Sissy bounce queen Big Freedia appeared on last night's episode of FXX's Totally Biased to promote her upcoming reality show on Fuse. Her ensuing interview with W. Kamau Bell was a refreshing alternative to the online hysteria about twerking, Miley Cyrus, and cultural appropriation. Freedia, as you may know, attempted to set a world record for twerking on Wednesday in New York, though the claim that she succeeded in setting said record is being contested. Either way, she knows her stuff.
She schooled Bell in the difference between twerking and the other dance forms she employs. She rated Cyrus' VMAs performance ("Um..."), adding, "I'm very thankful that Miley opened that door for twerking and bounce music, but she definitely needs to come get a lesson from Big Freedia." (This reminds me of something Little Richard said about Elvis Presley, who has similarly been described as racist for appropriating black culture: "He was an integrator. Elvis was a blessing. They wouldn't let black music through. He opened the door for black music.").
When specifically discussing white appropriation of twerking, Freedia said, "When you come to a Big Freedia show, it's all walks of life, and I encourage everybody to twerk. Black, white, fat, skinny, every genre we encourage them. And that's what it's about."
Well isn't that sensible and free of the faux outrage that has often accompanied discussion of the hot-button cultural issue of twerking? It would be so nice if it were the last word on this subject (but don't worry, it won't be — you'll still have plenty more chances to be upset).
Freedia then proved her egalitarian twerking philosophy by leading Bell and audience members in a twerking tutorial: