Sunday, May 11, 2008

i don't get it.

Okay, I totally changed my blog topic for this week. I was going to blog about "judging a book by its cover" but that will have to wait because I need someone to explain to me what the big damn dealio is over Miley Cyrus's Vanity Fair picture.

Can you tell me, because I really don't get it.

How is this picture any different from say, this?

or this?

or this?

Um. Or this?
Can anyone tell me how the first photo is really any different than any of the following? They show the same amount of skin (actually, the Vanity Fair picture shows less skin.) Is it her wet hair? No, that can't be it, because she has wet hair in the bikini picture. (which really shows far more skin than the VF photo) And really, who cares if she has on a bikini, right? if I had her body, your damn-tootin' I'd be sportin' a bikini. Year around.

Some mothers are outraged by the example the VF picture presents to their daughters. I don't understand this line of thinking at all. Have a little faith in the way you're raising your children. Haven't you taught them the difference between real world and TV world? Don't they understand that 'Hannah Montana' is a character and not a real person is there to entertain NOT set an example? Don't the parents understand that Miley Cyrus is a teenage girl who isn't perfect? Who isn't going to be perfect? And in the grand scheme of things, that beautiful photo taken by Annie Leibowitz is really not a big damn deal? Especially since her parents were there the entire time and approved of the photo?

Am I wrong in this line of thinking? So what if the pictures were provocative? They aren't any more provocative than the other pictures where she's vamping it up in high heels, plunging necklines and backless dresses. As a parent, I am offended by these uber-nazi-moms who say that these teen celebrities need to be 'appropriate role models' for their audience. Whatever. The celebrity's job is to entertain. My job as a parent is to make sure my kids know the difference between reality and TV-land. Celebrities should not be shouldering my job. They should just entertain and then be able to live their life, however they choose. And if that means posing for Annie Leibowitz, then so be it.

What do you think? Am I out of my mind?


  1. I'm with you. I don't get it.

    A lot of parents, it seems, try to blame TV, radio or magazines for their children's behavior and/or attitudes. While I won't go as far as to say it's their fault, but it is their responsibility to teach their kids right and from, good from bad behavior, etc.

    This probably sounds rude, but it's not meant as such and no, I'm saying parents are responsible for their children's behavior, I just don't think it's right for them to blame TV, magazines, video games and/or radio for it, either.

  2. Maybe it's the fact that she's clearly in a bed. Apparently 15 year olds aren't supposed to sleep in beds?

  3. I think it's probably because she is obviously naked (or wearing only panties) and in a bed, in a sexually provocative pose. Given her age, I can understand why some people would be distressed. After all, if she can be sexual, then what about their own children? Or maybe they feel it's not appropriate for a "role model." (Because, don't you know, anyone with a young audience is automatically a role model. Please.)

    Personally, I think the photo is artistic and beautiful. It's sexual, but not in a skanky way; it's raw and powerful. I think that might shock some people just as much, because we see so much of the skank nowadays but very little of this.

  4. Kelsey Simmons6:17 AM

    This is the first time I've seen or heard anything about this but from what I can tell the difference is that in the first picture she is portraying a "rumpled sexpot".

    I don't think it's about the skin, it's more about her eyes.

    But personally, I don't see what anyone sees in this girl anyway. I've heard her songs and they aren't that good in my opinion.

  5. MHO? The pictures served exactly the purpose they were intended for. Miley is not a child by society’s standards anymore. She’s a commodity – to herself, to her agents, to her ‘handlers’, and to her parents. This flap about the pictures being misused or whatever, was cleverly designed to keep her in the spotlight because, as with most celebrities – enough is never enough. She may be an up and coming star, the hottest thing on the teen scene and making a gajillion more dollars than people who work harder every day than she will on the toughest day of her charmed life, but it’s NOT ENOUGH. There must be more attention, more money, more of everything because she lives in the society of greed where being 14 or 15 or 16 or whatever she is has nothing to do with being a child and everything to do with having more years to collect cash she can squander later on million dollar weddings, pre-nups, and maybe eventually drugs, booze and legal fees. Like any teen celebrity, she may have started out hoping to ‘uphold some higher standard’ for her fans, but she is not and never will be a role model.

  6. these are great comments. I appreciate the perspectives.

    Nonny, even with her being nekkid and wrapped in sheet with bedhead, staring sleepily into the camera, I have a real hard time seeing this as intentionally sexual. She's definitely growing up, and she's definitely beautiful, but as you said, the picture is artsy and beautiful. I think it comes across as sexually provocative because we, as a society, EXPECT that nowadays. But she seems much more intentionally sexual in that bikini or in that short red dress where we can almost see if she's wearing matching panties or not.

