Looking back, it was a strange year for pop culture in 2013. Whether it was “selfie” as the word du jour or twerking cited as exercise, there were enough moments that made us take to social media and exclaim, “SMFH.”

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Story by Rumnique Nannar


Herewith, the top five conversation starters that made us cringe and share our disbelief around the water cooler that is social media:

1. Twerkgate – Miley Cyrus took the usual “I’m a grownup now” route that most Disney teenyboppers and young stars take by debuting her interesting twerking and grinding onto a creepy Beetlejuice named Robin Thicke. We couldn’t help but join Drake – staring at the floor in dismay can always save you from the visual awkwardness – or with Rihanna and the 1D boys, staring right through with withering distaste. While the performance started many cultural debates of double standards and rites of passage for young stars, you couldn’t ignore how Cyrus crudely used black women’s bodies as mere props. Appropriation of hip-hop culture is part of the trajectory of many young stars, and you can bet that this moment will be reflected on later by Miley as part of her “lost” years, which made this VMA moment all the more cringeworthy and ridiculous.

rihanna - mashable

Image: Mashable.com

2. Borefest with Karan – Now I religiously watched Indian talk show, Koffee with Karan, in the earlier seasons. Who could forget the, “He should endorse a condom brand,” comment from the Deepika-Sonam episode or the candid Rakhi Sawant talking about her machinations to be an item girl. This year Koffee with Karan is back, and there’s no shit-stirring, no blurted out statements, and no cheesy clutches to bring to set! We don’t come for the lofty descriptions of Aamir Khan’s film selection or the stating-the-obvious Katrina-Ranbir relationship. It’s become less of a guilty pleasure since Karan has reformed and turned into Oprah with his effusive praise for his guests. The rapid fire round now just makes us cringe and squirm because “if you were forced to have a gay encounter at gunpoint” is hardly the most shocking question to ask, and watching Salman and Aamir Khan scoff and pass on such desperate questions is sad. C’mon Karan, we know you’re a catty gossipy aunty!

Koffee with Karan (Season 4)


3. If the Hat Fits – It makes us sad when the usually sartorially savvy Aamir Khan insists on wearing this bowler hat to every single event to promote Dhoom 3 by sheer subliminal messages. We know he’s trying to invest in a fascinating method magician look for the character, but he could’ve gone proper with a true top hat and tails! Soon you’ll catch yourself walking into the hat section of the department store, and walking out with several of these in various shades. Aamir proves it’s all in the angle, since it always looks like it’s about to fall in his face, and he’s even convinced Salman to join in with the bowler trend. Just stop!


Image: OneIndia Entertainment

4. Kalm Down Kimye – It’s getting quite hard to be a Kanye West fan when you’ve constantly got the anticipation-cringe face ready on cue for any outrageous interview he gives with absurd sound bytes. This year was no different since he expressed his overt love to Kim Kardashian by creating the nonstop cringefest that was “Bound 2”, replete with a topless Kim, some nip-slips, and Kanye’s best Blue Steel look. We want to believe that he created it ironically using all this odd Americana imagery, but it’s hard to watch without half laughing and half dying at the stupid lyrics that hardly add up to a pean of love.



5. Thicke of It – Yep, it was the year when “Blurred Lines” dominated the airwaves and screens with its skeezy music video. Nevermind that Robin Thicke’s anthem was a straight up lift of Marvin Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up” melody, the misogynistic lyrics about “liberating” a good girl with some wild times, because Thicke understands that “I know you want it” are cringe-inducing. If that wasn’t enough, the music video overtly objectified it’s three topless models and highlighted that only T.I, Thicke and Pharrell were the only ones worthy of clothes. Thicke defended himself with more clueless statements about degrading women, and that’s why we hope in 2014, he gets that verbal foot-in-mouth disease sorted out!



Did your top cringeworthy moment make our list? Let us know what you think below in the comments.

Story By: Rumnique Nannar