Posts Tagged ‘Miley Cyrus’

One of the lesser known and more interesting features of the social media Leviathan that is Facebook is that every year they release some country specific data allowing us to see what different parts of the world are talking about.

They have just released their Australian data today, along with about 20 other major countries.

Most talked about topics (by Australian Facebook users):

1. Vote
2. Kate Middleton
3. Cricket
4. Kevin Rudd
5. Grand Final
6. Election
7. GST
8. Lions
9. Tony Abbott
10. Big Brother

Most talked about Global Topics:

1. Pope Francis
2. Election
3. Royal Baby
4. Typhoon
5. Harlem Shake
6. Flood
7. Miley Cyrus
8. Boston Marathon
9. Tour De France
10. Nelson Mandela

Most talked about Entertainment Topics:

1. Big Brother
2. The Voice
3. One Direction
4. Breaking Bad

Most popular Check-in Location in Australia:

1. Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).

What does this tell us about ourselves?

Well, we’re sport obsessed. Duh.

We have an active and abiding interest in politics – read, in expressing our opinion – and social media is increasingly where we do it.

We seem surprisingly to still be very interested in “the Royals”.

And Miley Cyrus is, well, Miley Cyrus. We live in terror that the twerking popette will be chosen as Time Person of the Year.

Reviewing the full Facebook 2013 year in review is a fascinating glimpse into what “real people” are interested in.

Worldwide, our most commonly posted life event is a relationship. Getting married, engaged, or being “in a relationship”. How we perceive ourselves in a social sense is clearly an important part of our self-awareness that we wish to broadcast. And interestingly, sport in general seems markedly less important in Asia than it is in Europe or countries that “grew out of” old Europe.

Anyhow, you can checkout the Facebook annual report, including data from many other countries, here: http://www.facebookstories.com/2013/en-en

One of the quirks of this year’s results is the persistent success of “The Harlem Shake”. This silly internet meme was essentially tens of thousands of thirty second dance videos uploaded to YouTube worldwide. Always following the same format, the massive success of the videos was in part attributed to the anticipation of the breakout moment about halfway through the videos, and their universally short length, making them very accessible to watch.

The Washington Post opined that the meme’s instant virality by referring to the jump cuts, hypnotic beat, quick setups, and half minute routines. At Wellthisiswhatithink we were a little more cynical: the success is largely attributable to people having too much time on their hands and too little to do. Bah, humbug.

The Harlem Shake is technically very easy for fans to reproduce, as it consists of a single locked camera shot and one jump cut. Nonetheless, the simplicity of the concept allows fans considerable scope in creating their own distinctive variant and making their mark, while retaining the basic elements. In its simplest form, it could be made with just one person; a more sophisticated version might even involve a crowded stadium. Moreover, there is a level playing field for celebrities and fans alike, with no guarantee of success for either group. There is a strong vein of humour running through each video that is not dependent on language, further increasing its potential to spread virally.

Sample the best of the worst here. And a warning, this is four and half minutes you’ll never get back.

 

 

(In his “day job”, the author of Wellthisiswhatithink is a marketing and advertising consultant working for one of Melbourne’s leading ad agencies, Magnum Opus, see: magnumopus.com.au. To chat to Steve Yolland about proper grown-up paid advertising advice or to sample his communications knowledge, or maybe to get an opinion on your organisation’s current public profile, just email him on yolly@magnumopus.com.au …)

Annie Lennox on Miley: “as long as there’s booty to make money out of, it will be bought and sold”.

 

Annie Lennox, best known as the singer in Eurythmics and who now tours as a solo artist, posted a short missive to her Facebook page earlier today alluding to the debate regarding Miley Cyrus’s overtly sexualised performances.

The full statement is below:

“I have to say that I’m disturbed and dismayed by the recent spate of overtly sexualised performances and videos. You know the ones I’m talking about. It seems obvious that certain record companies are peddling highly styled pornography with musical accompaniment. As if the tidal wave of sexualised imagery wasn’t already bombarding impressionable young girls enough..I believe in freedom of speech and expression, but the market forces don’t give a toss about the notion of boundaries. As long as there’s booty to make money out of, it will be bought and sold. It’s depressing to see how these performers are so eager to push this new level of low.Their assumption seems to be that misogyny- utilised and displayed through oneself is totally fine, as long as you are the one creating it. As if it’s all justified by how many millions of dollars and YouTube hits you get from behaving like pimp and prostitute at the same time. It’s a glorified and monetized form of self harm.”

“A glorified and monetized form of self harm.” Yes, well that’s what we were trying to say the other day here, and again here, but nothing like as eruditely.

Interesting comment from a hugely successful and talented woman. Who was also “sex on stage”, by the way, but never, to my knowledge, got her tits out.

mileyOK, we have no idea who this young lady is.

Her photo was sent to me by a work colleague, cribbed from an official publication.

But, yeah. This is either the best bit of photoshopping ever, or dear little Miley has got a doppleganger working for the nick-nicks on Melbourne trams, or she’s sick of being criticised for getting her kit off and has gone to the other extreme.

Weird or what?

If you happen to know the answer, do let us know.

