So I’ll admit I’ve never watched the Video Music Awards (VMAs) before this year. Growing up in a house without cable made it really easy to avoid obnoxious networks like MTV. Honestly, I didn’t even realize how popular award shows like the VMAs were until Miley Cyrus’ infamous performance went viral. I remember scrolling Facebook this time last year and all I could see were videos about Miley Cyrus dancing with teddy bears and twerking all over Robin Thicke. Maybe because of that, I didn’t really care to go back and take the time to watch the show. When a friend sent me an article about Beyoncé’s ‘feminist’ performance at this year’s VMAs, I decided to check out what all the fuss was about. Maybe I was missing out on something. I was excited to finally contribute to my friend’s gossip about the awards show. Like me, my roommate had also never seen the VMAs. It was exciting to share our first impressions with each other.
Before I even noticed any performers, my attention was caught by the awkwardness of the audience – bored out of their minds. I couldn’t help but feel sorry for all those people, sadly swinging their arms and halfheartedly cheering on Ariana Grande as she energetically jumped around the stage and sang. Honestly, before this performance, I didn’t know who Ariana Grande was, but now I know she’s basically a tiny human who has a loud voice. Good to know.
Everything was a blur until Nicki Minaj came on the stage… I didn’t know it was possible to shake your ass in so many ways. But now I know, and there’s no going back. It can’t be unseen. Then Jay Pharoah, the host of the evening, did his sketch. This is a name I was more familiar with, as I have spent many afternoons watching Satuday Night Live trying to avoid work. I had high hopes, thinking he would lighten up the awkward mood of the audience. He only made the show more uncomfortable to watch. At one point he commented on Ariana Grande saying “I’m a little attracted to you and I feel a little weird about it. She looks kinda young, don’t she? You should not be a grown man enjoying Sam & Kat as much as your five year old nephew.”- What were his writers thinking? Did nobody else think this was a super creepy comment?
In the end, I just did not make it through the 90 minute segment to see Beyoncé’s performance. I just YouTubed it to save my time and energy. But I did learn a great deal from this experience. I couldn’t be happier that I’m not an artist who has to sacrifice my dignity by attending or performing at these horrible events. I learned that not having cable was the best gift my parents gave me. I will never again attempt to keep up with MTV and its nonsense. All in all, VMAs watched and lesson learned.