Ok, the latest celebrity girl moment that America is losing its collective marbles over are the photos of Miley Cyrus for Vanity Fair. As my daughter is a little older I didn't have to survive the whole Hannah Montana thing. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Pokemon were more than enough, thank you.
So how then, as the father of a daughter and a youth minister, do I feel about this whole flapdoodle? Let's do it point by point:
1: Are these photos terrible/horrible/obscene - In a word, NO. They were taken by one of the finest photographers of our time Annie Leibovitz. As always they are beautifully crafted and tasteful.
2: Was the one photo a good idea? Again, and in my opinion, NO. I'm talking about the one of her wrapped apparently only in a sheet. Word comes now that she was not in fact nude or in bed. But clearly the intent is to give that impression. It's a classic (almost cliche) sexy pose that's been done by a couple thousand models over the last 50 years and more. The problem I have is that Miley Cyrus is 15. And my question is - do we need to continue the trend of increasing sexualization of under age young women? The great thing about Miley was that she was cute and fun and cool without being overtly sexy. She has been about being a young woman, not a sex object. And that was really cool in an age when every other female teen star seems to feel the need to be stupid. So it's unfortunate.
3. Is it time to beat on Miley then? For the third time - NO. If I'm disturbed by anyone it's all the ADULTS who had to give the nod to this shot, starting with her father. Just really stupid and short sighted by them. Miley was working with this incredible photographer who was going to make her look fabulous, guaranteed. Annie Leibovitz could make ME look fabulous just imagine what she can do with someone really attractive!
4:What about the OTHER photos? I'm only referring to the ones taken of her with her then boyfriend not the multitudinous number of fake photos and videos. Seen them. And I've seen ones just like them done by hundreds of girls that age. Are they silly and embarrassing when you realize the whole world is looking at them? Yep, as she's acknowledged (and so do most of the other girls with these kinds of photos). She's being a silly, flirty teenaged girl who is exploring her sexuality and physicality. Not the smartest way to do it but a long way from the end of the world. She'll learn. We all do.
5: So what about the FUROR? Sigh. Let's see I've seen people say "It's no big deal, why not leave her alone?". Because it contributes to an environment that's detrimental our our girls. She could have helped and instead she hurt. Beyond that the rest of the comments I've seen have been idiotic and not worth repeating here. Once again American media and the nation conspire to create a tempest in a teapot over nothing. At best(worst?) this deserves an "I'm disappointed in Miley Cyrus and her advisors. I hope she does better in the future". Other than that it's a shrug and yet another chance to discuss body image and how we treat each other as humans rather than sex objects with our kids.
To everyone out there who is running around like their hair is on fire over this I ask these simple questions:
Are you stupid? Don't you have more important things to worry about?