miley cyrus vmas

By now, we’ve all seen Miley Cyrus’s awkward, gyrating VMA performance of “We Can’t Stop” that certainly made me want to look away, but found myself glued to the TV. Reactions around the internet range from awkward secondhand embarrassment, incredulity, and outrage. Oh, also, were you hoping for an armchair diagnosis from some non-doctors? Cool.

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The medical experts people over at MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” began their broadcast today with a measured, thoughtful (SIKE) examination of Miley’s performance. While the male hosts sort of giggled their way through and made half-assed pleas for the children! Their precious eyes!, host Mika Brzezinski got herself into a lather and wasn’t having any of it. In fact, she basically saw the line you don’t cross when discussing strangers’ health, hurdled over it, and kept on sprinting.

“I think that was really, really disturbing. That young lady, who is 20, is obviously deeply troubled, deeply disturbed, clearly has confidence issues, probably eating disorder and I don’t think anybody should have put her on stage. That was disgusting and embarrassing … That was not attractive. That was not fun. That was not funny. That was really, really bad for anybody who’s younger and impressionable and she’s really messed up … The whole thing was cringe worthy but I feel bad for her. She is a mess. Someone needs to take care of her. Someone needs not to put her on stage and make a complete fool of herself.”

What. The. Fuck. It’s completely irresponsible for Brzezinski to speculate that Cyrus “probably” has an eating disorder—based on what? She’s a slim girl, so now that’s an obvious eating disorder? Brzezinski’s fake concern is nothing more than body shaming, and it’s patently unacceptable. Is it possible, just maybe, that the confidence issues that Brzezinski are certain exist are made up in her head? And that Miley feels good about her body to the point where she felt comfortable dancing around in a leotard in front of a nationally televised audience? That performance was a lot of things, but insecure it was not.

Criticizing Miley for made up mental health issues takes away from actual, legitimate criticisms of her performance, and she has sparked valid outrage for her tone-deaf and oblivious attitude. There are real debates happening about race and culture, and we shouldn’t bother with fake concern from a non-medical professional.

I have plenty of issues with Miley Cyrus (and I thought the VMA performance was a nightmare), but I’m firmly Team Miley on this one. Brzezinski is a grown woman who’s straight up bullying Miley. Accusing Miley of not setting a good example for younger viewers is a farcical joke. I Using your TV audience to body shame and bully a 20-year-old girl? Real classy.

Photo: Getty Images // via NY Mag