Skimming right over the part about cultural appropriation, using people of colour as props, and the reductive view of Black women’s sexuality in general, because I CANNOT right now, the existence of twerking has been validated by 11-year-olds in mainstream America (because we all know that if people of colour do something and no one caucasian is around to hear it it doesn’t make a sound). Existing because MTV and Twitter trends says it exists, like the ‘Harlem Shake’ etc. didn’t exist until it started trending on Twitter and had all the soul and history sucked out of it, according to a new report, the word ‘Twerk’ is about to be added to Oxford Dictionaries Online. Mercifully, the Oxford people know how to use Google, so they’re not totally clueless about the word’s etymology: ‘There are many theories about the origin of this word, and since it arose in oral use, we may never know the answer for sure,’ Oxford Dictionaries’ Katherine Connor Martin said. ‘We think the most likely theory is that it is an alteration of work, because that word has a history of being used in similar ways, with dancers being encouraged to ‘work it.’ The ‘t’ could be a result of blending with another word such as twist or twitch… Twerk will be added to the dictionary as part of its quarterly update, which includes words such as ‘selfie,’ the word typically used to describe pouty smartphone self-portraits, ‘digital detox’ for time spent way from Facebook and Twitter, and ‘Bitcoin,’ for the nationless electronic currency whose gyrations have also caught the world’s eye.’ Here’s the official definition.
‘Twerk, v.: dance to popular music in a sexually provocative manner involving thrusting hip movements and a low, squatting stance.’
Here’s what Miley Cyrus thinks is ‘twerking’ in that unicorn video.
And here’s what actual twerking looks like since everyone forgot.