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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)

Forget the lousy pole-dancing routine! Her singing sounded like small animals being tortured! If this is the current role model for young girls, all I can say is that they can do far better than select someone like Miley Cyrus as their standard.

I think people need to stop making something out of nothing and let Miley leave her life and stop judging people all the time. These people that are judging her are not perfect themselves so they need to shut their mouths.

I say you blame the parents. She is under 18 and she is their responsibility. Teenagers do what teenagers do. It was inappropriate being at a youth event. Actually, not only the dancing, but all the girls in the performance looked like easy girls at a club. That is not the image I would want my daughter seeing as that doesn't show self respect and therefore she won't be respected by others. Miley can do whatever she wants, but I guess I hoped her decision would have been to be a good influence on young girls. You should always used your stardom to change live, and although I am sure she does, she needs to think about the pressure she is putting on young girls.

But, overall, SHAME ON HER PARENTS. I don't buy their innocent image or they would have never allowed the photo and that was just a trickle down effect to the performance.

How many 8 or 10 year olds even know what is meant by a "pole dance".

I think people are letting their own thoughts color what they are seeing. Two many of these comments are a sad reflection of our society. We put the worst interpretation on everything. As for her shorts, 50 years ago girls were wearing shorter shorts. Miley should be viewed as an entertainer, not as a "16 year old" entertainer.

Grow up people

I did not see the Teen Choice Awards but had to watch the video once I saw this article. I have a 10YO daughter and have no problem with her watching this. Just because there was a pole people automatically assume "stripper". She was on an moving ice cream cart, what do you want her to hold on to, nothing and fall.

For this to spark debate indicates that there are far too many people in this country that have nothing constructive to do with their time but to sit back and watch and criticize other people. Please all of you who actually think this is a issue, pack your bags and move to another country as you are bringing this country down. Or figure out a way that you could actually add something productive to our country

Her clothes are too much to begin with. The trailer and pole add add to the drama. This inappropriate for the age of viewers. And we as a culture are showing this to kids everyday. The adults can do it on TV and movies so won't the kids want to do it too? We are models as adults as well. I am no wall flower nor up tight parent but I can see when a kid takes things too far. This is where our culture has gone. Isn't it pretty...? This is really a view into ourselves and the future we are creating. Her parents are at fault as well. What they have given they will get back in spades. I hate seeing children being pushed to dress as adults. Let them have childhoods adults life will come along soon enough. Our children should not be wrapped up like a piece of candy.

I think this is the time when parents should be parents. If you have a problem with Miley Cyrus performance then speak to your child about it. She is growing up but it doesn't mean that YOUR child has to be a fan. Also, I don't think the teenagers that are becoming pregnant these days are watching or listening to Miley Cyrus.

she held on to a pole....NOT pole dancing

I didn't find it offensive, but this Cyrus' song is already among the most requested at the Spearmint Rhino.

Disney, as well as every other entertainment industry sells sex, no matter the age. Her crouch on the pole lasted maybe one second; the rest of the time so she wouldn't fall off the cart. There wasn't one thing wrong with her performance. Dirty minds create nasty scenes, which is what most prim hypocrites have.

I am a 41 year old mother who thankfully got my (now) 19 year old daughter through the tween and teen years by both allowing her to participate in some "normal" teen crazes while pulling in the reins on others. (although my daughter was more likely to be headbanging to Nirvana, than hanging out with the sexy teen set)

I personally feel that the pole issue has been blown WAY out of proportion. Do I think she was holding on to it just for balance? No. I do think she was doing her very awkward (and very MINIMAL) version of a pole dance. But that is just the point. She was so awkward at the pole (not to mention in her dancing in general) that it almost made me laugh out of embarrassment, not for her "sexy" dance, but because she was so BAD at it! I have seen FAR worse and more sexually intense dancing on middle school playgrounds and backyard bbq parties by tweens who were moving so professionally, it made me wonder what was going on in their lives and what their parents were thinking allowing it. Overall, I think Miley's performance was more sad than sexy, although I do agree that she should have stopped the short-shorts (underwear) at just plain shorts, or even skinny jeans.

