- Netflix claims Adam Sandler’s ‘Murder Mystery’ broke viewing records 6 Years Ago
- How to watch ‘Yellowstone’ online for free 6 Years Ago
- How online allies joined a trans artist’s street art war 6 Years Ago
- These edited videos show the dark side of your favorite cartoons Today 7:00 AM
- Coca-Cola now exists in ‘Star Wars’ canon Today 6:44 AM
- How #TCOT gave birth to Trump Today 6:30 AM
- The ultimate cord-cutting guide for bilingual families Today 5:00 AM
- Boys’ sleepovers vs. girls’ sleepovers meme takes stereotypes to absurd heights Tuesday 7:30 PM
- Petition wants Keanu Reeves to be named ‘Time Person of the Year’ Tuesday 6:33 PM
- 8 women accuse Max Landis of sexual, emotional abuse Tuesday 5:37 PM
- Taylor Swift accused of copying Beyoncé—again Tuesday 5:00 PM
- Everything you need to know about Libra, Facebook’s new cryptocurrency Tuesday 4:45 PM
- Netflix just renewed ‘Queer Eye’ for 2 more seasons Tuesday 4:32 PM
- YouTube’s queen of failed robots just unveiled a one-of-a-kind Tesla truck Tuesday 3:58 PM
- AOC infuriates conservatives with ‘concentration camps’ remark Tuesday 3:33 PM
“I should have pulled out,” reads the Impact text on one popular Reddit image of Billy Ray Cyrus.
Last night, Miley Cyrus’s VMA awards performance found her twerking it up in a mouse-eared, flesh-colored leotard with Robin Thicke and a bevy of giant teddy bears. If the whole performance seemed to be a not-so-subtle attempt to break away from Cyrus’s Disney roots, the result landed somewhere between total freakshow and Lynchian inquiry into the nature of shame and self-doubt.
GIFs via nicoleslaaaaw, omnipotent_goose
The performance seemed to leave the Internet (and everyone else) dumbfounded last night. The twerk was easily the biggest moment of the VMAs—and that’s including Lady Gaga’s seashell bikini.
When the Web found its footing and began to post a slew of Photoshopped remixes, the response took a blatantly sexist turn.
In a two-sentence post that sums up the Internet’s reaction, toasttothegodz wrote on Twitter, “Miley’s recent behaviour is unhealthy, wild and just out of control. Someone needs to put that bitch in her place.”
One popular GIF on Imgur is titled “What Robin Thicke should’ve done”—that is, pelvic-thrust Miley Cyrus onto the floor:
Meanwhile, references to Cyrus’s Disney days as Hannah Montana popped up everywhere. So did plenty of overwrought handwringing for her father, Billy Ray Cyrus. “I should have pulled out,” reads the Impact text on one popular Reddit image.
Happy birthday Billy Ray Cyrus!!!!!!! pic.twitter.com/cQ78Q4AocQ
— Emily (@EmilyBerna) August 26, 2013
Poor Billy Ray … pic.twitter.com/TkbTjf7vlR
— andyroddick (@andyroddick) August 26, 2013
Watched the MTV VMAs and I just feel like everything is terrible and people are horrible and sex is gross and even Christmas is dead.
— David Krumholtz (@DaveKrumholtz) August 26, 2013
Multiple image macros denigrate her for showing a little body fat during close-ups:
Photo via dope-diamond-bro
Photo via jayfresco300
At least part of the horrified reaction to Cyrus’s twerking is justified, because it stems from Cyrus’s appropriation of twerking from the black New Orleans communities where it originated. But we didn’t see a lot of that—just horrified reactions to Miley’s “slutty” behavior. (Update: As Slate points out, the Smith family was reacting to Lady Gaga, not Cyrus.)
Photo via iamsylviaw
And, of course, her married costar Robin Thicke appears to be getting no criticism at all for his part in the twerkfest.
Robin Thicke is someone’s dad, Miley just ground her ass on someone’s fucking dad, What the fuck, Miley.
— John Samuya (@paintyourhorns) August 26, 2013
“It’s only a matter of time, Miley,” wrote one Reddit thread comparing her to the infamous “Kill Britney” episode of South Park, in which a frenzied, media-hungry mob stones the pop star to death.
Sounds about right.
Photo via asimovemyfeet
Aja Romano is a geek culture reporter and fandom expert. Their reporting at the Daily Dot covered everything from Harry Potter and anime to Tumblr and Gamergate. Romano joined Vox as a staff reporter in 2016.