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Miley Cyrus set tongues wagging after her sexually charged performance at Sunday night’s VMAs, and not just her own. The former Disney star bared it all in Brooklyn, twerking her way to infamy while repeatedly putting a foam finger where a foam finger should never be put. (For those not familiar with "twerking" -- and, we have to say, we're very jealous that you've avoided it to this point -- it's a suggestive dance move that involves jiggling one's hips in a bouncing motion. Consider that your useless fact of the day.)
Whether by design or default, Cyrus sought to shed her clean-cut child star rep by leaving her mark on one of the music industry’s biggest nights. And do you know what? It worked. So well, in fact, that her onstage antics spurred a massive spike in social media, with more than 306,000 people taking to Twitter during her act. To put that into context, that’s almost 100,000 more tweets than were sent during the Super Bowl blackout, something Miley was all too quick to point out to her followers.
Alongside the media attention, however, Cyrus’s hip gyrating has also stoked its fair share of furrowed brows -- and even Robin Thicke’s mom has gone public with her criticism of the former "Hannah Montana" star’s antics.
"I just keep thinking of her mother and father watching this. Oh, Lord, have mercy," Gloria Loring, Thicke's mother, told Yahoo!. "I was not expecting her to be putting her butt that close to my son. The problem is now I can never 'unsee' it."
And yet, strangely, Thicke himself has remained largely immune to criticism. Sure, there’s been the odd jibe at a wardrobe choice that fell somewhere between a Beetlejuice Halloween costume and a referee’s uniform. But beyond that, there’s barely been a peep about Thicke amongst the deafening rush of naysaying that’s been aimed in Cyrus’s direction.
It’s hard to understand why Thicke has got such an easy ride over the past 48 hours. After all, he was at the centre of his own media storm just a couple of months ago after critics lashed out at the aggressive lyrics in his No.1 hit "Blurred Lines" -- not to mention the sexually suggestive video that accompanied it. And yes, his mother had no problem with Thicke's performance at the VMAs.
"Him? Loved it. I love that suit, the black and white suit," Loring said. "I don't understand what Miley Cyrus is trying to do. I just don't understand. I think she's misbegotten in this attempt of hers. And I think it was not beneficial."
But there’s also the fact that at 36 years old, Thicke is probably old enough to know better than Cyrus, who at the tender age of 20 is arguably acting out a very common brand of teenage rebellion on a very public stage.
No doubt Thicke’s people are lapping up the free publicity. Indeed, the singer's wasted no time in piggybacking the controversy by releasing the video for his new song "Give It 2 U." But surely, alongside the positive press, Thicke should be taking some of the flak that’s being aimed in Miley’s direction right now, too?
Do you think Robin Thicke deserves more criticism after Sunday’s VMA performance? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
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