Anybody else find Miley Cyrus' "appropriation of black culture" extremely racist?

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Sorry for the controversial topic but I lurk around here sometimes and you all don't seem to shy away so. . . figured I'd throw it out there. I was having a discussion with a bunch of people and it was two against three but I'm in the "racist" camp. Firstly, because of the presumption that drugs, gold grills and promiscuity are definitive traits of "urban" and "black" culture anyways. Secondly, because it really annoys me when white artists seem to treat black people as accessories to validate their supposed edge. And thirdly, because my little cousin's listening/watching this crap and saying it's so much cooler that Miley is "blacker" now.
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But she's not blacker now. She's just as white as she was before. She's maybe less innocent, less country, more "hip hop" or "urban".
Is she dating some black guy?
I'm no more mad at her than I am at Justin Timberlake, Eminem or whathisname......uh.....what is his name??!!!
Rick....no....Richard....uh, damnit, Paula Patton's husband!
Off to Google...
Robin Thicke! Yes, not mad at him either.
Good for them, make that money!
If Beyonce can run around with blonde waist length straight hair, then Miley can run around doing whatever it is she is doing.

Last edited by frau; 08-16-2013 at 04:50 PM.
I don't pay too much attention to Miley so I am not sure if she said she is appropriating black American culture or if black culture is all ghetto, but it wouldn't surprise me if she did. It seems like a lot of people, including some black Americans, believe that the only way to be black is to be ghetto. By ghetto, I mean uneducated, lack proper English grammar and speaking skills, always in trouble with the law, lazy, etc. There are actually people like this who exist, but they're not all from the ghetto or black.

I live in Arizona and since I've been here, I have been considered African American more often than I have in other places. What shocks me is that I have met people who have told me that I am supposed to be ghetto because I am black. Have they not seen The Cosby Show or met "normal" black people regardless of income who were law abiding citizens? I guess not. I think this is where the pressure for black youth, even the middle class ones, to act as if they have no sense nor future because supposedly that is the only way to be black.

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What really annoyed me the most about miley is that she had the nerve to say that she was white and can still twerk..honestly she needs to clam down and realize she is not "edgy" she is "slutty" and her haircut...trying to pull off an afro? YOU'RE NOT COOL MILEY!!! I guess she wants a "cooler swaggier hipster" audience.
Miley is definitely not the only celebrity doing this kind of thing....what irritates me the most about her and her following is that somehow people are trying to play off the fact that she is a plain slut now. Excuses like "she is just growing up" or "she is maturing" or "she can do whatever she wants shes an adult!" Are just ridiciulous and delusional. She can do what she wants but why do these things in her music that influences so many young girls? Plain and simple she is marketing herself as a slutty edgy pop star now. I absolutely despise when people use "maturity" and "growing up" as an excuse when celebrities become slutty. I'm sorry but not a single mature person I know shakes and jiggles their ass for large crowds or shows off their sexual tendencies in videos. Since she was young she posted many topless pictures online. Quite the contrary, thats the behavior of an immature teen. She is not grown up or maturing. Shes just as immature and childish as shes always been. Shes just trying too hard now to show everyone shes no Hannah Montana anymore. And we got that message a long time ago. I have no problem with her changing her look and sound. But i do have a problem with her fans being deluded by her and also her influencing people with her ****ty behavior. Her more than anyone should be watching herself because her following was all little kids and much of it still is. These are just my thoughts and opinions

I also strongly agree with you. I hate it when celebrities use ither cultures as their accessories.
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But she's not blacker now. She's just as white as she was before. She's maybe less innocent, less country, more "hip hop" or "urban".
Is she dating some black guy?
I'm no more mad at her than I am at Justin Timberlake, Eminem or whathisname......uh.....what is his name??!!!
Rick....no....Richard....uh, damnit, Paula Patton's husband!
Off to Google...
Robin Thicke! Yes, not mad at him either.
Good for them, make that money!
If Beyonce can run around with blonde waist length straight hair, then Miley can run around doing whatever it is she is doing.
Originally Posted by frau
My sentiments exactly. The moment everyone can stop trying to determine what race is associated with every mannerism/action a person can do the moment seeing a black man sing country and a white girl twerk can stop being such an issue. Because there is just so much more pressing ish to worry about, you know?

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her shaking her ass and looking like a fool has nothing to do with my culture lol
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she is not "edgy" she is "slutty"
Originally Posted by Shusha29
somehow people are trying to play off the fact that she is a plain slut now. Plain and simple she is marketing herself as a slutty edgy pop star now. I absolutely despise when people use "maturity" and "growing up" as an excuse when celebrities become slutty.
Originally Posted by Sarxh
The word "slut" exists as a way to oppress and control women. When you call someone that, you're participating in sexism. And that hurts all women, including yourselves.
Oh wow! Look at all the responses. Sorry. I'm a dork. It's just I've always lurked in the non-hair discussion bc I'm all, "eh, what would I have to say. . ." Turns out a little bit.

