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People are over-reacting to Miley Cyrus's VMA performance.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/31/2013 Category: Entertainment
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,171 times Debate No: 37188
Debate Rounds (4)
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I argue that people are over-reacting to her performance. Despite it being overtly sexual and explicit I feel that it is nothing out of the ordinary when it comes to the world of popular music, celebrities and culture. First round is an acceptance round ONLY followed by rounds of back and forth argument. Good luck and happy debating!


Accepting this Debate challenge, I am of the opinion that the reaction is not at all exaggerated, and will be elaborating the reasons why I believe so in the following rounds.

Good luck to you too! :)
Debate Round No. 1


Thank you for accepting the debate.

Firstly I will start of by elaborating on my round one opening statement. My main point is that this act is nothing new to the world of popular music, culture and celebrities. The majority of current songs in the charts either have sexual references in them, are about sexual acts or about sexual lust for an individual. Kids are being exposed to this kind of music everyday whether it's from the Internet, radio or music channels such as MTV. But do people outrage over it? No of course not because it's become the norm over the past decade or so. If anything, such music is glorified. "Blurred lines", the actual song that miley performed is a huge hit world-wide and people want to play it through the media as much as possible, talk shows are using it, advertisements etc. Now the lyrics in this song are unbelievably explicit and it would be hard not to know what the song is about by even hearing it for the first time. But nobody bats an eye to it, they just see it as a fun pop song. Remember this is just one example of explicit popular music. What I want to know is why can people be so quick and harsh to condemn a girl who went a little crazy onstage but not bat an eye to the fact that more explicitly sexual innuendo is being pumped into this generation on a daily basis. Turn on MTV on any given day and there will be raunchy material all over it whether it's to do with music, gossip or celebrity stories. In another reference to "blurred lines" the unrated music video (which might I add anyone can view) features fully naked girls, you can see everything. Yet there is little to no controversy over this. Why would anyone think that such an explicit, derogatory video isn't as bad as a girl on stage(clothed might I add) simply just making a fool of herself? The only explanation I can find as to why people are causing such outrage over mileys performance compared so many other things is the simple fact that it happened live in real time. It's funny that when people for example, see a sexually explicit video in which anyone can view, they think nothing of it yet if a girl acts slutty on a stage everyone is outraged. Despite the video example being far more explicit and raunchy.

It just goes to show that people are so quick to condemn a girl for acting a little wild and slutty when it's black and white in front of them or is in real time yet they are completely ignorant of the fact that a similar thing is happening on a much larger and more explicit scale in this generation. I look forward to your response.


The reason why Miley's performance is so disturbing, is that she has been, and possibly still is, a role model for many teenage girls. The VMA awards are watched worldwide by children. Yes, it is true that entertainment today has numerous sexual references mixed, but Miley's performance has also actually glorified date rape and was degenerating towards women.

We all remember that cute brunette from Hannah Montana. I remember seeing her as a role model, as a person who's the personification of everything I've wanted to be. Even today, 10-year-olds at my school are completely infatuated with 'Hannah'. Imagine the effect Miley's VMA stunt would have on their innocent minds.

Keep in mind, that the video is something one sees by choice, but a live performance? You can't really avoid seeing that. And a live performance like that cannot be censored.

I admit that I have been subjected to my fair share of raunchy videos, but Miley stooping to that level was actually heartbreaking. In trying to prove that she's 'all grown up' now, Miley has made many of us who grew up fantasizing about Hannah Montana very disappointed. Imagine, she's a girl with a purity ring. She was one star I though was not walking down the 'expose' path, but I guess I was wrong.

Being a woman, she should have refrained from even performing to that....'song', but what she did was inappropriate actions in less-than-acceptable clothing, twerking and grinding against her co-performer, (what was his name again?), and slapping a female dancer's backside. Basically, she acted as, what common people call a 'sl**'.

Suppose a little girl sees a picture of Miley's this performance, and tells her mother that she wants the same outfit as 'Hannah', as she always does. What do you expect the mother to react?

Thus, I feel that the reaction of people across the globe to Miley's performance is completely justified.

Debate Round No. 2


Yes she has been a role model for many years but she was only as much of a role model as people saw her to be. She never took on the job of "role model", it was just a perception that people had of her. Miley has clearly shown that she has changed from those days, maybe not for the better but she has certainly changed as she has gotten older. Because people know her as the sweet role model type girl from Hannah Montana (which might I add is complete acting) and not Miley's own personality, they expect her to play that character forever. No matter what Miley has become it is totally unfair to expect someone to play a character for the rest of their lives and slate them when they are not. She is showing that she is past those days. Of course she is going the complete wrong way about showing it but let's face it, how many 20 year old girls nowadays act like the current Miley Cryus; A LOT. The only reason why people are complaining so much about Miley is the fact that she was a child star on a kids show, which again I must say was totally acting. So basically people are complaining that she's not playing an acting role . Of course though, they don't ever think of it that way. For example, if Rihanna did a performance like that, which she regularly does, there would be a fraction of the amount of complaints as Miley's and I'm sure just as much young girls, if not more, see Rihanna as a role model too.

