Twerking hard or hardly twerking: Miley Cyrus 101

ASU has been known to host some pretty bizarre classes. With various classes on everything from the Beatles to "Sex and the City," you can pretty much study any topic you want.

But Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York, takes the cake on bizarre study with the addition of a class based on the twerking queen, Miley Cyrus.

Appropriately, the school's slogan is “Creative Thought Matters.”



The class is being added as a special topic sociology class and will be titled, “The Sociology of Miley Cyrus: Race, Class, Gender and Media.Assistant professor Carolyn Chernoff will be teaching the course.

According to the course flyer, she will “explore core issues of intersectionality theory, looking at race, class and gender, as well as taking a feminist critique of media, using Cyrus as a lens through which to explore sociological thinking about identity, entertainment, media, and fame.”

The general idea of the course makes sense. Cyrus has been one of the most controversial pop stars and has caused quite the commotion.

The class will dig deeper into Cyrus’s life and look into her transition from a “Disney tween to a twerking machine.”

Chernoff said the class is appropriately based on Cyrus, because she “is a surprisingly complicated cultural moment.” While Chernoff says she is complicated, I think that she's a bad influence on the children who watch her. However, it's important to study icons like that to better understand their relevance.

After MTV's VMAs, Chernoff said many of her students began to develop opinions on Cyrus.

I believe that, because I don’t know a single person who doesn’t have an opinion on Cyrus.

She's transformed from innocent and pure Hannah Montana, her Disney persona, to a wild, inappropriate and sexual pop sensation.

But as the past tells us, Cyrus is not the first Disney star that has made desperate attempts to make the public realize she's a woman, not a girl.

Former Disney Mousketeers Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears have both done the same, in slightly different ways.

Aguilera released an album soon after turning 21 featuring the song “Dirrty.” She said she wanted it to get “down and dirty,” turning away from her own bubblegum pop image.

The song’s music video was sexually provocative and promiscuous, to say the least.

Spears also made a pivotal moment in her career that changed people's “baby one more time” image.

When she released “Oops… I did it again”, Spears appeared in a tight red leather body suit and made sure no one viewed her as a little girl anymore.

As much as I despise Cyrus and the trashy way she promotes herself, she is following in the footsteps of many other women who did what they needed to do to be taken seriously in their careers.

You either love her or you hate her, but in the end, everyone knows her and has an opinion they want to share.

Reach the columnist at or follow her on Twitter @laurenklenda

Editor's note: The opinion presented in this column is the author's and does not imply any endorsement from The State Press or its editors.

Want to join the conversation? Send an email to Keep letters under 300 words and be sure to include your university affiliation. Anonymity will not be granted.

Get the best of State Press delivered straight to your inbox.