I agree with all of you actually to varying degrees. Firstly, it offends me that any female "artist" (and I use the term loosely when it comes to Miley) should feel the need to declare her womanhood by skanking it up. Maybe it's because I'm nearing thirty, but I remember Janet Jackson's breakout "mature" video way back in the early 90's: "Love Would Never Do Without You". It was sexual, yes--featured a super hot underwear model at the time. But it wasn't trashy. There's an obvious difference. (Spare me the "it was 20 years ago" argument, chickadees. Class is class. It never goes out of style.)

Janet Jackson - Love Will Never Do (Without You) (OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO) [www.janeticon.com] HQ - YouTube

As for other white artists appropriating black music--yes, it happens all the time. And oftentimes they'll get all the credit or the spotlight. More people know about Elvis than the soul and blues artists he borrowed from. And way more people have heard of Eminem than Adeem. But I don't think this is the case with Miley. I think she's adopting a bunch of negative stereotypes--nothing to do with black music really--to try to pass herself off as "street", and that's what's insulting.

(Oh, sidenote, I don't know if everyone knows this but Robin Thicke has been around for a long while. At least a decade. That guy had his first real single of note when I was in high school.

Robin Thicke - When I Get You Alone (Music Video) | Robin Thicke Music - YouTube


And as catchy as Blurred Lines is, it really disappointed me that the lyrical content of this breakout song was so, well, rapey, and that those women were so markedly objectified in the music video. And this brings me on to Miley, because, uggh! the ploys people use for attention. . .)

So, yes, that is exactly what I'm trying to say empressi. Whatever Miley's new look or sound is, it has NOTHING to do with black culture. When I was in the car with my cousin and we were switching stations that terrible song came on the radio and, as with all things auto-tuned, I tried to switch it but my hand was pushed away. Because my little impressionable cousin likes the "New Miley". And I didn't get it. To me the song didn't sound new or fresh. It doesn't really sound hip-hop or R&B to me. It sounded like every other piece of Top 40 dreck. But later, bc I have plenty of teens in the fam, I learned all about the music video and then the media was reporting that Miley wanted more of a black audience. (And if Jay-Z's on the bandwagon it's purportedly working.) But how insulting is it that she reverts to acting like some wanton idiot to attract them? And isn't it even more alarming that an eleven year old girl would use the word "blacker" to describe this change? There's nothing "black" about it. The sound is generic.

And while I'm on topic, have any of you guys seen "The Sapphires"? (You should, it's a really cute movie that swept the international film circuit as of late.) It's about an Aboriginal pop group in the 1960's who was singing country-western until a producer discovers them and tells them they ought to be singing soul. When he's training them there's this scene where he says, "Look, is there any way you could sing 'blacker'?" And then he goes on to explain the difference between country and soul. They're both about loss, but with country, you've given up, your heart is shattered and you're at home crying about it. With soul, your heart is broken, but every word you sing is testament to the fact that you're fighting to get back up again. And I thought that was such a beautiful way to describe soul music and I guess, by extension, a bit of black culture. I just wish my cousin, other impressionable kids, and hell the mass media was mature enough to grasp it.

Another semi-topical sidenote: My friend is who Australian and WHITE (not aboriginal ) but who loves hip-hop and knows more about Wu Tang and whatnot than this American girl complained the other day, "What is up with all this talk about twerking? I've been doing that sh*t for years!" And it's true. It's not new. But then, again, a Disney pop princess adopts it as part of her coming out party, makes it very vulgar by likening it to strip clubs then and reintroduces it to the masses. Oy vey. )
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Yeah, wanted to add I really don't like the word "slut" or slut-shaming either. I suppose I use "skank" more freely. But only bc I regularly apply the term to men as well. Usually my application of it is seedy or unseemly. As in, "Ew, I don't like that dude. Seems kind of skanky." But I hope you guys know what I mean about bad taste. I think there are plenty of artists who are sexual, even daring, but it doesn't rub me the wrong way. Defly don't mean to come off as prudish but yes, in one instance I can be titillated, in another I can be all, "Ick. You, um, could've gone about that differently." You can hold someone's attention and still have their respect, you know?
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Last edited by dusalocks; 08-17-2013 at 12:33 AM.
she is not "edgy" she is "slutty"
Originally Posted by Shusha29
somehow people are trying to play off the fact that she is a plain slut now. Plain and simple she is marketing herself as a slutty edgy pop star now. I absolutely despise when people use "maturity" and "growing up" as an excuse when celebrities become slutty.
Originally Posted by Sarxh
The word "slut" exists as a way to oppress and control women. When you call someone that, you're participating in sexism. And that hurts all women, including yourselves.
Originally Posted by Eilonwy
I agree. Being sexual does not make you a slut. This is a word I wish would go away. I actually think that Miley probably isn't getting much sex. If she were, she wouldn't have to sing songs about it all of the time.

