A self-proclaimed troubled mom in Connecticut asked Dear Abby earlier today what twerking was. Yes, “what is twerking?” is one of the preeminent philosophical questions of the decade, so this mother’s question is somewhat understandable, albeit about a year too late.
The full inquiry to Dear Abby was as follows:
“DEAR ABBY: I'm the happily married mother of two teenage boys. The other day I overheard my older son (age 17) talking with a friend about "twerking." I have never heard of it and now I'm worried. Is twerking a drug term? Is it similar to "tripping," "getting high" or "catfishing"?
My 17-year-old is supposed to go to Princeton next year on a sports scholarship, and I'm afraid "twerking" will derail him from his charted path. Thank you for any advice you may have. — TROUBLED MOM IN CONNECTICUT”
Now, there are some reasons to believe that the letter could have been a fake, sent in by some prankster. First, Ivy League schools don’t offer any “official” scholarships. Second, and a concern raised by Gawker, why wouldn’t you just Google “twerking?” Also, how could any reasonable person really not know what twerking is and totally be aware of catfishing? Seriously? At this point?
Oh, and if your child is going to play a sport in the NCAA, twerking should really be the least of your concerns, considering, well, almost every NCAA policy.
Another issue lies in Dear Abby’s response.
“DEAR MOM: Don't panic. "Tripping" and "getting high," as you already know, refer to altered states of consciousness as the result of using drugs. "Catfishing" is something else. It's pretending to be someone you aren't, creating a false identity on social media, usually to pursue a deceptive online romance.
The "twerking" your son was referring to is a dance move recently made famous by Miley Cyrus — in which the dancer (usually female) gyrates in a provocative, semi-squatting position that involves thrusting hip movements.”
While Abby does a pretty good job differentiating between “tripping,” “getting high,” catfishing” and “twerking,” her definition of twerking is a bit off. Twerking doesn’t really involve gyrating or thrusting hip movements. You see, gyrating goes round and round, and thrusting goes in and out. Twerking on the other hand, is more of an isolated butt movement. Also, it was famous way before Miley Cyrus and has roots in West Africa.
Of course, in a few days we'll probably learn that this was not only a fake Dear Abby letter, but also somehow a viral marketing campaign from some #brand. Because nothing on the Internet is sacred anymore.