    Anyway, Bernadette, I agree to a point that this "controversy" was stirred to keep her name in the headlines while she's not on tour and while her show is in reruns.

  7. In that first picture, it looks like she needs to eat a burger. I can see her ribs.

  8. I think it's because everyone up to now has marketed her as the anti-Britney. They've invested a lot of time and money into her image that she is the wholesome alternative to the other Disney/Nickelodeon teen stars like Britney, Christina, and Lindsay that started off sweet and innocent and turned into hot messes.

  9. I, too, think this was a publicity stunt.

    I think the picture in question is lovely (artistically speaking, it's beautiful), but she looks a lot older than 15. That's the part that makes me sad--when she gets older, I think she'll miss some of her childhood because of being forced to be a Disney product, in essence.

    Maybe this was her way of exerting herself as a budding woman, trying to move beyond the attention of children into the attention of adults (after all, VF is an adult mag, not a children's). Or maybe this was her dad's idea to help keep him in the limelight (during the photo shoot, there were other pictures snapped that featured him, as well). Who knows?

    I look at my soon-to-be 12-year-old daughter and think, I totally can't see her doing something like that in 3 years. Then again, my daughter is cool with just being a kid and will likely continue being cool with she grows, she'll go through phases where she'll explore her gender and the nuances that come with being a woman, I'm sure.

    But for now, I'm good with letting her evolve on her own as a part of her development and growth into a teen, not as a byproduct of a marketing machine whose every move is carefully plotted out for just the proper effect.

  10. And PS--like Kristen, I think she needs to eat. LOL. I kind of wanna take her by the hand and introduce her to a new concept called "food."

  11. It's the Disney effect. She was presented to the world by Disney as a safe roll model - a safe media harbor for parents who are finding it increasingly difficult to come up with examples in our culture to bolster what they are saying at home. Sure she may dress in cute little Barbie clothes, but she'd never cross the line. The bikini might be small, but you can be sure it isn't going to slip and show too much. And actually, if I recall correctly, isn't it included with the bed picture as contributing to the "uproar"? It wasn't just one picture that did her in. It was a month's worth of activity.

    Did you notice that when she apologized, she made passing reference to her contract with Disney and their expectations for her? I don't think she's sorry about the picture - which happens to be an excellent piece of photography. I think she's worried about her career.

    OTOH, maybe this was a career move on her and her manager's part. This little SNAFU could easily get her out of the teenybopper ghetto and head her down the Tiffany path.

    Hmmm... surely that isn't what they want.

  12. In my opinion, anything Annie Leibowitz touches is gold. The woman is legendary.
    I wonder what the Leibowitz camp has to say about this?

  13. Ok, you've talked me into it, I'll leave my 2 cents. I don't think there is really any difference between the pictures you've posted. They all show their fair share of skin. But all teenagers do. No biggie.

    I think the problem people are having is that she works for Disney, a family company. The problem isn't that she's a role model for teens, it's because she has so many 8 year old fans (and younger) who are looking to her for their own fashion sense. For a 15 year old, no big deal wearing some of the clothes she does, for an 8 year old, it would be a big deal.

    I hope this clears up some of the controversy. Plus that picture isn't the only one that people were having trouble with. There was one with her father too. Personally, I didn't see what was so bad about it, but many people thought it looked almost incestual. I guess because she's so old to be sitting in daddy's lap like that is what caused the raised eyebrows. I don't know.

    Hopefully, this helped explain some of the issues people are having. Have a good one!

  14. The VF picture is artisitically beautiful, but knowing her age and the overtly sensual image it portrays, I sort of get a feeling of Lolita-ness about it. She's clearly nekkid (or at Nonny points out, perhaps wearing paintes) and her hair is rumpled and she has bedroom eyes.

    I agree with the commenter who says the uproar is because Miley's been portrayed as the good girl, and this photo, not so much.

  15. It bugs me because Disney created this girl into a role model and has marketed her all over the place. They have Hannah Montana clothes at the Disney Store!

    And even if she weren't just another pop star in a semi naked pic, it bugs me that she's 15. I'm totally on the band wagon of let kids be kids. They can sex it up all they want at 18.

    Guess that makes me the prude, huh? :)

  16. I'm not so sure what the issue is really. I mean considering her age, 15, and how many young girls that age wear a lot less than that I'd say go for it. I believe in the old addage its the parents that dress the children - not the magazines. Personally, I think its a tasteful, well done picture. I might be a bit more upset if it showed her br**sts or bottom but its very well done.

  17. I agree. I found the cuddly-wuddly pics with her dad more disturbing, though I think those, as well, happened because both were innocent with regard to what the camera was seeing.

    Disney is being a tad ridiculous about it, too.

    Poor kid.