Sunday, March 2, 2008

Hollywood Sexualizing Young People: Miley Cyrus Edition

I was at the MSN website yesterday, browsing the headlines on the front page, and I came across one that caught my eye. “Is Miley Cyrus the Next Britney Spears?” When I read Martha Brockenbrough's opinion on this teen star, I was rather shocked.

“…Miley Cyrus herself is perfectly adequate… But fascinating? Only insofar as she is the next most likely teen star to go Britney Spears on us. The 15-year-old has even ripped a page from Britney's handbook, publicly proclaiming her virginity while dressing for a hooker convention. At Sunday's Grammy Awards, she wore so much makeup that even the uber-trashy gossip site of Perez Hilton said she looked like a porn star. You don't have to be a church lady to find this a little yucky.”

I had to search for these pictures because I did not watch the Grammys. Although Miley does look much older than her actual 15 years, I think it’s wrong to say that she looks like a “porn star.”

Brockenbrough then went on to say this.

“…The virginity shtick, which is overrated, is also pretty insincere. Either that or it's as confused as a hot dog with frosting. There is one point to dressing sexy: to attract sex partners. Anyone who says otherwise is in a losing argument with Mother Nature."

I would challenge the author on this point. Is “dressing sexy” in Hollywood really only done to attract sex partners? Or could the fact that a 15-year-old star looks more like a sexual 20-something woman have something to do with the fact that the entertainment industry gives more attention to women who come off as sexually mature?

It’s true. The media gives almost undue attention to women who dress scantily or engage in controversy. So a young star like Miley Cyrus would be sure to get her name out there if she sexed up her look a little…or a lot.

There is the possibility that Cyrus simply likes dressing the way she does, and she makes her choices (assuming that she makes her own choices) according to her personal taste. But then the question is, would she make those same choices if neither her father nor she were famous? I think that the entertainment industry, in many ways, shapes the choices that otherwise well-grounded females make, especially after reading this about the In Style and The Recording Academy first ever Grammy 'Salute to Fashion' event on February 7, that proclaimed that Cyrus was “fast getting into the act of becoming [a style icon].” With that kind of encouragement, why would this girl want to look her age?

It makes me sad when a quick internet search of “Miley Cyrus,” a young female with a lot of potential, brings up sexualized pictures that look much too old to be her. Makes me wonder what a less-sexualized entertainment industry would look like.


Colt said...

If theres grass in the field play ball.

Geoff said...

I second that motion.