Slut-Shaming Miley Cyrus – Maybe it’s about time.

 

Call me a prude, but after seeing the video replays of the MTV music awards I was disgusted. All I know is that Miley Cyrus made a slut out of herself again after keeping her tongue out, dancing like she was gyrating against someone during doggie style sex, fingering herself with a foam “We’re Number One” hand, and then gyrated against the pelvis of Robin Thicke’s at the end of the performance.

Amid all that, she wasn’t even singing – rather she was shouting into the microphone. I’m not even sure what it was that she was doing, besides screaming at the top of her lungs – “I’m not Hanna Montana anymore, BITCHES!” That’s the most I could make out. I might be wrong… if she wasn’t literally doing that, then she was doing so symbolically. I’m not sure exactly what she was trying to do besides cry for help because her life has spun out of control. Or maybe she was doing something else.

Maybe Miss Cyrus is wantonly trying to destroy her former “good girl” image and knows exactly what she’s doing in the hopes that people would consider her to be a more mature, legitimate performer. She’s mature alright… mature as in “Mature Audience…” as in Triple X…

There’s been at least 24 hours (as of this writing) of protests, condemnation, criticism, and critiques from various sources – all of them either condemning her or condemning the commendation of Miss Cyrus. There are the bashers who are accused of “Slut-Shaming” her, and those people who are vilifying her critics for being too puritan, too conservative and self-righteous.

At or around the same time of this controversy there are other sex scandals of note; let’s not get into the whole story with New York City Mayoral candidate Anthony Wiener and his cyber girlfriend Sydney Leathers, and her ventures in hard-core pornographic movies. Let’s skip over the mayor of San Diego Bob Filner who resigned over multiple accusations of sexual harassment (and maybe even sexual assult.) Type of the word “Sex Scandal” and there are other stories; some involve a pastor, a school principal, a teacher, a husband of a Kardashian sister, an Attorney General in Utah, top law officials in China…

But “we” are really mad at Miley Cyrus. Really, really, really mad!

Why? The fact is, none of the aforementioned besides Miss Cyrus were put on a pedestal as an entertainer or role model for young children; especially our daughters and nieces. We’re outraged because someone who the young ladies in our lives looked up to while they tried to emulate her has gone so far into destroying what made them famous and in turn MIGHT inspire young girls to follow suit in acting ‘sluty’.

Outraged might be the wrong word, how about the word “betrayed?” And maybe I’m also making the case that our feeling of betrayal towards Miss Cyrus isn’t all about her; she’s only the representative of the entire entertainment establishment that seems hell bent on sexualizing our daughters at a younger and younger age this year.
Another reason why we’re angry (especially as parents) is that we know other people have sex but we just don’t want to see it, we don’t want to know about, and we sure don’t want it put in our faces without our consent. Sure, the same men and some women who are protesting against Miss Cyrus are the same people who like to dabble in porn from time to time, might go to a strip club on occasion, and do some pretty wild things behind our bedroom doors (or the kitchen, or the basement, or the back woods, in an empty meeting hall right next to a “Star Trek” convention, in a tent on the side of a mountain, in abandoned buildings…) but that’s private. There’s a reason why “private lives” or “personal lives” are called that.
Maybe it’s time to push back against the women on-line who try to shame us for trying to “slut shame” Miley Cyrus. Maybe we’re past due for a revival of “puritan values” and make a stand for what a lot of us like to call “filth” and call out other activities in the media for what it is. Maybe we’re past due for shouting down celebrities and media personalities who try to make names for themselves by doing genuinely embarrassing acts in public.

I would never want to see my daughter (if I had one) or a girl my son was dating to behave like that, ever. What would that say about her, what would that say about what she thinks about herself? Activities like that scream “I’m desperate for attention” and could lead to date rape, venereal diseases, unwanted pregnancies and if that crap get out into the internet/Facebook; unemployment/unemployable status.

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Looking for Work in Under-Served Regions

caution-signDoes anyone know of a market that is underserved in terms of there being a ton of work? Is there any area of this field that is looking for artists/designers these days….preferably in the US?

The short answer: Yes! Typically the further away from cities you get you’ll find them. The further away, the less likely they have a graphic designer who’s working their steadily and serving the region with good design question. Marketing yourself to those people is just as hard as marketing yourself in a competitive/saturated market; so be prepared to market yourself.

The long answer: Excellent question and one that I’ve been thinking about a lot these days; especially as I’m getting settled here in my own location and I’m looking back at all the places I’ve been (from various regions in Vermont, Upstate New York on the Canadian Border, Freemont California, Topeka Kansas…) and I’ve been wondering if I could make it there or if I could even be a graphic design student at college, period.
I have two schools of thought for your question.

The First: there are underserved regions all over the country on two fronts. First – there’s only one Nina (and only one Eric Fisk CGD) and there are many, many regions of the country. There just isn’t enough of us – as individuals – to go around.
Then there’s the school of thought that since Graphic Design is everywhere, and it’s constantly changing and evolving, and there are new needs springing up everywhere it’s up to us (again – as individuals) to find those opportunities. Mention you’re a graphic designer and people will as you if you do this, that, or the other thing.

The Second: There are indeed regions of the country that are desperately underserved. Perfect example is that there’s an establishment between my house and the college town of Keene that has a horrible sign. It looks like someone took some spray paint, some stencils, and a large piece of plywood or plastic and made up a sigh on the spot. It’s a crappy sign that says – to me – “like everything else, We care so little about our sign! If you think this sign is a mess, you should see our kitchen and bathrooms!”

This establishment is in a region where there are plenty of crappy signs; many are old and warn down “Clip Art” varieties, the hand-painted ones, and the ones made by a first year art student who must have slept through the classes on Hierarchy, Contrast, and Typography. Many business owners in these regions have the attitude, “We’re country, we don’t need nothing fancy” and mistake sloppiness for rustic charm.

Do these people need the services of a good graphic designer? Absolutely.

Do they understand why they need the services of a good graphic designer? Arguably, and good luck trying to make your case while trying to sell your services to them.

Too often I’ve found in rural areas that natives don’t take too kindly to stranger and they have a type of nepotism; they would rather give their business to someone whom they know does bad work but has been in the region for a long time rather than someone with talent but just moved in a short while ago. Also, keep in mind that “a short while ago” could mean anytime between last week, last year, or 10 years ago.

The bottom line is the same where ever you are; it’s about selling yourself. It’s just as hard to sell yourself in an area saturated with other graphic designers as it is to sell yourself in a region with none and you potential customers who don’t know why they actually need you. Not only do you have to be a great graphic designer but you have to be an excellent sales person and the product you’re selling is yourself.