When watching the 2015 VMAs, I was expecting music, jokes, and good-natured fun amongst the artists. Instead, MTV aired scenes of uncomfortable and blatant white privilege and microaggressions that left my friends and I wondering: how is this okay?
Several instances throughout the program involved MTV trying to be lighthearted and whimsical, yet it backfired and showed their insensitivity for social issues occurring.
To start it off, the host, Miley Cyrus, styled her hair into dreadlocks. Although Miley’s intentions were probably just her freedom of expression, this came off as cultural appropriation rather than appreciation. Cyrus simply “borrowing” a look that serves as an identification to a certain culture is not only insulting, but shows her using her white privilege to essentially exploit a minority group. In many cultures and religions, particularly the Rastafarian culture, dreadlocks were a source of pride and identification that stemmed from hundreds of years of enslaved oppression. Cyrus wearing them as a fad, particularly since she herself has not experienced the same history, shows her lack of knowledge and understanding of a different culture. Continue reading “MTV, Check Yourself”