By Haleigh Missildine

The performance of Miley Cyrus during the Video Music Awards (VMAs) in August left little to the imagination. Cyrus stripped down to a nude-colored latex bikini and danced provocatively throughout her song, twerking and grinding on musician Robin Thicke.

Cyrus performs in a similar manner in her new music video, “Wrecking Ball,” grinding on a wrecking ball and licking a sledgehammer in a seductive manner.

These displays have stirred up a lot of controversy around Cyrus. Some say she shouldn’t be acting this way, especially since she is a former Disney star. Others say people should leave her alone.

First-year Ashley Connors said the VMAs try to out-do itself every year, but this time it went too far. “My friend said that this was the first year she had to shield her mom from the VMAs,” Connors said.

First-year Emma Southard said the “performance was not appropriate for the VMAs. Children watch that.”

I can agree with that. However, what we really need to look into are the reasons why she’s performing in such a provocative manner. The real question is whether she would be noticed if she did not act that way.

In today’s world, one has to stick out among the crowd to be noticed. If this is true, then from a marketing perspective, Cyrus’ actions make sense. She wants to continue to make money with her music career, so she has to do something that will make people notice her and talk about her.

There is also speculation that Cyrus has gone wild because of her restricted child and teenage years when she had her show on Disney. During this time she had to be a role model for children who watched her show. Once she got out of her Disney contract, she began to express herself in a more sexual way, as we saw with the VMAs and her music video.

This is another thing we need to think about — celebrities are treated so differently from regular people and are put under a lot of stress and scrutiny. Their lives are largely controlled by their record contracts and managers, and sometimes they don’t even have a say in what they do.

Cyrus should not have to put on a show that looks like it could be in a strip club or be nude in her videos in order to get noticed.

I do understand that nudity is not always sexual, but at this point, Cyrus has taken it a step too far. No longer is she being tasteful, and unfortunately, I can no longer see the artistic appeal of what she’s doing. She’s crossed the line from artsy to right out raunchy and provocative. What everyone wants to know is why she is presenting herself this way.

Perhaps Cyrus should not be blamed for her provocative actions. Instead, we need to think about the situations and experiences that she’s had that were out of her control, and likely brought her to this point. ◼︎

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