Miley Cyrus wore this ensemble yesterday at the iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas. She also danced with a little person. Then she slapped said little person's derrière. And she began crying during her performance of "Wrecking Ball." This was major Miley news, it seems. A number of people have a number of things to say about it, and so do we.
"Is It a Step Too Far?" asked one gossip blog. (Actually, this is a question that has been repeatedly asked by many gossip blogs for the past several months.) But a step too far from what, into what? What invisible line of propriety long-established by the celebrity class has she crossed? Miley Cyrus is an adult. We — that is to say, the general public — may not agree with her fashion choices. But have we not evolved beyond shaming women for baring their bodies?
We can feed into the toxic culture of celebrity by continuing to talk about it, by giving it credence. We can variously sexualize and shame one woman's naked body (while vaunting another's as merely a puzzle piece in an ongoing "performance art" project). We can bloviate about the arcane meaning of it all.
But why should we? Cyrus is a young starlet who appears to enjoy the increasing attention afforded her by her increasingly outré-seeming hijinks. Without any apparent sense of the history of scandal, Cyrus evidently thinks that showing up to a music festival in a fishnet dress is the ultimate middle finger to her ex-fiancé, her "haters," society, whatever. It's not. It's a dress and a protruding tongue, and it's just fodder for tomorrow's fish-wrap.