Miley Cyrus has set a new, unattainably low standard for performers around the world, and her new music video, “Wrecking Ball,” says it all. Directed by Terry Richardson, known for his edgy, blatantly sexual shoots,“Wrecking Ball” takes potentially lovely artistic shots and intersperses them with the lewd and entirely nude. This juxtaposition will go over the heads of most of the masses, but some might appreciate the delicate irony in having the 20 year old singer orally make love to the very thing she is using to destroy the cement walls around her. The cement walls, in case you didn’t realize, are a metaphor for the relationship that “wrecked her,” possibly an ode to her shaky footing with on-again, off-again beau Liam Hemsworth, which is clearly no fault of hers. Liam just can’t seem to understand the honor he has of being by the side of a millennial visionary such as Miley Cyrus. Maybe this contrived video might do the trick and help him see the error of his ways, but Miley shouldn’t hold her breath.
Richardson and Cyrus undoubtedly worked tirelessly to make “Wrecking Ball” as inappropriately sexual, yet boring as possible, choosing to forgo background dancers, story lines and intriguing dance moves in favor of Miley rolling around in dusty mortar and clutching her partially-shaved blonde head dramatically whilst crooning into the camera. Nothing says sexy like a close-up of a girl crying who then starts giving filthy construction equipment a red-lipped cat bath.
Despite wearing an almost identical outfit to the one for her first music video to debut her new look, Cyrus has ingeniously decided to do away with those troublesome pants and upgrade to simple white undies. This is important, because pant legs might get dirty while she’s traipsing through the wreckage of her destroyed ‘relationship,’ and there wasn’t nearly enough skin shown in “We Can’t Stop.” Honestly, my only advice for this classless video thus far would have been to add in a scene where she’s brushing her teeth and gargling with fluoride after hopping out of the shower. Sledgehammers can’t be all that clean, and goodness knows the dust she’s going to have in her hair afterwards. It would have been ludicrous to think that Cyrus and Richardson would take a classy approach to a ballad with such a lovely hook; why settle for admiration when you can have millions of viewers hunched over their computers, cringing in disgust?
And then, just when things couldn’t get any worse, Miley hops on a wrecking ball, fully nude, and starts swinging around. The first time it happens, right at the 1:15 mark, it’s subtle enough that you see it, but you’re hoping it’s not real. But, thirty seconds later, as Miley comes swinging into frame, all skin and construction boots, your mouth drops open in horror of its own accord. Richardson’s idea was probably to be so blatantly sexual that, to the untrained eye, it seems like it’s trying too hard and is entirely inappropriate, but, in reality, is pure fire. A work of art, if you will. She lost the clothes because the white-on-white ensemble was getting dirty from all of the construction work, the sledgehammer was already clean from its previous cat bath so she moved onto the wrecking ball’s chain and she’s swinging commando on the final line of destruction to her relationship. It kind of makes sense, in a grimy, lewd, vague sort of way, but if Miley’s hope with this video was to convince the masses that she is a strong, confident, independent young woman capable of making her own life choices, well, better luck next time. In general, when considering whether or not you should publicly keep your clothes on or take them off, on is always the best bet.