America has been bastardizing and hyper sexualizing black women for its own sick purposes for far too long (Centuries!) Cuties seems to be just MORE OF THAT BULLSHIT, except with kids. I am disgusted.
With that said, I agree with much that you’ve written in this article, but on the twerking you are wrong; and what is so sad is that you are co-signing America’s long tradition of sexually exploiting women of color, without even realizing it…ain’t that America.
Twerking is some sick capitalistic shit, that takes something feminine and African in origin and defiles and degrades it and has kids doing it.
This is not appropriate.
The origins of twerking are African. The origins come from African dance movements that ARE FAR MORE holistic in structure than twerking.
Twerking is a bastardization and sexualization and degradation of movements that were designed to be spiritual (and not only or primarily sexual in nature).
African dance is expressive. It communicates. It tells a story. Years ago, I was a dancer and had a teacher who drew on African tradition to inspire her choreography. She choreographed a dance that told a story, child birth was a part of that story. At one point we (the dancers) had to open our legs widely as one has to do to birth a baby. It was one part of the dance. It was not the whole dance.
Twerking is the equivalent of making the entire dance, the opening of our legs widely, and closing them to open them again. That would have been a stupid, dumb, dumb and obviously hyper sexual dance. This is what twerking is though. Wtf does twerking communicate? My butt is bouncing. Do you really think this is what African women are trying to communicate in their dancing? Hey come look at my bouncing butt? No. These dances are incredibly complex, beautiful and expressive and the bouncing butt just happens to be the unintended consequence of thousands of complex muscle movements.
Leave it to America, to isolate the one movement, mass produce it, and sell it like its candy…or a butt.
Twerking takes that one movement and makes it the whole dance. It is stupid, and it is a complete degradation of what these movements were intended for. (A bouncing butt is actually a very small fraction of a lot of African dance moves, and actually happens when you flex your stomach muscles a certain way, the move actually has nothing to do with the butt, the butt just responds cause of the way it is being pulled by one’s stomach muscles.)
So why did twerking become such a thing? Hip-Hop…and you might be clueless (because you’re white) as to how extraordinarily racist and sexist and sexualized hip-hop is, but there is probably no industry as degrading and abusive to women performers and entertainers than that one.
You’re not doing black Americans any favors by defending twerking. I get why you would think this or say this, but twerking IS NOT innocent or “black.” It is a dance move that is African in its origin, but has been stripped from its cultural framework, and commodified and sexualized for profit…like so much else in America.
Miley Cyrus twerked…and badly…her choreographer (obviously no background in African dance) did not understand the movement comes from stomach muscles and not the butt muscles.
Sorry to go on this long rant about twerking, but when you understand how hip-hop has commodified and bastardized what was supposed to be something absolutely sacred in African culture and tradition, twerking is an insult…the way America has mainstreamed it is an injury.
And because so few people understand the origins or meaning of any African dances or the cultural context they have grown out of…now the entire world thinks this is an appropriate form of African-American dancing. It’s not.
It is some bastardized, hyper-sexualized bullshit! And America has been bastardizing and hyper sexualizing black women for its own sick purposes for far too long (Centuries!) Cuties seems to be just MORE OF THAT BULLSHIT, except with kids. I am disgusted.