Pop Culture: Captivated by Controversy

IN this era, it seems as if you cannot make a name for yourself in media without causing a ruckus in the industries of music and fashion.

Everywhere we turn it seems as if there is always someone who is currently most talked about because they did something that caused hysteria. This is usually met with mass criticism. This may seem like the worst way to market themselves but it gives them the attention that they need in order to market and it is a method that more and more people are using.

Controversies give us something to talk about. It’s a chance to voice our opinions and compare it with others.

Miley Cyrus is a perfect example. She first came to the scene because of her portrayal of Disney character Hannah Montana. Due to this she gained a worldwide solid fan base consisting of preteens. As she grew and evolved with her style and music, her fan base stayed relatively the same which meant that according to the public she had a responsibility and an obligation to be a good role model to her fans; because of this, incidents such as her kissing a girl on stage and using legal drugs were met with angry parents creating petitions to stop her behaviour and it also made people more aware of her presence.

Her biggest controversy yet was her performance during last year’s VMA Awards. Miley was already getting heat from her music video of ‘We Can’t Stop’ but her performance which consisted of giant bears, a group of twerkers, a latex bikini and a giant foam finger, took it to another level. The cameras even panned to the audience at times showing shocked faces.

After a while, many people started to like what she was doing and it was not because they saw an artistic perspective from it but it was because she was current and as a result she gained 226,273 Facebook likes and 213,104 followers on twitter in a week credited to her newfound mad practices.

She was trending so much on the night of the VMAs that twitter broke due to so many tweets. Although she may have lost a large quantity of her original fans because her antics are considered inappropriate for them to be exposed to, she gained a new group of fans that are older and edgier. All this attention ensured Miley stayed in the public eye and thus more attention on her work.

So why do we like controversy if it goes against what we think is acceptable or not?

I believe that it is because of the fact that most controversies are original it is not repetitive in terms of concept and execution that we’re used to for most mainstream media works.

Controversies give us something to talk about; it gives us a chance to voice our opinions and compare it with others. However, because of this and the fact that we have seen so much makes us more immune to what’s coming next which is normal because we naturally adapt. So what’s coming next has to be bigger and wackier.