Still from a 2014 video by science educator Carin Bondar who is running in the 2021 Chilliwack school board byelection, where she talks about evolution through a parody video of Miley Cyrus’s song, Wrecking Ball. (YouTube)

Still from a 2014 video by science educator Carin Bondar who is running in the 2021 Chilliwack school board byelection, where she talks about evolution through a parody video of Miley Cyrus’s song, Wrecking Ball. (YouTube)

Chilliwack school board candidate defends naked Miley Cyrus parody video

Well-known science educator Carin Bondar known for using shock and artistry in educational videos

Chilliwack school board byelection candidate Carin Bondar says she stands by a video she made years ago that parodied a famous pop song.

The biology educator created a video in 2014 for YouTube that mimicked Miley Cyrus’ Wrecking Ball, complete with the same provocative imagery that Cyrus used in her hit video. In that video, released in 2013, Cyrus sits on an actual wrecking ball in a white tank top, underwear and boots while it swings back and forth. She also licks a sledgehammer at one point. By the end of the video, the pop star is nude except for her boots.

Bondar’s version was meant as parody, and follows the original fairly closely, nudity included. But the Bondar version is all about science, and designed to promote science. She titled it Organisms Do Evolve, and the subject is natural selection.

Bondar is known for using a bit of shock and artistic presentation to get her messages across as a scientist. But now she is running for a seat on the Chilliwack school board in the Feb. 13 byelection, and the video has caught the eye of the community.

Chilliwack trustee Barry Neufeld shared it in a private Facebook group, without adding any comment. And in the past few days screenshots from the video, and those from a series called Wild Sex, have been circulating around social media with various descriptions of their origins. One commenter even suggested it was from a pornographic film.

When The Progress questioned Bondar on the video’s origins and whether she felt it was appropriate to keep online, she said she stands by her work.

READ MORE: Four candidates vying for vacant seat in upcoming school trustee byelection in Chilliwack

“I create work that exists at the intersection of art and science. I am excited to inspire the students in our district to create their own paths forward, whether they are well-trodden or not,” she said. “I took the opportunity to create a piece about evolution and yes, the approach was cheeky. The piece received considerable coverage across the world including a story in Discover Magazine (USA) and Business Insider (Australia), and I covered it for my own blog at Scientific American Magazine.”

She added some background to how her career evolved into talking about animal sex. It began when she finished her PhD, and had her young children with her at home.

“I started blogging and writing about many aspects of biology and animal behaviour,” she said. “I did this as an outlet for the long and exhausting tasks of motherhood, but I also found that I had a knack for it. I noted that audiences were always more interested and invested when the topic had something to do with sex. Let’s face it – humans think about sex a lot, so it follows that it makes for an excellent teaching tool in many areas of biology.”

Her work caught a lot of people’s attention, and she was invited to shoot a series called Wild Sex in South Africa, for Earth Touch TV.

“It was a purposefully provocative show, the approach was a risk,” she said. “However; the risk paid off. The series has garnered more than 130 million views and has led to two books and two further series. I’m currently in direct discussions with major networks for another series for which I will be executive producer, writer and host.”

Her work is also featured on Discovery Channel, The Science Channel, National Geographic, Animal Planet and Netflix.

She said the initial Wild Sex series was intended for a young adult audience and that there are other Wild Sex series that are animated and more appropriate for younger audiences. She knows of teachers who use them in their classrooms, and she uses them in public lectures.

Bondar said she is aware that some people are taking screenshots from the series and sharing them, in some cases manipulating their meaning.

“Being a strong, educated female scientist in the public eye has taught me to weather negativity with grace,” she said. “We must not get distracted from the important work that needs to be done in our school district. I will always choose to find common ground and move forward with the best intentions of Chilliwack students in mind. I am excited and passionate about science and education, and remain firm on my stance that science belongs in schools.

“I also believe that those who are creating and sharing these videos need to ask what kind of example they are setting for their children. We must rise above trying to create further division in our community, and find higher ground that will better serve our students.”

READ MORE: Carin Bondar announces candidacy for Chilliwack School Board


@CHWKcommunity
jpeters@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Chilliwack School District

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A health care worker prepares to test a Coastal GasLink field worker for COVID-19. (Coastal GasLink photo)
Coastal GasLink begins COVID screening of pipeline workers

Construction is once again ramping up following Northern Health approval of COVID management plan

A housing location for workers on the new Mills Memorial Hospital construction project has been approved by city council. (File photo)
Camp spot proposed for hospital construction workers

As many as 350 outside workers may be needed

Terrace city council are reaching out to the B.C. Office of the Ombudsperson regarding councillor Jessica McCallum-Miller’s resignation on Feb. 22, 2021. (Black Press Media File Photo)
City of Terrace seeking ombudsperson investigation into allegations of systemic racism

Councillor Jessica McCallum-Miller resigned Feb. 22, citing racism

A large provincial grant will make cycling and walking safer in Terrace. (File photo)
Large grant to make walking, cycling safer in Terrace

Pathway will connect old Skeena Bridge to the downtown

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

Bryan Adams with his mom, Jane Adams Clark, at Lions Gate Hospital. (Bryan Adams)
Bryan Adams gives shout out to North Shore hospital

The singer’s mom was in Lions Gate Hospital for care

Shoppers will be able to get their hands on signed bottles of Ryan Reynolds’ new gin at B.C. liquor stores this summer. (Twitter/Ryan Reynolds)
Limited bottles of Ryan Reynold’s new Aviation Gin autographed and coming to B.C. stores

This summer 100 units will be available to the public for purchase at five B.C. liquor stores

An official investigation will be launched after VPD officers were recorded posing near a dead body at Third Beach on Wednesday morning, Feb. 24. (Screen grab/Zachary Ratcliff)
VIDEO: Vancouver officers under review for allegedly laughing, taking pictures next to dead body

Two officers were caught on video by a local beachgoer Wednesday morning in Stanley Park

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
‘Stay local’: Dr. Henry shoots down spring break travel for British Columbians

B.C. is reportedly working with other provincial governments to determine March break policies

“Our biggest challenge has been the amount of vaccine,” said FNHA acting chief medical officer Dr. Shannon McDonald. (First Nations Health Authority Facebook photo)
All First Nations on reserve to be vaccinated by end of March: First Nations Health Authority

Vaccinations continuing for B.C. First Nations amid shortages

(Delta Police Department photo)
B.C. youth calls 911 after accruing $7K in online gaming charges

‘Police spoke with the student about appropriate times to call 911’

Site C will go ahead, one year later and $5.3 billion more, the NDP announced Feb 26. (BC Hydro image)
B.C. NDP announces Site C will go ahead with new $16B budget

Reviews recommend more oversight, beefed up foundation stability work

The BC Prosecution Service announced last year that it was appointing lawyer Marilyn Sandford as a special prosecutor to review the case, following media inquiries about disclosure issues linked to a pathologist involved in the matter. (Black Press Media files)
Possible miscarriage of justice in B.C. woman’s conviction in toddler drowning: prosecutor

Tammy Bouvette was originally charged with second-degree murder but pleaded guilty in 2013 to the lesser charge

Most Read