Oh, Miley, have your ears been burning? Because it seems like everyone in the Momosphere is talking about you.
Well, more about those pictures than anything else.
According to all the news outlets, Miley posed for these "artistic" photos, while her parents were present, and then all hell broke loose. Now everyone is in a race to see who can back pedal the fastest and outsource the responsibility.
Can I just say URG?! This whole thing makes me angry.
I caught an interview with Miley and her dad, Billy Ray Cyrus, a few months ago, and I was struck by what a great relationship they seemed to have. As the interview progressed, Billy Ray was asked how he plans to keep Miley from becoming a self-destructive child star, and he said that he wants to "be her best friend" so that she'll always come to him.
Did you see it? That red flag waving right there? He's her parent, and he's not meant to be her best friend. Can parents be friends with their teens? Yes. Does it make the teenage years a little easier to swallow if you are on friendly terms. Heck yeah! But at some point being a parent will come into direct conflict with being their friend.
In the news reports, Miley said that she couldn't "say no to Annie." That's when her parents should have said no for her. That's when they should have packed up the whole kit and kaboodle and headed home. The Cyrus' have said that they left the shoot without seeing the proofs, and whether that is true or not, they certainly knew that their fifteen year old was being photographed topless for a nationally published magazine. This isn't the Penny Pincher you pick up at the diner. This is Vanity Fair.
I have heard many people saying that this is no "big deal" and that the photos are "art." The big deal for me, as the mother of two daughters, is that this girl is being marketed in a sexualized manner. The picture, which many who were present at the shoot called "natural," is not a natural pose for a fifteen year old. Dancing around in her pajamas. Lip-syncing into a hairbrush. Walking the mall. Trying out lip gloss. These are natural poses for a girl her age. Bare backed, with tousled hair and red lips, and barely covered by a bed sheet? Anything but natural.
Conversely, I have also heard people saying they were getting rid of anything Hannah Montana. No more CDs, no more DVDs, nothing. I understand the reaction, but let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater. How many unwise things did you do when you were fifteen, or sixteen, or even twenty? I can come up with plenty of my own.
I don't think she's a bad kid, I think she was coerced. I'm not saying she's not media-savvy, but I know that a fifteen year old can be easily flattered and cajoled into something they otherwise may not have done. The onus of responsibility is on her parents.
I'd be interested to know what you think, my friends.