Yesterday, 21st November 2013 marked the day of the first UK twerking championships, inspired by Miley Cyrus.
Wait a minute. Miley Cyrus?
After Miley's dance antics during the 2013 MTV VMAs, the world went crazy. 3 days later, twerking was officially added to the Oxford English Dictionary. The UK caught the bootyshaking bug and hosted a twerking competition in her honor. Miley became the queen of twerking. This is ridiculous. There are 2 main reasons why:
1. Twerking Isn't New
As the daily mail correctly says, twerking is ancient not hip! Defined as "dancing to popular music in a sexually provocative manner involving thrusting hip movements and a low squatting stance", twerking can be traced back to hip-hop culture and bounce music in New Orleans in the 90's. Or to traditional African dances even before that.
However, I'll accept Miley's the first to twerk while performing with Robin Thicke, while wearing a skin-colored, latex two-piece outfit, while playing with a giant foam finger, while revealing she has a similar tongue disorder to Barty Crouch in Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire. That's new.
2. Miley Can't Twerk To Save Her Life
Muhammad Ali, Tiger Woods, Lionel Messi, Usain Bolt, Michael Jackson, Lil Wayne, Elvis Presley, these people inspire others to follow in their footsteps. They're the best of the best. They've earned their titles. So when I hear Miley's 'signature dance move' is inspiring people worldwide to try new booty shaking workouts, I'm left with only one feeling; utter disbelief. Why? Because Miley can't twerk.
I'm not sure what Miley did at the VMAs can even be called twerking. I don't claim to be a twerking expert, but I can tell the difference between twerking and standard provocative dance moves like how I know the difference between jam and marmalade. I'd be more inclined to believe Miley helped skyrocket the sales of giant foam fingers. I'd put her twerking skills in the same league as this epic dog.
Obviously, the real question is why was Miley Cyrus' twerking such a big deal?
Is it because she's a young, popular, celebrity?
No. Take a look at this video of Rihanna twerking. No one cares.
And click here to watch Rihanna's Pour It Up music video, which has 71 million views, before you argue it's because of the provocative way Miley was dancing.
Therefore, the question remains, why was Miley Cyrus' twerking such a big deal?
Although I don't like people who play the race card every chance they get, I do think this article - Rihanna twerks and all black women are 'whores'. Miley does it and it's just her who's judged - holds some truth. Why else would there suddenly be a twerking phenomenon when Miley does it considering the dance move's been around for decades? The change in perception and the level of the response depending on the race is interesting, to say the least.
It'd be even more interesting to know if the same would apply if the situation was reversed. If a black female celebrity suddenly did something only white women are 'expected to do', and I say that in the loosest sense possible, would the world go crazy all over again?
With the help of this hilarious post from Thought Catalog about what stereotypical white girls do, I made a list of 6 things people might get riled up about if black women suddenly started doing them:
1. The Cupid Shuffle, The Cha Cha Slide & The Wobble
2. Getting killed for their curiosity in movies
3. Being obsessed with tanning
4. Only wearing Hollister & Abercrombie
5. Craving Starbucks
6. Living on Pinterest & Tumblr
What do you think of the list?
Do you think the race card works both ways?
Before you go, here's proof twerking was alive and well long before Miley Cyrus came along:
The Twerk Team, September 28, 2009