Monday, April 28, 2008

One Standard Isn't Good Enough. Make It a Double.

As I'm sure you know, there has been a great big uproar in the media about the forthcoming Vanity Fair article and photos featuring Miley Cyrus.

Disney, whom brought Miley to megastar status via Hannah Montana, is calling out Vanity Fair.

Miley says she's embarassed and sorry.

Vanity Fair says it's all crap.

In this one, as I would in many cases, I'm siding with Vanity Fair and not just because I would love to work at the Conde Nast Building.

First of all, it's her back for chrissakes. Her back!

Yes she's 15, but when did the media become a bunch of puritans who think a little ankle is too much skin? Then, of course, there are the years and years and years of far-more-horrible images that the media have made oodles and oodles of money on the back of. See how I did that there?

I know Disney is wholesome and wonderful and nice and clean and respectful and on and on and on, so I see their play in this. Their wholesome cash cow showing a little skin at 15 could turn some parents off letting their daughters spend gazillions on the myriad Hannah Montana marketing materials on the market.

Miley is in a dangerous spot here because she agreed to the shoot and her people (read: Achy Breaky Dad et al) were present the whole time. Now that there is a little scandal, they're trying to throw Vanity Fair under the bus. This is a bad spot for Miley no matter what. You either alienate Disney or Vanity Fair. Since Disney tends to end for people around, I dunno, say, 16, pissing off Vanity Fair may not be the career move you wish to make.

As for VF, they're still golden. This doesn't change anything for them. If anything, it sells more magazines, as if they need help. Annie Leibovitz did the photos and she's an icon, not some hack or scam artist who slying whispered in Miley's ear to show a little more back. Also, it's her back!

Which brings me to the main argument here. In case you've missed it thus far, people are in uproar over a young girls back.

Where the hell is the uproar when starlet after starlet puts their vagina on display heading to the clubs?

Or when these crotch-flash fanatics are rolling out to clubs long before they hit the legit limit? No one seems to be up in arms about that.

Why does the back of Miley Cyrus now become an issue?

Is it because she's the image of wholesomeness and young grace that parents want their daughters to aspire to? Because not that long ago, they wanted their daughters to grow up to be like Britney the Virgin, until she decided the sweet innocence routine wasn't paying enough and adopted her slutty hillbilly baby factory persona she rocks today and no one says a goddamn word about Britney and those like her.

We're never going to escape this. There is always going to be the ridiculous double standard where sex sells but scores of people, including those who gain from the selling sex, get angry about things that they perceive as sexual.

I just didn't know that we were back in the old days where seeing a little back was enough to drive man into a sexual frenzy.


Anonymous said...

People like you are the problem... these photos are inappropriate and highly sexualized photos of an underage girl. These photographs amount to child pornography masquerading as artisitc photographs. Parental consent is neither an excuse nor a shield for this crime as there are numerous parents who exploit their children for these types of photographs. This contributes to this unhealthy Lolita-esque sexualisation of girls which is so pervasive in popular culture. It is not a case of being a "prude" if these photos were found on a computer of some random child there would be an investigation into those activities. We have a duty to our youth to teach them what is appropriate and what is not. I'm a fan of Annie Libowitz but I believe she crossed the line of tasteful in this case.

E. Spencer Kyte said...

I agree with you - whoever you are - about the over-sexualization of children in society these days.

That being said, this wasn't a parent looking to cash in on their child by putting them in provocative poses. Had there been no uproar, Billy Ray and Miley wouldn't have been apologizing for anything.

Secondly - where are all of these morality and wholesome crusaders when the Britneys, Parises and LiLos of the world are running aorund sans panties? That is the double standard and the problem.

This girl takes some artistic and mildly sexual photos and suddenly it's a nightmare. Britney Spears' entire image was originally built on being the not quite old enough good girl next door and parents and kids flocked to her like a moth to a flame.

Glad that "people like me are the problem" too...

Ashley said...

I think the problem is that she's a person who represents Disney, which is a kids thing. Miley should be representing the people who made( and are still making) her famous-Disney. When she decides to end Hannah Montana and break her ties with Disney, she can pose nude in playboy if she wants, but for now, she should stick to entertaining her twelve year old fans! Kids don't need to be entertained by a 15 year old in a sheet..while it was only her back that was exposed, obviously there can be more made of it! p.s, Spencer, I miss you muchos!