We are now declaring a moratorium on Miley Cyrus stories for, oh, well, for about three days, based on her current trajectory.

For those of you who will be emotionally destroyed by our abstinence, here are a few other articles from the last 24 hours.

The latest photos to break from Miley Cyrus seem deliberately designed to further fuel an outpouring of either fan fever, worried head shaking or condemnation.

They were taken by her fave photographer, the same gentleman who notoriously recently filmed her nude in the neo-pornographic video clip for Wrecking Ball which has taken the world by storm, one way or another, and appeared on his Tumblr account. As we have already made our view of Wrecking Ball perfectly clear, we reproduce a selection of the new photos, without comment, merely to ensure, Dear Reader, that you are fully informed.

 

Cyrus 1

Cyrus 2

Cyrus 3

Cyrus 4

Cyrus 5

Cyrus 6

Cyrus 7

Cyrus 8

 

And call us picky, but we really think a professional photographer shouldn’t be releasing photos with “red eye”. We don’t suppose anyone’s looking at her eyes, but there it is.

Meanwhile, upon hearing that Miley had cited her as an influence, superstar Sinead O’Connor was compelled to reach out to the younger pop star in an open letter. O’Connor, no stranger to controversy herself, or the pitfalls of stardom, or the dark and manipulative side of the music industry, has taken the opportunity to warn Cyrus not to let herself be exploited. O’Connor slams in particular the “Wrecking Ball” video, in which Cyrus appears nude, licking a sledgehammer and riding an actual wrecking ball. The letter was written before the release of these photographs yesterday. We suspect if she’d seen this lot, Sinead would have been even firmer in her views …

For the record, we agree with Sinead, and we are worried about what is being done with/to this impressionable young lady. We also note that the number of websites springing up to take the piss out of her is growing – and when the fickle tide of fame turns, it turns with a vengeance.

OPEN LETTER TO MILEY CYRUS

Dear Miley,

sinead-oconnorI wasn’t going to write this letter, but today i’ve been dodging phone calls from various newspapers who wished me to remark upon your having said in Rolling Stone your Wrecking Ball video was designed to be similar to the one for Nothing Compares… So this is what I need to say… And it is said in the spirit of motherliness and with love.

I am extremely concerned for you that those around you have led you to believe, or encouraged you in your own belief, that it is in any way ‘cool’ to be naked and licking sledgehammers in your videos. It is in fact the case that you will obscure your talent by allowing yourself to be pimped, whether its the music business or yourself doing the pimping.

Nothing but harm will come in the long run, from allowing yourself to be exploited, and it is absolutely NOT in ANY way an empowerment of yourself or any other young women, for you to send across the message that you are to be valued (even by you) more for your sexual appeal than your obvious talent.

I am happy to hear I am somewhat of a role model for you and I hope that because of that you will pay close attention to what I am telling you.

The music business doesn’t give a shit about you, or any of us. They will prostitute you for all you are worth, and cleverly make you think its what YOU wanted.. and when you end up in rehab as a result of being prostituted, ‘they’ will be sunning themselves on their yachts in Antigua, which they bought by selling your body and you will find yourself very alone.

None of the men oggling you give a shit about you either, do not be fooled. Many’s the woman mistook lust for love. If they want you sexually that doesn’t mean they give a fuck about you. All the more true when you unwittingly give the impression you don’t give much of a fuck about yourself. And when you employ people who give the impression they don’t give much of a fuck about you either. No one who cares about you could support your being pimped.. and that includes you yourself.

Yes, I’m suggesting you don’t care for yourself. That has to change. You ought be protected as a precious young lady by anyone in your employ and anyone around you, including you. This is a dangerous world. We don’t encourage our daughters to walk around naked in it because it makes them pray [sic] for animals and less than animals (a distressing majority of whom work in the music industry and the associated media).

You are worth more than your body or your sexual appeal. The world of showbiz doesn’t see things that way, they like things to be seen the other way, whether they are magazines who want you on their cover, or whatever.. Don’t be under any illusions.. ALL of them want you because they’re making money off your youth and your beauty.. which they could not do except for the fact your youth makes you blind to the evils of show business. If you have an innocent heart you can’t recognise those who do not.

I repeat, you have enough talent that you don’t need to let the music business make a prostitute of you. You shouldn’t let them make a fool of you either. Don’t think for a moment that any of them give a flying fuck about you. They’re there for the money.. we’re there for the music. It has always been that way and it will always be that way. The sooner a young lady gets to know that, the sooner she can be REALLY in control.

You also said in Rolling Stone that your look is based on mine. The look I chose, I chose on purpose at a time when my record company were encouraging me to do what you have done. I felt I would rather be judged on my talent and not my looks. I am happy that I made that choice, not least because I do not find myself on the proverbial rag heap now that I am almost 47 yrs of age.. which unfortunately many female artists who have based their image around their sexuality, end up on when they reach middle age.

Real empowerment of yourself as a woman would be to in future refuse to exploit your body or your sexuality in order for men to make money from you. I needn’t even ask the question.. I’ve been in the business long enough to know that men are making more money than you are from you getting naked. Its really not at all cool. And its sending dangerous signals to other young women. Please in future say no when you are asked to prostitute yourself. Your body is for you and your boyfriend. It isn’t for every spunk-spewing dirtbag on the net, or every greedy record company executive to buy his mistresses diamonds with.

