August 29, 2013

Miley and Me: Why We Both Twerk

4 minute read, in Marketing

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The world was in such an uproar about Miley Cyrus’ performance on the VMA’s that it hit the radar of a 42 year old mom like me who ended up looking up the word Twerking late Tuesday night.

Between Wikipedia and Youtube I got myself sorted and up to speed on current events.

The next day, driving to work, I was pondering how to get enough donations to reach the $2000 benchmark to participate in the Weekend to End Women’s Cancers. I’ve done it for four years as part of an awesome team (yeah Cancer is Crap!) but things had stalled. The first year I did the Walk, soon after my friend Leanne had died of breast cancer, the money poured in. Four years later, my fundraising efforts were stalling.

This is when I got the idea. I needed to take a page from crowdfunding campaigns and give something of value to my donors. Barry (Husband and Owner of Hypenotic) donated to Pebble and got a watch, Not Far From the Tree gave away fruit picks with celebrities like David Miller and raised over $4000.

What did I have that would be of value? What would tantalize people to give to Women’s Cancers? I figured it out! I would Twerk at the finish line and share video of myself Twerking for all to see. I short, I would humiliate myself publicly.

So, I immediately posted this on Facebook.

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Here’s what happened to my donations in 24 hours. I raised all of the money to do the Walk and donate $2000 towards Princess Margaret’s critical work on Women’s Cancers.

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In the process, I realized that Miley and I have much in common and our reasons for Twerking are much the same.

Please indulge me as I share my thoughts on how Miley and I resorted to Twerking for similar reasons.

We Were Stalled: Miley’s a child star. Her biggest moment was when she was Hannah Montana. Her dad is Billy Ray Cyrus. It’s not easy to be taken seriously as a singer when you’ve got those credentials. Like Miley, my fundraising was stalled. Sure, everyone rallied behind me when the walk was fresh news but four years on, I was washed up. Me and Miley needed to do something–and fast!

We Don’t Mind Humiliation: When you don’t mind embarrassing yourself the world of possibilities cracks wide open. Seriously. Imagine what would be possible if you could put your ego aside and act like a gigantic fool and not even care? I’m not saying Miley was out to humiliate herself, but maybe, just maybe, she doesn’t give a shit what you think. MamaPop put it best (it’s long, but really well said).

Cyrus is 2o years-old. She’s a woman now, like it or not. As an adult female she is entitled to autonomy and agency and creative freedom of expression….I did some pretty stupid stuff when I was that age, including painting my bedroom dark purple and stenciling quotes from Shakespeare on the walls. I was, in short, a total fucking idiot so full of myself that I could not see beyond the borders of what appeared on that month’s calendar page, and the vast majority of  my peer acquaintances felt the same. Cyrus gives exactly zero shits about what we think of her MTV appearance, and whether we hate it or not is of little consequence to her.

Does this look like someone who minds a little embarrassment?

Now, I anticipate that the image of me bending over and shaking my heiny will not be pretty. It will be especially unattractive after I’ve walked 60K and camped out at the Roger’s Centre over night. But like Miley, I don’t give a shit and it’s extremely liberating.

We Needed to Reposition Ourselves in the Marketplace:

Miley’s watching other folks like Rihianna climb the charts. She knows she’s gotta bring it to be current in a busy, competitive music world. So, she shook her ass and used that spongey finger pointer in nasty, unimaginable ways. And you know what she accomplished?  Check it:

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Like Miley, I know lots of people are asked for donations for walks, runs, bike rides, etc. I get asked all the time. Truth is sometimes I give, and sometimes I don’t. I needed to break through the noise and do something different to get some attention. I needed to up the ante. It worked to raise money to fight Women’s Cancers, and I suspect it will work for Miley too.


And, of course big, huge thanks to all who donated.

If you’d like to donate, you can do it here.




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