Even though I think there may have been some question in judgement costume-wise, I think everyone needs to take a deep breath and remember back in the day when many of us were donning lace gloves, off the shoulder or corset like tops, leggins or short puff skirts, and our "boy-toy" belts, and telling OUR parents we were just being teenagers! If your parenting skills are as good as our parents' (shhhhh...don't tell them!!), our daughters will get through their phases, just as this 80's teen got my daughter through the Spears/Aguilera/whomever years relatively safe and sane! Then it will be OUR turns to laugh at our daughters as they go through whatever new phase crops up in 15 years as they raise their OWN tween/teens.

And the cycle continues...

I'd challenge anyone to find one of these pop stars that doesn't go hog-wild and become a slut, gangster, drug addict, or [fill in the blank]. I personally think it's made to sexualize girls at a young age to get them into the market, and to continually make them feel inadequate so they keep buying their products. All this to suspend a girl/woman in perpetual purchasing with the promise that (someday) they will be "pretty" or "loved" or "accepted". At the end of the day Miley Cyrus' antics are for money. If she doesn't have a soul, she'll do almost anything to keep it coming, even bring down a generation of girls like those who idolized Madonna, Britney Spears, and Christian Aguilera, etc. It's a rip-off, a bait and switch. What ever happen to just being a kid?

Of course Miley is being sexually provocative. That's what girls her age do. The average age of menarche in humans is 12 years, but is normal anywhere between ages 8 and 16. In fact, the age for most American girls is almost 5 years earlier than it was a century ago. Once a girl matures enough to have a kid, she will instinctively (not a dirty word, BTW) try to attract men/boys. Since we are an obsessively consumerist society, and since "sex sells," it is no surprise that FOX and Disney want to encourage the "pornification" of their products. First Wave Feminism failed because it forgot that most young girls WANT to be considered sexually desirable; it's in their genes (and jeans, if they are tight enough).

This is a manufactured issue. Funny, the kids who didn't know what pole dancing is now think they do (thanks to the gasping declarations of a few). If I wasn't told what to look for, I don't think I would have made the connection.

We have to have some belief that kids will grow up to make intelligent choices in a healthy society. The only unhealthy thing I see here is the reaction, which fails miserably in teaching kids anything except how to see things that aren't there, and then amplify them until there's a debate over nothing.

In the majority of US states, she's adult enough to have sex and can be a gogo dancer in a lot of places. Americans are still such sissies when it comes to public displays of sexuality, yet on a whole legally fairly permissive.

It didn't look so much like pole dancing as it did look like she needed something to hold on to while they pushed the cart along the stage. As for her short shorts, I didn't think they were flattering when they came around thie first time. It was inappropriate to wear in this setting because it looked like bikini bottoms and, unless you find it ok to wear a bikini on stage (not during a fashion show)then there's your answer.

you people are kidding right??!! Just because she uses a pole, it's a stripper pole? Give me a break and get a clue. If you don't like your children watching then don't let them. Quit your complaining.

What I find shocking about these comments is that it has come to a point where people say "oh I see worse every day". THAT is the whole problem. For people to dismiss this as tame because every day teenagers dress and act worse is the true problem. The fact that there are thousands of slutty teenagers out there does not make this ok. This was as deliberate as they come. Like Britney Spears's Baby one more time video. You are going to tell me that was just a video with her dancing sexy and in a school dress (a known sexual male fantasy)? Please. This is a not so subconscious attempt at beginning a sexually charged image for this girl. Sadly, they know that if she is to continue having a singing career, this is the way she will have to go: barely dressed, suggestive movements, etc. I think the main problem is the way women have been depicted in the media for a long long time. Now women and men tend to think this is the normal way to dress and act. Hence all the booty, pimp ass, stripper songs you hear on the radio. Don't know whose fault it is more: the women who lend themselves to this or the men who continue to promote it. It is all very sad.

This is music? There is more to worry about than Miley's dancing! This "music" hurts the ears ... How many composers are turning in their graves! I'm just covering my ears!!

She's an enterainer. This is part of her act. She's not going to be a teenager for her rest of her life. She's growing up.

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