By now you've seen Miley Cyrus' outrageous, oversexed Video Music Awards performance from Sunday night. If you haven't seen it, you've read all the SHOCKED CRAZED INCREDULOUS WTF ZOMG reactions all over the Internet -- how could you not? They've been absolutely everywhere, and impossible to avoid.
I won't lie: I thought her performance was over-the-top, unoriginal and icky (Madonna rang, she wants her shock value back). There are valid criticisms to be made, for sure, especially about the racial overtones -- Vulture calls Cyrus out for essentially leading a "minstrel show," noting the offensiveness of Cyrus' recent "annexing [of] working-class black 'ratchet' culture, the potent sexual symbolism of black female bodies." That's a valid criticism to level at the pop star, and one that deserves attention.
But other responses to Cyrus' performance have been borderline offensive in their own right, and in some ways, I'm more grossed out by certain reactions to her show than the show itself.
I woke up to one of my Facebook friends -- a smart, funny, usually awesome woman I know from different San Francisco circles -- sharing this jarringly nasty status: "Is it just me, or is Miley Cyrus a dumb cum slut?" Which, of course, prompted 18 "likes" from her/our friends, before goading an array of others to share THEIR keenly informed perspectives that, yes, Cyrus is OBVIOUSLY a "dumb cum slut." (Seriously? "Cum slut"?)
My friend wasn't alone in her opinion; plenty other acquaintances weighed in all over FB and Twitter with variations on that "HOW DARE YOU, WHORE" theme. And the reactions didn't stop there -- an assortment of critics, celebrities and other public figures weighed in, too. Brooke Shields, who used to play Cyrus' mom on "Hannah Montana," said, "I feel like it's a bit desperate. She's trying so, so hard." Figure skater Johnny Weir tweeted, "The WORST thing I have ever seen." Richard Lawson joked about Cyrus' libido: "Does anyone know if Miley Cyrus has become a sexual being? She's been so silent on the matter." And model Brooklyn Decker tweeted the admittedly pretty awesome, "I am too old for this sh*t. Who is this child in leather? I am sad."
The most messed-up reaction I saw, though, was MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski's of "Morning Joe." A seriously shaken, scornful-looking Brzezinski shamed Cyrus on live TV before offering her completely non-expert opinion on Cyrus' eating habits:
Is it possible, just maybe, that ... Miley feels good about her body to the point where she felt comfortable dancing around in a leotard in front of a nationally televised audience? That performance was a lot of things, but insecure it was not."