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I'm going to throw it out there. I enjoy trash.

I think the classy/trashy woman dichotomy is very sexist as it's really a throwback to the virgin/whore, mother/prostitute dichotomy. "Trashy" and "slutty" is in the eye of the beholder, and any woman that is sexually forward can be considered "slutty" or "trashy" (yes even the JJ video). Normalizing the words "slutty" or "trashy" (which overlap in the sexual sense) is a trap as a woman can never then define her own sexuality or be sexually forward or be sexual... her sexuality is dependent upon the labels given to her by (usually) men and therefore she is limited to either being a "respectable woman" with a very faint sex drive or a woman who enjoys and seeks sex but is therefore some kind of man-eating nympho deviant that must never be married. It puts women in this awful, unrealistic and disjointed categories, in which no woman can thrive. I enjoy fierceness in women, in whatever form it may take. I hope I'm making sense; I'm typing all this and it's fairly late and I'm fairly tired.

That being said re: Miley Cyrus. Dusa I kind of don't forgive you for starting this thread because before reading it I had NO idea what the hell Miley Cyrus was up to and had no problems with it... but this thread made me watch one of her videos to "educate" myself.

It was very educational.

Yeah I think she's just trying to keep up with the Gagas and the Iggys and yes appropriating "ghetto culture" for street cred a la Kreayshawn. Yeah it's contrived. Her **** doesn't shock me; it just kinda hangs there.
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Robin Thicke - When I Get You Alone (Music Video) | Robin Thicke Music - YouTube


And as catchy as Blurred Lines is, it really disappointed me that the lyrical content of this breakout song was so, well, rapey, and that those women were so markedly objectified in the music video. And this brings me on to Miley, because, uggh! the ploys people use for attention. . .)
Originally Posted by dusalocks
Maybe I'm just an old lady but both of those songs sound like 70's disco and I can't put my finger on what artist he clearly sampled from. Is that his thing??

What do I know, I was listening to this in my formative years:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UGygGUfSwrs

RIP Whitney
Robin Thicke - When I Get You Alone (Music Video) | Robin Thicke Music - YouTube


Maybe I'm just an old lady but both of those songs sound like 70's disco and I can't put my finger on what artist he clearly sampled from. Is that his thing?? [/QUOTE]

Robin Thicke song is a sample of Marvin Gaye's "Got to give it up"



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Last edited by Kimley13; 08-17-2013 at 05:26 AM.
Keep on dancing, ooh, baby, you got to give it up!

That's some music worth sampling. I like Robin Thicke. He puts out some of my favorite throw back music to dance to.

I also didn't find Blurred Lines to be a rape song. I've ranted about that in another location, on more than once occasion. I, along with several other people, took it as a conversation between a man and a woman who actually know each other. He knows she's not quite getting everything her heart desires in her current relationship. It's cocky, oh yes, but that's alright. Women can actually and consensually "want it". I found the claims that lyrics like "he don't smack your a** and pull your hair like that" = violence against women to be ridiculous and over reactive. Perhaps the person making those claims would not enjoy it, perhaps someone else does enjoy a bit of mild kink. Don't force your... Lack of exploration on everyone else and in turn make women feel bad for enjoying a little playfulness.

ETA: I am a major fan of Prince. I love his older, nasty, stuff that would make Thicke blush. I get a little testy when the Junior Tipper Gore Censorship League comes out of the wood work, and boy did they every come out of the wood work on that song.


As far as MC goes, eh. This happens with every Disney kid, and everything that is being done, has been done before, by numerous artists, in many different ways. Nothing is original anymore. I'm sure she'll eventually end up having a breakdown.
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When I hear terms like "hipster" I think, who told cliques they could leave high school??


Last edited by Fifi.G; 08-17-2013 at 08:57 AM.
I'm going to throw it out there. I enjoy trash.

I think the classy/trashy woman dichotomy is very sexist as it's really a throwback to the virgin/whore, mother/prostitute dichotomy. "Trashy" and "slutty" is in the eye of the beholder, and any woman that is sexually forward can be considered "slutty" or "trashy" (yes even the JJ video). Normalizing the words "slutty" or "trashy" (which overlap in the sexual sense) is a trap as a woman can never then define her own sexuality or be sexually forward or be sexual... her sexuality is dependent upon the labels given to her by (usually) men and therefore she is limited to either being a "respectable woman" with a very faint sex drive or a woman who enjoys and seeks sex but is therefore some kind of man-eating nympho deviant that must never be married. It puts women in this awful, unrealistic and disjointed categories, in which no woman can thrive. I enjoy fierceness in women, in whatever form it may take. I hope I'm making sense; I'm typing all this and it's fairly late and I'm fairly tired.