If you think Miley's performance glorifies date rape and was degenerating towards women then what do you think the unrated Blurred Lines video does? A lot worse I would say, but again there is little to no complaints about that.

"10-year-olds at my school are completely infatuated with 'Hannah'. Imagine the effect Miley's VMA stunt would have on their innocent minds."

These girls are merely just obsessed with a character rather than a real person. It would be beneficial for them to realize the difference now rather than later. Why should Miley sacrifice the freedom of expression and pretend to be someone she's not at this stage of her life, just to keep innocent, ignorant young girls happy, even with her current explicit expressions. (I don't mean ignorant in a derogatory way, just in an honest way).

"Keep in mind, that the video is something one sees by choice, but a live performance?"

You only saw the live performance from a video, unless you were there yourself so it's the exact same principle.

"And a live performance like that cannot be censored."

If it could be censored then it wouldn't as there is no need to censor a clothed girl who is just making a fool of herself.

Again it is not fair to condemn her so harshly for her performance just because people were not expecting her to do it or didn't think she'd ever do it, yet Rihanna can do a similar performance on any given night and not be condemned for it but why? Because people were expecting her to do it? Do you see what I mean?

You say "Suppose a little girl sees a picture of Miley's this performance, and tells her mother that she wants the same outfit as 'Hannah', as she always does. What do you expect the mother to react?"

Well, Suppose a little girl hears about or sees the blurred lines unrated video and tells her mother that she wants to go around naked because of the girls in the video?

Suppose a little girl sees a picture of a woman in a bikini in a magazine or newspaper and says she wants the same outfit?

Suppose a little girl sees a woman in a bikini on a tv ad and says she wants the same outfit? Why shouldn't we all outrage over this? To name but a few examples.

Given what I have said I do not see any logical reason why Miley Cyrus should be singled out. I therefore feel that peoples strong reaction to her performance is not justified.


"With great power, comes great responsibility."

Miley has been given a certain power over some tweens due to her role as Hannah, and while it IS correct that she has the right to freedom of expression, but it is also her responsibility to keep herself in check.

As you said, Miley has a right to the freedom of expression,. but then, don't viewer's too have a right to express their disgust over her performance?

As for Rihanna, her songs have continuously sparked outrage and she has been cristicised and condemned for the same. The preception that she gets away scot-free for her explicit action is actually pretty incorrect.

Life as a public figure, and one who can influence youn minds, is very different than that as an average person. While any other 20-year-old doing this might not have been such a big deal, Miley doing this does.

People aren't condemning her because her actions were unexpected, people are condemning her because her actions have actually shattered the respect many (including me) had once had for her.

While things like these keep on happening, there are always some that tend to stand out in the crowd. Cases of rapes aren't a new thing in India, but it was the Nirbhaya case of December 2012 that was highlighted. It was that case which brought the public to the streets and triggered a chain of events which revolutionised the entire nation.
Would you call that an over reaction too?

Debate Round No. 3


Viewers have a right to express their disgust but that in no way makes it justified. furthermore I have shown why I don't think it's justified. Weighing up the information, I don't see a logical reason why it can be justified. There's a difference between a logical expression and an instant expression.

The outrage over Rihanna is minimal compared to the outrage over Miley yet Rihanna has shown and done far more explicit things onstage than miley has. (). Also I never said that Rihanna gets away scot-free, I just said that she is getting a minimal amount of complaints compared to Miley.

Anyone can attempt to influence young minds if they want to, be it celebrity or non-celebrity. Of course being on a tv show just makes it easier but again, Miley was only as much of a role model as people made her out to be.

Again, this respect that you had for her was most likely from Hannah Montana the tv show. So you had respect for a fictional character rather than the person who played the character. A fictional character who you didn't think was capable of doing such an act, therefore her actions have shattered your respect for her because you respected the tv character.

Why would you compare a case of rape to petty, childish, insignificant outrage over a wild 20 year old pop star?
Yes, Petty, childish and insignificant; I rest my case.

I feel I have done what I can to try and argue that people are indeed over-reacting to Miley's VMA performance. She is a young, typically wild girl who is part of a generation where such explicit nature is around every corner. People should react strongly to more important things anyway such as the Music companies who allow such explicit nature to occur. Don't hate the player, hate the game.

Thank you, It's been a pleasure debating with you and I wish you luck.


K.98 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
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1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Leonardo 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro used a source, made more valuable arguments and didn't forfeit any round.