If you don’t live under a rock then you know Miley Cyrus’ raunchy performance during MTV’s Video Music Awards nearly caused the internet to implode.
As a refresher, the 20-year-old former Disney star performed at the VMAs with singer Robin Thicke. Dressed in little more than her underwear, Cyrus brought the strip club to the stage and left millions with their mouths gaping. At a reported rate of 300,000 tweets per minute during the broadcast, according to Forbes.com, viewers tweeted reactions that included shock and outrage. Although many are calling for Cyrus’ public stoning, I’d like to express my gratitude to her. Thanks to her and that provocative foam finger, I have renewed faith in my generation.
My faith in Millennials began to wane in late 2009 when the television show “Jersey Shore” came onto the scene. “Jersey Shore” followed the lives of eight housemates spending their summer at the Jersey Shore. The series garnered record ratings for MTV and it became the network’s most viewed series telecast ever, according to tvbythenumbers.com. In 2010, the cast was featured on Barbara Walters’ “10 Most Fascinating People” list. Like Cyrus’ performance, the show was sexually explicit and referenced partying at every turn. Viewers watched the roommates drink themselves into oblivion, fight each other like wild animals, and have sex (also like wild animals). In one famous episode, a full-blown cat fight, complete with hair pulling and scratching, erupts between the female roommates. In other episodes, the male roommates bring back random women from the bars and take them to the “Smush Room.” Despite the salacious content, more and more viewers tuned in every week.
The way my generation embraced Jersey Shore appalled me (oh, and don’t even get me started on the Kardashians). I honestly believed all hope was lost. Thank God for Miley Cyrus. The shock and outrage following her VMA performance was exactly what I’ve been waiting for. My peers’ reactions have made me hopeful that we may be experiencing a broader desire for greater decorum. If it weren’t for Cyrus and that obscene foam finger, who knows if society’s pendulum would have ever swung back toward its civilized center.
It appears to me that this is a case of fighting fire with fire. However, this time it worked. Cyrus’ ridiculous behavior was exactly what was needed to snap Millennials out of their infatuation with lewd television. What I once believed was a hopeless downward spiral of a situation has now taken its first step to being rectified. Cyrus’ performance symbolized rock bottom, and Millennials are saying they won’t stand for it.