Miley Cyrus’s VMA performance unveils generational disconnect

Miley+Cyrus%E2%80%99s+recent+VMA+performance+has+caused+a+media+uproar+because+of+its+scandalous+nature.%0D%0ASource%3A+Gabriella+Monico
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Miley Cyrus’s VMA performance unveils generational disconnect

Miley Cyrus’s recent VMA performance has caused a media uproar because of its scandalous nature.
Source: Gabriella Monico

Miley Cyrus’s recent VMA performance has caused a media uproar because of its scandalous nature. Source: Gabriella Monico

Miley Cyrus’s recent VMA performance has caused a media uproar because of its scandalous nature. Source: Gabriella Monico

Miley Cyrus’s recent VMA performance has caused a media uproar because of its scandalous nature. Source: Gabriella Monico

Gabriella Monico

The day after the Video Music Awards aired, people everywhere were shocked at Miley Cyrus’s bold performance. Miley’s revealing outfit, nude PVC hot pants and matching top, as well as the oversized teddy bears that dominated the stage, were not the only aspects of Miley’s performance that left both parents and children disturbed. It was her twerking — a dance that requires isolated shaking of the rear end — that had many people checking under their beds to see if Miley was hiding underneath. Miley’s transformation from sweet Disney star to twerk fiend (at least she’s not Amanda Bynes crazy yet, right?), has left many parents concerned about the damaging influences their children are exposed to.

Miley Cyrus’s recent VMA performance has caused a media uproar because of its scandalous nature. Photo by Gabriella Monico.

Miley Cyrus’s recent VMA performance has caused a media uproar because of its scandalous nature.
Photo by Gabriella Monico.

These fears are the byproducts of a generation gap that could easily be fixed if parents were more in touch with modern pop culture, and if kids were willing to share their pop culture interests with their parents. If parents were more aware of pop culture, they would realize that the Miley Cyrus scandal was not as novel as it appeared. Many celebrity music videos, like Katy Perry’s “California Gurls”and Ke$ha’s “Tic Toc” video share similar themes with Miley’s VMA performance.

These videos, however, are mostly confined to the Internet and did not get as much media coverage as Miley’s performance; therefore, they were not as noticed by parents as Miley’s live performance. Nowadays, much of pop culture is online. Websites like Youtube or online versions of popular magazines targeted to teens such as Seventeen Magazine or Tiger Beat are the most common places where pop culture is prevalent. Many parents are unaware of these online hotspots.

The lack of knowledge of their children’s online activity goes to show that the break in communication goes deeper than some parents like to think. According to an investigation conducted by online Forbes magazine, 91 percent of parents believe they are aware of their children’s online activities, while only 62 percent of children claim their parents know what they are doing online. Furthermore, according to an investigation conducted by CNN, 70% of teenagers hide their online activities from their parents.

Because of this communication gap, many parents are unaware of the music their kids listen to or the celebrities they idolize. Subsequently, when parents are confronted with something that is hard to ignore like Miley’s VMA performance, which was a live television performance with extreme media coverage, they are shocked and disturbed at the kind of influences their children are under.

At MVHS, where the majority of the students come from immigrant backgrounds, the problem is magnified. Not only are the parents unaware of many of their children’s activities, they also may not have as deep an understanding of American pop culture as native-born parents who had more exposure to American media from a younger age.

Parents and their kids have to work together in order to build a bridge between the disconnected generations so that incidents like Miley’s VMA performance are not blown out of proportion because of a lack of understanding on both sides. If parents were aware of the kind of examples teen icons set, they would not be so shocked by a highly publicized version of it.