I finally realize what is really bothering me over this whole twerk thing. It isnt MTV, it isnt Miley Cyrus, its how it was always there.. but now has become mainstream and annoying.
Now don't get me wrong, I dont really give a fuck who wants to take ownership of twerk or who likes to twerk.
But before I go too far, What is twerking? And where do I think it came from?
Heres part of the frustration. Defining this term, you really have to back to where it 'started'. When I think of 'twerking', the last thing I think of is Miley Cyrus. I personally don't know when it started, but I know when twerking first caught my eye. Back in the late 90s/early 2000, BET basically had a 'music videos after dark' show called BET Uncut. It mostly featured TV-MA music videos which consisted of a lot of no-name rappers with vulgar (and down right sexually offensive to women) lyrics and a lot of female dances, more often than not these women were strippers. But these music videos aired around 3am, and only on BET, so I imagine the viewership was small.
This gave birth to 'twerking'. ODDLY and sadly enough, twerking is connect to black history in America. A good portion of African-Americans (blacks') in America can trace their ancestry to the south (often referred to as 'the dirty south' in my family). Late 90s/Early 2K, white America was popularizing 'slim' as beauty, this wasnt exactly the case in black America. Where 'white' magazines popularized thin models, songs like "I like big butts" and "Ms Fat Booty" were hitting the air waves.
Even in the beginning of Redman's "Ill Be Dat" music video, he shews off a group of skinny women (who would still be considered plus size if they were models) for a group of BBW
(music video is pretty funny too, give it a watch)
Being 'thick' was no stranger to black America. Further more, dance music was also no stranger. It probably wouldn't be too far of a stretch to say that 'booty shaking music' also came out of black America.
So if you add all these elements up, you get 'twerking'.
- A concentrated area of 'blacks' in the south, so the average stripper would be 'black' in that area.
- Booty Shaking (rap/hip-hop) music
- A culture where 'skinny/thin' isnt as popular as it is in the rest of America, thick is the normal.
- Bet: Uncut (and other music vids, uncut cant get all the blame), Racy music videos which feature a lot of strippers as dancers, and others who would emulate them.
- Rap/Hip-Hop being popular
You basically get something like this
(PS, huge fan of that movie Rize, seen in the above clip)
A bunch of people, with fat asses, listening to booty shaking music, emulating the dancing the see in music videos (which more probably often than not, has actual strippers). Since theres more meat on the bones, the ass literally bounces. TWERKING (which is basically stripper dancing). It was basically born out of all the elements which white America (at the time) was not a fan of.
It was a part of my culture. I knew how to do it, my sister knew how to do it, my mom knew out to do it. Basically something we did for fun, or something could have been done sexually. (Believe me, I have given many lap dances to both males and females.)
But BET: Uncut had a WELL deserved death YEARs ago, and Stripper Dancing was cool/fun when you were doing it for fun, but still slowly died off.
THEN MILEY CYRUS and the VMAs back lash.... Ugh.
But the final straw was Kotaku's post.
How is it that, an entire culture that Twerking was born out of get missed. I mean I have always hated songs like "Back Dat Azz Up" and "Whistle while you Twurk"( but I would play them at a party to dance to, OH YES). But all of a sudden Miley Cyrus was 'twerking' on stage and all of a sudden its one of the most googled words of the year, and it gets added to the dictionary. WTF? How is something thats literally about 15 years old making such a huge splash
Then I remember this Youtube parody
Where Hip-hop is mentioned in a belittling way. "My Daughter was normal, we signed her up for hip-hop, now shes a buffoon". Then there was the San Diego "Twerking" leading to expulsion. I was oddly ok with the video because they were doing what most people do when they 'twerk', being silly and having fun. But then I remember reading the comments on Jezebel about the expulsions. I was appalled by some of the comments. I dance my silly ass around everywhere I go.. I SWEAR DANCING MACHINE IS ABOUT ME, WTF! Should I be embassed for shaking my ass? Well its never been on Youtube?
This is me in 08, shaking my ass in Hawaii in front of a crowd, later posted on youtube.
TLDR—- 'BLACK' STRIPPERS + BOOTY SHAKING MUSIC -> Twerking
Its like that one song that is a remake of a REALLY old song you would hear on the radio ever so often. It was ok. You used to hum is then, but it stop getting play time. WELL NOW ITS BACK, and its on the radio ever where you go. Now its Fucking Annoying... Now I'm over it.
Disclaimers- I started to do some formatting, but got annoyed and figured It wouldnt get mainpaged anyway (not that it was a goal, but incase I wake up and it was there. I wanted to put my best foot forward).
-English was my worst subject, so I'll re-read this and correct mistakes as a find them
-I thought this was gonna be a short write, well an hour later.... Yea, do I dont blame your boredom, Just wanted to get this off my mind.
-Why do I keep putting 'black' in single quotes. Its a term I'm not fond. NO IM NOT ASHAMED OF BEING 'BLACK', I dont like the literal term. Long story for another day.
-Why do I keep putting 'twerk' in single quotes. If anything, I would called it stripper dancing.
Info about me. African-America Japanese hybrid who has lived so many random areas (Middle class, poor, white, black, mexican, asian, Ca, Wa, etc).
ETA- added rize 'stripper dance' clip, didnt show up the first time