Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Can A Twerp Twerk?

In recent months, as the mother of a teenage girl, I have developed a great (okay, an enormous, a colossal, an absolutely frrrrrrkkkin' HUGE) appreciation for perspective

Keeping things in perspective.

Here's what I'm talkin' about ...

My daughter stayed up later than we agreed and I was a little ... well ... pissed. Perspective: she was in her room. Not at a bar, not in a parking lot, not at the police station.

My daughter no longer likes the (overpriced) jeans she simply had to have. Perspective: we are lucky enough to be able to afford nice things. And, they will earn some much-needed money for the school's thrift shop.

My daughter's room is a mess. Perspective: while I may think of it as a "disaster area," in truth, we live in a safe house on a safe street in a safe town. As you can surmise, we are all safe. I've seen the results of disasters in New Orleans and New Jersey. Her bedroom doesn't really need assistance from FEMA.

"Wah wah wah," I say. Most of our issues are decidedly "first world problems." Especially when you put them in perspective.

So, with this in mind, I've given some more thought to the media storm around Miss Miley Cyrus. Just as there are far worse things than breaking a bedtime curfew, discarding virtually unworn jeans or trudging through piles of crap on a teenager's floor, there are worse things than a misguided young celebrity twerking on an awards show.

Perspective. She's young and pretty and vaguely talented.

How about so-called normal people twerking?

There are people who (without the benefit of Miley's backup dancers), twerk with their dogs and cats. Does this constitute animal abuse? Quite possibly. But that doesn't make it any less popular. "Twogging" is all over YouTube.

I weep for the future.

Then there are the safety hazards inherent in twerking. A video went viral this week of a young woman doing some sexy twerking moves for her boyfriend. (Whatever happened to love letters?) She was hot. I mean, she was really hot. I mean, she was hot, hot hot. On the off chance you didn't already see it (nearly 10 million people have), watch here.

Jimmy Kimmel has since come forward and confessed that the whole thing was a prank. The girlfriend in the video is actually a stuntwoman (good thing). Kimmel explained his motive as he thanked his gullible audience:

"Thank you for helping us deceive the world and hopefully put an end to twerking forever."

Perhaps the most tasteless and offensive of all, there are videos of ... moms twerking. That's right, moms. Oh, the horror!

I confess, I'm a mom and I have been known to twerk — although I didn't know at the time what it was called. I have one Zumba instructor who is an incredible dancer. But her style is not ... shall we say ... balletic. In fact, she channels her inner stripper every time she teaches. And we, her ragtag class of lumpy middle-aged moms, go along for the ride. We bend our knees, we place our hands on our thighs, we shake our booty, hinging front and back, and wagging our tushes for good measure in between. Yes, as sad as it is (and even sadder to watch, I have no doubt), we twerk.

I'm actually pretty good at it. In fact, I'm surprised that the makers of a particular workout video didn't call me to star in the TV spot. I mean, really. Moody teenager, "boring old mom," I could have done it in my sleep. 

So, my husband, once he learned what twerking was (my daughter and I staged an impromptu tutorial in the kitchen recently), asked the age-old question:

"Can a twerp tewerk?"

The answer is "Yes." Everyone can twerk.

But that doesn't mean everyone should.

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