BySophie Atkinson, writer at
Sophie Atkinson

Hahahahahahaha OH GOD THIS IS AWFUL. Or is it? Is this the same-old-same-old of the white mainstream appropriating aspects of black working class culture to give themselves 'an edge', like a modern day minstrel show? Or is this just a healthy, natural by-product of living in a cultural melting pot, with everybody appropriating parts of each other's races and associated pop culture?

Who cares, here's some Disney princesses twerking, interspersed with media commentary on the dance phenomenon and 's infamous VMA performance.

New York Times:

'...for Ms. Cyrus, twerking is a brazenly cynical act of cultural appropriation being passed off as a rebellious reclamation of her sexuality after a childhood in the Disneyfied spotlight, but, in the end, who are we really to judge?' Robin Thicke (via Perez Hilton):

"The whole point was to excite and provoke and entertain. I thought it was silly and funny. She was being humorous and naughty, but it wasn't sexually charged at all." New York Daily News:

A California mom ordered public shaming for her 11-year-old daughter after she caught the girl twerking at a school dance.

Frances Hena forced her daughter, Jamie, to stand at a busy Bakersfield intersection with a sign that read, "I was disrespecting my parents by twerking at school dance," ABC reported.

The Guardian:

'...the effect was not of a homage but of a minstrel show, with a young wealthy woman from the south doing a garish imitation of black music and reducing black dancers to background fodder and black women to exaggerated sex objects.'

'Depending on who you ask, twerking either began in the 2 Live Crew-dominated Miami Bass scene in the late 1980s or a few years after that in the New Orleans bounce scene, where the term first emerged.' The Atlantic:

'The problem is that Cyrus isn't racist because she's awful — or at least, her racism can't be reduced to her awfulness. Because there are performers who are not awful who have used race much as she does. Performers like Madonna, who bell hooks famously called out for her appropriation of black styles and of black bodies as props. And, also I'd argue, performers like Janis Joplin.'

So there we have it, folks. Disney princesses and social commentary in one easy read! Let me know thoughts about princesses, twerking and Miley below.


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