of Miley Cyrus’s little stunt at the MTV Video Music Awards.
You know how it went down:
First, she dances with bears, her tongue hanging out.
Then, she strips to a a nude-tone bikini.
Inserting herself (in a manner of speaking) into Robin Thicke’s performance of “Blurred Lines,” she grinds her twerking butt on his crotch.
Finally, she uses a giant foam finger as a penis substitute.
The question is: why?
To that we turn to the interwebs’ many self-styled experts.
Here’s what a few of them have theorized (professorial pipe smoking optional):
1. Because Miley believes everything she does is awesome.
2. Because she’s desperate.
Brooke Shields, who played a mom on Miley’s old Disney show “Hannah Montana,” said on the “Today” show: “My 7-year-old, your 6-year-old, my 10-year-old, they can't watch that. I mean, here's the thing, I feel like it's a bit desperate. I mean, are you trying to be Gaga? But Gaga is—there's a whole—she’s got a genius behind all of it. It's not just display. ... I think it's different."
3. Because Miley’s vagina is a precious commodity.
“…what is a pop star’s body, if not a front for the promise of sex or the thrill of the empty glimpse into the private lives of public people,” posits blogger Alice Sarmiento in a post entitled “We really need to talk about Miley Cyrus’s vagina.”
Her pop songs really aren’t about music in the same way Miley isn’t really in the music industry to make music, Sarmiento argues.
“All this only signifies a career so concerned with turning a profit that Miley Cyrus’s vagina becomes the precious commodity at the heart of the transaction. Watching [her] ‘grow up’ only means seeing more of it.”
4. Because it was the expected thing to do.
“What exactly did the world expect from Cyrus?” asked SFGate blogger Aidin Vaziri. “It’s not like she had a lot of credibility to uphold going into the performance being a 20-year-old former Disney star who grew up performing in front of cameras. She did what she set out to do—she delivered the moment of the evening that everyone is talking about today and will probably still be talking about in 10, 20, even 30 years.
“Just like Madonna did, writhing around stage in a wedding dress as she sang ‘Like A Virgin,’ at the very first Video Music Awards.”
5. Because channeling black sexual culture is good for business.
Said Jody Rosen of The New Yorker: “Cyrus is annexing working-class black ‘ratchet’ culture, the potent sexual symbolism of black female bodies, to the cause of her reinvention: her transformation from squeaky-clean Disney-pop poster girl to grown-up hipster-provocateur…. Cyrus may indeed feel a cosmic connection to Lil’ Kim and the music of ‘the hood.’ But the reason that these affinities are coming out now, at the VMAs and elsewhere, is because it’s good for business.”