« Previous | Culture Monster Home | Next »

Miley Cyrus and the stripper pole: What do you think?

August 11, 2009 |  5:02 pm

Miley Cyrus' brief flirtation with a stripper pole on Fox's Teen Choice Awards on Monday night has people buzzing today with online forums and message boards lighting up with adjectives like "inappropriate," "shocking" and "trashy." 

But was it really any of those things? As Culture Monster recently reported, pole dancing is fast losing its risque stigma, thanks in part to gyms and fitness centers that use the pole for workouts. In the dance world, the stripper pole has become the focus of a new competitive sport that has followers all over the world. Even family-friendly Cirque du Soleil has hired a pole dancer for its "Zumanity" production.

Cyrus, 16, is reported to have said her on-air pole dance was intended as an homage to her small-town, trailer-park roots. However you want to parse that statement, the teen star's actions have clearly succeeded in sending mixed messages. That the stripper pole was planted on top of an old-fashioned ice cream cart -- a symbol of childhood innocence and wholesomeness -- only heightens the cognitive dissonance. 

So what did you think about Cyrus' little dance Monday night? Take a minute to vote.

-- David Ng

Comments () | Archives (128)

I strongly agree with the points that Reseam brought up in their last paragraph. What Miley did was NOT pole dancing, should not be this big of a deal, and was not the only thing that should be dropping jaws at the TCAs.
The costume was not horrible either! She's no longer a 13 year old girl on a television show, she's grown up and is 16. Think about what other teenagers her age wear - her attire doesn't seem so bad now does it? She's growing up and so will her attitude. Let her grow up. The only way she can do that is if everyone stops nagging her for everything she does.

Who calls that pole dancing? I was expecting some raunchy moves, but all it looks like is just Miley hanging on. Maybe she should of worn leggings, but it's summer. I do believe that this Miley and the pole is being made out than what it actually is. I rather have her apologize the "chinky" face picture than the pole dancing as a bad role model.

I watched this with my grandaughter and the only thing my grandaughter commented on was good thing that pole is there or she might fall off, please people let the girl perform, which she is paid to do, she has not done anything wrong, I actually feel sorry for her because there are so many jealous people that are watching her every move just to complain about any little thing that will be bring them attention. as for her parents well let me put it this way congradulations for having a very talented child who is very soon will be leaving the nest, Miley keep singing/acting your very gifted, and if children already know about stripper pole it makes me wonder what they have been doing.

Dose the media seriously have nothing better 2 talk about? Yu try standing on that without balancing. Poor Miley =[... If yu read this miley i LOVE YU! lol. But i do hope miley doesnt turn out 2 be a linsy lohan or brittney spears, she would loss so much. miley i look up 2 YooOh 4 staying true 2 yourself n making being a gud girl cool ! yu r the onli reason i sing! JOIN MILEY WORLD www.mileyworld.com n add me . missiluvmiley

Um, I thought she looked kinda hot. That's a good thing, right? What's the problem?

Oh, wait -- I just remembered: I'm supposed to be ashamed of how that makes me feel, and then I'm supposed to blame it on her. All better now!

I actually didn't think her dance was that bad. It was pretty tame. What I find a bit appalling is her outfit. She might as well go out in her underwear if she's going to wear shorts like that.

u r so good miley i lov ur singing and want to b u.u r wonderful.

Hey, that's not a stripper pole. That's an ice cream cart with an umbrella pole. She's standing on an ice cream cart. A stipper pole is a very tall pole that becomes a "stripper pole" when you dance around it. This is Miley standing on an ice cream cart using the pole to support her and then jumping off. End of story.

I think they deliberately are slightly nudging her image into a more "sexy" or "adult" direction. They are trying to make sure she doesn't get stuck in teen-pop world. B. Spears did the same thing with the Hit Me One More Time video. The very outrage by people is the very evidence of the safe little girl image they are worried people will not let go of as she reaches her later teen age years and twenties. It is all about maintaining that stardom as long as possible.

Now as a parent, I would be very careful of letting my daughter watch her from now on. Not that I can really control that. It is OK for an artist to shift to a different audience.

Listen to the girl who recorded this performance. When Milely goes down the pole, she says "Whooooa!" Clearly even Miley's fans were surprised, to say the least. Sadly we find ourselves in a pornographic arms race to see who can be the most "sexy" at an increasingly younger age. "It's just the style." is the standard defense from parents who have given up being a positive influence in their kids' lives.

ok, 1st of all. People are making a big deal out of this, there's prabably no intension of pole dancing in a teen choice award, infront of millions of people to trade off her future for anything. if the first person that saw and thought of this didn't say anything, most people prabably wouldn't even notice it. besides, there are much worse events happening around us everyday, why is everybody talking about this?

Though not a big deal, i believe if there were faults, it's not in her, but anyone that put her in that situation. let's face it, a stripper pole is the best idea they come up with to keep the girl balanced?

The way the title read I thought Miley was the new member of the Pussy Cat Dolls. I can't believe this is even an issue. The girl was obviously holding on to the pole so she wouldn't fall off the prop cart, leave it to the public or media to blow out of proportion something like an ice cream cart into the next porn video. Miley next time just stand there motionless so no one gets offended.

Reading the news made me think that she was gyrating and grinding all over the pole. Instead, I watch the video and I see she's using it primarily to make sure she doesn't fall off! Sure, she does one big dip, but that's pretty harmless.

What I actually find the most offensive is her off-pitch singing on the high notes. Miley Cyrus, I know you can do better than that!

In reply to Florida1:
It's only because of Miley that these young girls are doing that. Because she is such a hit, young girls across the nation are saying, "Oh look at Miley, I want to be just like her." Personally, I would never let my sixteen-year-old do what she did Monday night. And the sad thing is, her parents were right there! Did they not notice the bra, the short shorts, or the high healed boots!?

Umm..I'm a 37 y.o man, and I'm still trying to figure out the controversy. I'm not a fan, but I decided to check out the video.
This is what I saw: some dancing, Miley holding onto a pole(folks, that's not a strippers pole).
Exactly where did she do a stripper routine? Big deal, so she held on to the pole while people were pushing the cart. Seems to me she held on so she wouldn't fall off. Real racy...
Grow up people. There was nothing inappropriate about the performance. Trust me, this was no stripper routine.

Trashy and mainstream. If it weren't supported by millions of little girls, many of whom will be pregnant by the time they are 15, it would be relegated to where it belongs - in the shadows reserved for trash.

Is this child going to end up like Madonna and crawl around with a camera in her crotch for attention?

I agree totally with lex's comments. THat's not a stripper pole people!!!

It's there so she has something to hold on to.

Why do people have to make a project out of everything. The outfit is completely appropriate for a person her age.

Chill out. I love that people accuse her parents of "pimping her out"

You would most liekly do the same thing if your child were making you millions

Posted by: Reseam | August 11, 2009 at 07:22 PM :
I personally think people are blowing things way out of proportion.
I personally hope you are not raising a teenage girl who is going to end up with a baby for the taxpayers to help raise.

This is exactly the same way Britney Spears went. First she was dancing in micro short shorts with a snake... next thing you know, we were seeing her privates in public. The same thing will be true for Miley Cyrus. She's already done a nude magazine cover, now she's doing a Disney-approved pole dance.

Billy Ray Cyrus needs some real-world education on what a dad should allow his underage daughter to do. Seriously, if this wasn't a celebrity situation it'd be illegal.

« | 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 | »


Recommended on Facebook

In Case You Missed It...


Explore the arts: See our interactive venue graphics


Tweets and retweets from L.A. Times staff writers.