Friday, May 02, 2008

She's just being Miley

Fatherly Love?
(photo by Annie Leibovitz...Vanity Fair)

Apparently Miley Cyrus didn’t know that posing in the nude is sexual. Now that her spread in Vanity Fair has stirred up controversy among the puritanical core of her fan base, Miley is playing the role of the victim. She’s embarrassed by the photos and feels betrayed by the photographer, Annie Leibovitz.

To use the vernacular of Miley’s typical fan: What-ev.

Look, sweetheart, you took all your clothes off and wrapped yourself up in a satin sheet. What did you think that shoot was about?

Of course Miley knew damned well what she was doing. She’s only 15 but she’s been an international superstar for the past few years. Disney’s been selling her sex in that plausibly deniable way they'vemastered in all their years of pimping kids, so don’t tell me Miley didn’t go into this shoot with eyes wide open.

And that’s OK. At 15, Miley should want to shed the Hannah Montana persona and be herself, which happens to be a cornpone country singer with decent looks, a great body and average vocals. Combine that with schmaltzy chicken-fried bloodlines courtesy of achy-breaky Billy Ray and you’ve got a CMT sensation on your hands.

Speaking of Billy, he’s in the shoot with his daughter. In fact he’s in one of the most disturbing photographs in the history of pop culture. He’s staring wistfully in the distance, wearing another regrettable hairdo and a cheesy post-Eurotrashian leather vest while Miley lies across his lap staring into the camera with bedroom eyes. It would be a great sensual picture if not for the heaping helping of incestuous ick. Annie Leibovitz might be innocent of misleading Miley but she did snap that nasty picture. It made me think back to the story about Miley attending a so-called “Purity Party” with her dad where she promised to protect her cherry for him. Ewww!



If you want to blame anybody for the shoot blame him. He’s supposed to be her father and most fathers would have blown their tops the minute their daughter was asked to remove hers. Of course, Billy’s parental credentials were already in question before the shoot. While we don’t know the whole story we do know that Miley got cast as Hannah Montana a few years ago, Billy packed up the family and moved to Beverly…Hills, that is. Somehow he managed to parlay Miley’s role into a supporting gig playing Hannah Montana’s dad and the rest is history. Billy turned the shows popularity into a couple of recent hits for himself and, if he’s half as cunning managing his career as he’s been with his daughter’s, he might avoid becoming a pop culture punch line for the second time in his life.

In all honesty there’s nothing wrong with Miley’s coming out party. Some of the pictures were a little sexy. As a guy who’s far too old to be ogling girls Miley’s age it’s a little unnerving because it forces me to draw an internal line somewhere between acknowledging that she’s a cute kid and sneaking off to the men’s room for a midday flogging. I think I’m mature enough to handle it.

The people freaking out are the hoards of idiot parents out there responsible for selling out every Hannah Montana concert. They have daughters that worship Hannah/Miley. What will this do? Well, if Miley has that much of an influence over your child you were probably screwed long before Miley got naked.

Even if you’re a decent parent who has done a good job of keeping the whole Hannah Montana craze in perspective there’s a pretty good chance that your daughter was going to develop a sexual appetite some where in the middle of her teenage years. Don’t blame Miley, Annie, Billy, or Liberals. There’s a little thing called biology that triggers sexual behavior around the same time the baby-making bits start working.

Rather than hide your kids from sex and throw wild tizzies whenever the next Lindsay/Hilary/Miley starts to get her freak on you might want to engage in a realistic discussion about sexuality. Instead of laying down mandates such as: NO SEX UNTIL YOU’RE MARRIED, perhaps more realistic parameters are in order. After all, we’ve pretty much established that religion and Purity Pacts simply don’t work. If anything those alternatives to reality prove to be counterproductive. Sure, kids might not be engaging in traditional baby-making vaginal intercourse but they’re doing everything else you can think of and quite a few things you probably can’t imagine. Have gun will holster. Where there’s a hole there’s a lay.

Miley’s got no reason to feel embarrassed or ashamed of those pictures. She doesn’t have to apologize for wanting to feel sexy. At 15, her parents have the ability to sign off on things like the Vanity Fair piece so if you want to blame anybody blame Billy Ray, but be careful with doling it out. Incestuous pictures notwithstanding, Billy Ray probably knows his daughter and might have felt that she was mature enough to handle the adult context of those pics more importantly, Billy Ray doesn’t have to consider what impact his daughter’s career path might have on millions of girls around the world.

It’s disappointing to see the Cyrus family turn tail and run from the outrage. Billy Ray’s claiming that the more illicit pictures, such as the seductive baby in a bed sheet shot that’s got everybody fuming, occurred after he left. Maybe that’s true but there’s still the one where he’s got Miley, in skin tight jeans and a belly shirt, apparently writhing on his lap. He was there for that, wasn’t he?


WickedLady said...

I completely agree with you. At a certain age teenagers want to feel sexy. And there's nothing wrong with that. Parents shouldn't freak out over that. They've been there. Wanting to feel sexy doesn't mean their kids will run off with the first person they meet. And looking sexy isn't against the law or anything. I do think parents have the right to say their kids can't wear such revealing clothes or strike that certain pose, maybe it's even their duty to do so. I'm not quite sure what her dad was thinking with that photograph.

claw71 said...

I don't want to know what he was thinking.