Friday, May 2, 2008
Chiming in on the whole Miley Cyrus/Vanity Fair stupid thing...
Ok, so, when I first heard about the Miley Cyrus "topless" scandal I was all ready to jump on the sexualization-of-young-girls bandwagon. It is really something that rips my undies the way that teen and prepubescent girls are completely sexualized by society and the media. I was ready for this picture to be something I could get up in arms about.
But really I think that it is all just a little bit overblown. Let me just preface this all by stating that I am in NO way a Miley or a Disney fan. I hate all that tween-shlock and the merchandising that goes with it. I never thought I would be writing a blog piece in her defence. But, the way this girl has been treated by the media since this picture was taken has been truly shocking. One minute Miley is Americas Sweetheart the next she is reduced to grovelling at the feet of all because of her brazen sluttiness!
This story has been all over the internets as well as the TV. Here are some of the things I have heard said and therefore I will list them as
"Lessons Miley has Learned"
- Her body is shameful and should be covered at all times
- Her relationship (and photo) with her dad is "creepy" and "incestuous"
- She is a brand and should behave like one. Disney owns her and has total control over what she chooses to do.
- She is completely responsible for the morals of her fans
- She is "anorexic", "sickly", "post-coital", "slutty", a "showoff", and "pornographic"
Sound like a lot of shit for a 15 year old to handle? I think yes. Lets just back the fuck off ok. We literally drove Britney crazy doing this same shit.
I also wanted to give my analysis of the photo from an artistic standpoint. And I am hating how people are arguing about wether this is "art" or not. The photo is by Annie bloody Leibovitz, arguably Americas most famous living female artist.
I see a young girl, vunerable. I see her at a precipice of adulthood and superstardom. I see the artist reavealing the innocence and venerablitly of the subject to illustrate the medias bloodlust when it comes to finding ways to shame our young female stars. I see her maybe like a mermaid or a castaway, atop a rock while sharks circle her waiting to tear into her. They wait looking for any mistake, any slip, so they can eat her/destroy her. Is she oblivious? Maybe. But look what happened? Miley, the former golden girl - at the slightest indiscretion has been the subject of the biggest media hoop-de-doo since Janet Jackson at the superbowl!!!!
And Disney can talk!!! The are perpetuating a pretty big double standard here. If they produced a music video with Miley in it, gyrating and singing in a short skirt would anyone bat and eyelid? I think not.
Here is an interesting example of some Disney advertising someone saw on a BILLBOARD in China.
Anyway, I think I pretty much said what I wanted to say about it and I hope I can lay it to rest after this, unless y'all want to discuss it that is.
Ok I wanted to add one more thing. When I was 15 I was far from the sexed-up teens you see these days (I was more lets say, melancholy-ish) but I was still obssessed with getting my photos done. I dreamed of going to photo shoots, i don't know why, I was pretty shy, but i did none-the-less...Maybe I was a narcisitic teen?? Nah, teens aren't narcisitic...
But I digress...
AAnywway, I would of LEAPT OUT OF MY SKIN WITH JOY if a famous photographer wanted to photograph me, even if it meant baring skin! Hells yeah! Your skin only looks 15 once, you can only capture that look briefly.
Well, Annie L never phoned me up for a photo shoot after school but I did do a tiny bit of modelling for locla boutiques. Here is a photo that was taken of me when I was around the same age as Miley. Did I think I was being sexual at the time? No! I only thought I was taking a pretty, artistic photo to show off the pretty clothes I was (half) wearing.
so yeah, I'm the last person to judge.
For more on this subject here is an interesting article with Germaine Greers take on it.
Also, the discussion about it over at Feministing was great as usual.