Last Sunday, the Video Music Awards was--perhaps in reflection to the host's outfits--busy. There has been a growing trend in televised award shows for attendees, winners, and hosts to use the stage and mic as a platform to call awareness to present-day issues. The notable takeaways from this year's VMA show: Kanye West for President in 2020 (which would also possibly mean Kim Kardashian as the First Lady) and Miley Cyrus's efforts to emphasize the importance of trans rights. Soapboxes of this kind are truly favorable. Because, although it's always important to thank and show appreciation to loved ones, addressing societal problems that are weightier than any shiny trophy really goes to show how overbearing pop culture can be.
And then there was girl beef. Cat fights, not pressing social issues, took the stage. There was an obvious favor of having girl feuds be a highlight for the VMAs 2015. From a surprise collaboration reconciliation performance with Nicki Minaj and Taylor Swift (in light of their Twitter spat in July) to Minaj calling out Cyrus on comments the former Disney star made a few days before about the said Minaj-Swift issue on the The New York Times to Swift's "Bad Blood" music video winning Best Video of the Year (the video's basically about Swift having bad blood with another woman), conflict clearly sells. However, thus perpetuated is the stereotype of women being at odds with one another.
Which doesn't mean that men are never in conflict with other men or that it's atypical for human beings to have disputes. But when MTV openly says in a voiceover that there's more "girl beefs" in store for the evening, the arguments between Minaj and Cyrus lose its meaning. When it's simply about publicity, then how can anyone, viewers and celebrities alike, seriously talk about the problems of sexism, racism, and privilege? It's a pity when cat fights take center stage. No progress is really made then and we're left with MTV cashing in on the "fights" taking place and letting social issues be unaddressed.