On the Subject of Twerking


Since I wrote about bosoms last week in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month, I thought this week I would write about bums, as in gluts. As in our bottoms.
I’m writing about butts because it only seemed fair and because, well, I need to set the record straight on something. As anyone who reads this blog knows, I love to dance. I’m not particularly good at it, but I love it. After the sensational Miley Cyrus twerking incident at the VH1 music awards, I got some very personal questions about my opinion of the whole thing that included the full-out solicitation of my thoughts on the dance move itself. There was even some hinting about whether or not I, myself, have twerked. Let me set the record straight right here and right now…
I think before I twerk. I can twerk. I have twerked. I simply choose not to twerk.
I have nothing against the dance move, which you can see by going to Youtube and typing “twerking” in the search box. FAIR WARNING: This will bring up all kinds of demonstrations of twerking, from the least obscene one can make it to the most bizarrely pornographic. Miley Cyrus’s version, I thought, was fairly tame compared to most I’ve seen. If done correctly, it can be a viable option for choreography, depending on the dancer, audience, venue, and music, but it's not for everyone. Most of the objections to it come from the fact it basically looks very sexual, kind of like the dancer is dry humping air.
To me, it’s not quite so sexual as frightening. When dancers really get going, it looks more to me like someone trying to give birth and failing, kind of like the dancer is desperately trying to expel something from her body. That, coupled with the driving beat it’s usually danced to, give it a horror movie vibe, and I find myself sitting on the edge of my seat waiting to see what will erupt from the dancer, kind of like the feeling one gets when watching Alien movies.
There are some women who can do this move so that it actually looks like their butts are moving independently of the rest of their bodies, which is kind of surreal if you watch it long enough. It ceases to be sexual and instead becomes either comical or optical illusion-ish, so much so that it detracts from the dancing itself.
The other part of twerking is that if you don’t do it correctly, you can really hurt your lower back. You really have to use your core and tilt your pelvic, or you can risk serious injury. In ten years, most of the teens who are at this very minute twerking just to irritate their parents will find themselves at the doctor’s office with lower back pain. Imagine a 20-something hobbling in to see her GP, completely befuddled as to why her lower back is so sore all the time. The doctor will knowingly ask whether his recalcitrant patient ever twerked back in the day, and she will have to sheepishly admit that, yes, indeed, she bowed to peer pressure and did her best Miley Cyrus impression at senior prom, and well, she hasn’t walked quite the same since.
It’s because of the latter, the potential for injury, that I choose not to twerk. I suppose if I really felt the urge to impersonate Grace Jones in that one movie where it looks like she’s giving birth to a bottle of perfume, I would do it, but those urges rarely occur. How about you? Do you twerk? Have you? Come on, do tell!
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