That being said re: Miley Cyrus. Dusa I kind of don't forgive you for starting this thread because before reading it I had NO idea what the hell Miley Cyrus was up to and had no problems with it... but this thread made me watch one of her videos to "educate" myself.

It was very educational.

Yeah I think she's just trying to keep up with the Gagas and the Iggys and yes appropriating "ghetto culture" for street cred a la Kreayshawn. Yeah it's contrived. Her **** doesn't shock me; it just kinda hangs there.
Originally Posted by wavydaze
You made complete sense to me, and I agree. I have no problem with most trash I don't however feel that it is just men who attempt putting these restrictions on women. They absolutely do, but women are just as guilty and sometimes far more vicious. Another Blurred Lines example, as I was reading blogs against the song all I could think was "bunch of bedroom monitors". Both men and women can act as one.
When I hear terms like "hipster" I think, who told cliques they could leave high school??

I believe the blurred lines song is the one with Pharrell and Robin Thicke. I don't like that Pharrell calls her a ho, so I no longer listen to that song. Why does she have to be a ho?

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I believe the blurred lines song is the one with Pharrell and Robin Thicke. I don't like that Pharrell calls her a ho, so I no longer listen to that song. Why does she have to be a ho?

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Originally Posted by multicultcurly
There are a few different versions with the song, and 3 different video's. They progressively get a little more adult, but I have not heard Pharrell say ho in any of the versions I have listened to. He says, "everybody get up" and "Hey girl come here". That's all he says aside from some hey's and woo's.
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When I hear terms like "hipster" I think, who told cliques they could leave high school??

Don't force your... Lack of exploration on everyone else and in turn make women feel bad for enjoying a little playfulness.
Originally Posted by Fifi.G
I'm not saying you don't have to like the song or even saying that you should feel bad for it. I personally really like it. (The beat, and Robin Thicke's naturally soulful voice.) It's been on summer rotation. I'm just saying is I understand a lot of the concerns. Especially after I viewed the NSFW music video. Why do the women have to be prancing around naked and playing with dead animals and toys? Why are the men fully dressed and boasting about how they're gonna give her something to split her ass in two? The interpretation of the song is subjective. And I don't feel I'm a prude. For all you know maybe I enjoy having my hair pulled and quite a bit of kink. But I think it is valuable sometimes to look beyond the playfulness and the glamor to try to grasp the deeper symbolism. Because popular culture is important. It's all about norms. It shades our perceptions through life. What's okay and what's not okay. (Oh, and multicultcurly, I think I know every line of Blurred Lines and I don't think Pharrel called anybody a "ho". Correct me if I'm wrong people.)

So if a woman wants to be sexual, then by all means--be sexual. It's liberating. There is no reason why I shouldn't be able to sleep with as many men as I please and boast about it and not be called a "slut" but a woman whose oats are duly sewn. If I want to flaunt my sexuality, I will. But why should I debase myself and do it because it's what a man wants, society expects, or thinks is attractive? I think likening many a liberal feminist to a conservative "censorship league" or bedroom monitors merely for thinking twice about a song is an unfair stretch. The Miley conversation came up the other day between five mature adults and then someone brought up Blurred Lines and surprise, surprise, all four of us women (there was one guy) were offended by the music video. And I don't consider any of us prudish. Most of the websites which I frequent which talked about the subject like Jezebel.com or salon.com probably wouldn't be accused of being uptight. So why should I be?

Wavydaze, sorry for "educating you", as you put it. You were better off not knowing. She off my radar until quite recently, too. I definitely agree with you about the whore-slut/virgin-Madonna dichotomy, and it's an iffy line to cross when discussing "good taste". Let me say, I'm not put off that easily. I think it was combination of the ghetto stereotypes and maybe the licking of a barbie doll that made think, okay, to me it looks as though she's stereotyping and objectifying herself in one foul swoop. That's not necessarily a Gaga move. There's nothing sexy about going berserk on a box of Honey Nut Cheerios, for instance.
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Robin says, "you the hottest b**ch in this place" and T.I says, "Yeah, I had a b**ch". I'm not going to get that picky though. Again with the Prince... "Irresistible B**ch", I love the way you walk. Irresistible B**ch, I love the way you talk... Is one bad ass song that I love to dance to.

Hurt me!
When I hear terms like "hipster" I think, who told cliques they could leave high school??

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