It is easy to feel offended or horrified by a performance like the one Miley Cyrus gave at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards. Between the twerking, tongue sticking out, and obscene gestures, the singer went the extra mile to shock the world.
The 20-year-old’s spiraling descent into the absurd started a while back. The “We Can’t Stop” video should have been a warning sign that the trashiness was here to stay. But as always, we let it happen. And now, she is apparently busy tweeting pictures of herself in provocative poses.
As a human being, it sickens me. It does because I feel that we are all partly responsible for the situation. If no one encouraged behaviors or bought music that debases women, male and female singers would have to rely on other gimmicks to make a living. So, as Arielle Newton states in one of her articles for Policymic: “Rather than simply bashing Miley for her absurd antics, maybe we should remember the context of her performance. And then we should change that context so it never, ever happens again.”
As an entrepreneur, I see this fiasco as a major lesson.
It takes years to build a solid reputation but only a few seconds to destroy it. Even if Cyrus had a magical change of heart, her brand is for ever tarnished. Conversations about her may rarely go beyond her graphic and raunchy TV performance as a result.
Getting famous for 15 minutes for doing something stupid is really easy. But what matters is what happens afterwards, when the next person in line outshines you. You either fall into oblivion or become the star of pity parties. At the end of the day, no one really wins.
If you want to leave your mark on this world, look past the easy victory. Instead, ask yourself this: “How do I want to be remembered?”