I’m not defending Miley, her choices look like desperation to me and it’s sad she can’t find a more productive way to challenge audiences if that’s what she’s aiming for.
She’s rejecting the burden of being a role model. Flaunting her right to selfishness. And I personally find that a weak, uninspired choice.
She has successfully managed to get everyone talking about her, if that was her goal.
Regardless, the discussion of cultural appropriation is larger than her.
it’s disempowering to continue to portray black culture as a sort of inert, powerless thing that is capable only of fluttering feebly as it’s plundered by privileged white people.
The problem with Miley may not be that she is inspired by “black” culture but that no one believes it. No one complains about Eminem rapping because number one (even if you don’t like him) he is talented and because we believe him. It feels genuine. Miley lacks authenticity, and that’s annoying people. No one likes a poseur.
And somewhere in all of this, I suspect, we are questioning marketplace value. The outrage is the sound of self-respecting, hard working Americans struggling to make ends meet asking, “She’s making millions … for that?”