Pop star Miley Cyrus did not invent the sexualized dance move known as “twerking,” but her outrageous performance at last week’s MTV Video Music Awards got everyone talking about it. Many of her fellow entertainers came to her defense, but some, including the heart-throb British boy band, One Direction, disapprove.
In a recent interview with Moviefone, members of the band expressed distaste for the dance move. One fan asked, “If you got into a twerk-off with Miley Cyrus, who would win?” After some banter, 21-year-old Louis Tomlinson said, “Everyone buzzes off this twerk thing.” Liam Payne, 20, interjected, “Personally, I think it’s overly sexual.”
“I think it’s quite inappropriate,” said Harry Styles, 19. His remark drew agreement from the other four band members. In answer to the query, “Do you worry about the young age of your fans?” he said, “When they’re twerking, yes. I think it’s promoting promiscuity.” (However, this did not stop him from momentarily twerking himself at the Teen Choice awards in August.)
His use of the word “promiscuity” brought laughter from the rest of the band members, who joked about him using a dictionary.
Fitting, since “Twerk: verb” will now be included in Britain’s Oxford Dictionaries, sincethe “rump-busting up-and-down dance move long beloved on America’s hip-hop scene” has finally gone mainstream, partly due to Cyrus’ performance.
WORLDmag.com columnist Barnabas Piper wrote last week that Christians and non-Christians alike are “bemoaning the lost innocence of Cyrus, the poor parenting of Billy Ray Cyrus (her dad), her misguided attempt to distance herself from her childhood, and so on.” Twitter users started a hashtag, #prayformiley, to express their concern for the Disney star.
While much of the public decried her display, Cyrus appears to think what she did was fine, and is pleased with the publicity. She told ABC Newson Tuesday she wanted to shock the audience: “Me and Robin, the whole time said, ‘You know we’re about to make history right now.’”
She added, “People are still talking about it. They’re over-thinking it. You’re thinking about it more than I thought about it when I did it.”