TO TWERK OR NOT TO TWERK?
THAT IS THE QUESTION!
The Following is an excerpt from Black Dot's book Urban Culture Decoded
Chuck D from the legendary Hip Hop Group Public Enemy stated, “Attention is the new currency.” If this is the case, then the Internet has provided new revenue streams for young women with high quality figures and low self-esteem. Young women showing off their bodies and dancing in a suggestive manner called twerking has taken the country by storm. Normally this type of adult entertainment would be reserved for those who were at a nightclub and everyone there would be of age. But the Internet has opened a whole new vortex by which access to what used to be private and sacred is available to anyone and everyone. As a result, young women seeking attention are more willing to expose themselves in a sexual manner because the number of hits she receives can literally quantify the results. Each hit is like a charge of energy, a vote of confidence. So, can you imagine what 800,000 hits does to the psyche of a young women who doesn’t have a father at home to teach her about her value beyond her physical appearance?
A lot of young women have been relegated to using their physical attributes to gain favor with men, why? Could it be that every song that they hear on the radio is making some kind of sexual reference? Or could it be that every female artist that they listen to and watch is half dressed and using their bodies to sell records and gain popularity? Miley Cyrus brought national attention to the culture of twerking during the 2013 MTV awards. Her core audience is young females who grew with her from her Hanna Montana days. What most people didn’t realize is that Miley Cyrus was performing a ritual to kill off Hannah Montana, and give birth to the new, all grownup young woman ready to explore life’s challenges, including sex. The ripple effect of such actions is that many young girls whose sexual energy is not ready to be activated are thrust into a world of sexual chaos and confusion. Most people may view this as harmless since there is just visual stimulation involved, but visual stimulation can become a gateway for physical contact. Twerking is a part of the culture. In fact, it has always been a part of the culture of Black people, we just didn’t call it twerking. Some say the origin of the dance is from New Orleans, which was called bounce music. Others say Miami started the craze. It may go all the way back to West Africa with a dance called Mapouka which is a very suggestive dance that was performed ceremoniously, and I’m sure the name will change again soon. But what will not change are young women showing off their bodies in a sexual manner for attention. We live in a visual dimension now. Therefore, sites like YouTube and Worldstar Hip Hop are so popular.
For this generation if you do not have an existence in the virtual world, you do not exist, period. Twerking has provided an existence for those young women who would otherwise be anonymous. They matter, even if it’s just as a part of somebody’s fantasy. Yet fantasy is the new reality. I will say it again...fantasy is the new reality. So, a million hits are like a million minds banning together to form an alternate universe that allows one’s fantasies to become real, even if just temporarily. Attention is a powerful energy source. It should not be taken lightly. In fact, the greatest gift that any parent can give their child is time. So, when we give the proper time and attention to our children they have a lesser need to receive it in the virtual world.
The Black Dot is the author or the underground classic Hip-Hop Decoded, and his new book, Urban Culture Decoded.