As for the shedding of the Hannah Montana image.. whoever is telling you getting naked is the way to do that does absolutely NOT respect your talent, or you as a young lady. Your records are good enough for you not to need any shedding of Hannah Montana. She’s waaaaaaay gone by now.. Not because you got naked but because you make great records.

Whether we like it or not, us females in the industry are role models and as such we have to be extremely careful what messages we send to other women. The message you keep sending is that its somehow cool to be prostituted.. its so not cool Miley.. its dangerous. Women are to be valued for so much more than their sexuality. we aren’t merely objects of desire. I would be encouraging you to send healthier messages to your peers.. that they and you are worth more than what is currently going on in your career. Kindly fire any motherfucker who hasn’t expressed alarm, because they don’t care about you.

Sinead

Which if you haven’t seen already, what’s the matter with you? As it has got 10.5 million hits.*

So, anyhow, that twerking stuff is so yesterday, ya know?

mileyHmmm. “Wrecking Ball.” Is it art? is it porn?

Well, yes, both, probably. She knows what she’s selling, that’s for sure. And for equally sure is the fact that she’s embracing her raunchy persona with great enthusiasm, so, you know, you can’t really say she’s being exploited.

Or can you?

Is there management behind her insistently whispering “Push it further, girl, push it further.” How would anyone know? Should someone take the girl aside and murmur, “You know, you’re really more than this, kid”? Because it’s hard to see where she goes from here, if not to star in a re-make of “Pizza Delivery Boys IV”.

OK, we know she’s making squillions, but we really cannot help but wonder what will she be when gravity takes hold of her perkier parts. Will she be “Highly respected recording artist, Miley Cyrus”, or “That fit bird who used to stroke and kiss the chain on a wrecking ball”? Will her career have longevity, or will she be discarded by this time next year, in favour of the next (and presumably more overt) gamine entrant.

We really dunno. And you know what? What gives us pause for thought is that it’s actually not a half bad song. Even if, when we asked our local culture guru Pat at the desk next to us, “But did you like the song?” he wryly answered with a smile, “Was there a song?”

We are not, at the Wellthisiswhatithink toil cubicle, a particularly censorious lot. We are on record as being comfortable with sexual matters. But we do, honestly, worry about this type of performance, and especially the impact it will have on young girls, and their self image.

To our minds, there is little difference, in reality, to the performance you see here, and the performance you’d see in a lap-dancing club or striptease joint. And would you take tweenies and teenies to such a place? We wouldn’t. Simply because there’s such a thing as “age appropriateness” to be considered. But how many of the 10.5 million viewers so far are … 16 years old? 14? 12? 10? Younger?

Parent's Poll" The red thing is (a) a handkerchief (b) what the streetwalker on 9th and Delaware was wearing last night (c) what your teenage daughter changes into when she goes into town for "a couple of hours with friends".

Parent’s Poll: The red item pictured here is (a) a handkerchief (b) what the streetwalker on 9th and Delaware was wearing last night, or (c) what your teenage daughter changes into in the back of her mate’s car when she goes into town for “a couple of hours with my girlfriends”.

Do young female viewers feel, as a result of this and a hundred other “pushing the boundaries” videos, that they can only really be “in” if they wear extraordinarily skimpy clothes and subscribe to raunch culture?

Tell you what: go stand on any downtown street corner about 10pm any Friday night and we think you’ll know.

But what if they don’t want to conform to that norm? Or what if they aren’t blessed with a bullet-hard body; how will they feel about themselves?

In short: are we creating diversity of personal expression, or simply a new conformity?

We think we know the answer to our own questions, but what do you think?

Interestingly, the public response to the video has varied from “she looks great, get over it, losers” to the frankly unprintable, of which the kindest we have seen is “whore”. And before we are accused of beating the story up, a cursory glance at the comments on various forums will show you that word used often. Miley says that she just ignores negative comments, but we are frankly sceptical whether any 20 year old woman is going to be entirely inured to the gale of criticism that is swirling around, which about balances the tidal wave of enthusiasm.

We confess we’re a little worried about this. But then again, we don’t want to overstate it. We’re just as sure there’s a happy medium, we’re simply not sure this video is it. And we are more worried about the war in Syria, to be frank.

But then Ms Wellthisiswhatithink is not a teenager any more, and anyway, she’s got her head screwed on with more screws than seems quite decent in one her age. We strongly suspect at her age we were much more irresponsible. Well, there’s no “suspect” about it, in all honestly.

But if we were the father or mother of a twelve year old breathlessly urging her parents to buy the latest Miley Cyrus DVD, we think we’d be a tad more concerned. Or a lot more concerned, actually.

*UPDATE The 20-year-old pop singer’s new music video for new single “Wrecking Ball” has shattered the record for most views on VEVO in the first 24 hours, with 19.3 million views across the music video platform. Now that’s serious pop princess power. A bona fide “cultural event”, no less.