Monday, April 28, 2008

Child Commodity

Miley Cyrus is a commodity, a brand name, a Barbie doll, and a fifteen year old girl.

She is a fifteen year old girl lastly because she will be worth 1 billion dollars by the time she is eighteen, because she has broken movie and music records, and because she has been idolized into something more than human by millions of little girls.

So, there was something very sad about the Vanity Fair pictures mostly because a fifteen year old girl should be beginning to discover her sexuality. She should understand how her body works and why. She should appreciate her body's feelings and responses, but she should not be doing it in front of the world. To sell magazine covers.

Shame on Vanity Fair, her father and mother, the buyers of the magazines, and us for allowing this perversion.

17 comments:

Amelia said...

This is interesting. I was reading about this, because I find the Miley phenomenon to be fascinating, but it seems as if she was completely on board with the idea to begin with, but she later decided it would be better if she said that they turned out...different then she expected. (My interpretation, at least)

But I agree. She shouldn't have to go through all this in the spotlight, but people will argue that that is part of the agreement she signed when she stepped into fame.

I don't know how much I buy into that. Stars are people, too. They should be able to go through life with at least some privacy.

Goose said...

I agree, As an underage child, it is all her parent's responsibility to make sure she is not exploited. The VF cover, sad. Billy Ray, I hope you have an achy-breaky heart over what happened to your daughter, because you just screwed up. I'm not sure how Kate claims "we" are to blame, those of us who stand against it (both sides here...) but her parents should have stopped it.

Jezabel said...

You left out: Shame on her for agreeing to do so.

Kate said...

I definately do not buy into that she signed on for it, considering she was 11 when she auditioned for the show.

And I am torn also, Amelia, over how much responsiblity Miley can take, but then I remember at fifteen thinking blue eyeshadow was attractive. JK, but seriously, fifteen is still young.

And the "we" was in reference to us as members of a society who loves to sexualize young kids and teenagers.

Kate said...

I'm not shaming Miley because it would take an extraordinarly brave person to stand up to the pressures of parents, a team of photographers, and others who I'm sure convinced her that it would be a great career move.

Jezabel said...

But at the same time, Miley is an individual and I'm sure she was raised with at least some limits as to when to say "no."

Amelia said...

I think we are underestimating the power of Hollywood. Annie Leibowitz is a famous photographer. She could promise lasting fame for Cyrus. I do not think that any of the commenters or contributors on this blog can truly understand the sort of pressure that Miley was under. I feel that that pressure is wrong. It shouldn't be there in the first place. Why should she feel pressure to take over her clothes? I don't think she should.

But I think forces exist that make it harder to say "no" than any of us can really understand. So we should look for ways to make those forces disappear (IMHO).

Julie said...

A caption for one of the pictures (the one of her with a blanket over her chest and her whole back exposed) has her saying she wasn't concerned because she had a huge blanket and thinks it looks artsy. but it's largely in how one perceive it. Miley may think it's artsy and conservative, but she and her parents really should take into account the fact that a lot of people are going to find it to be a sexy shot since so much skin is shown. And at fifteen, she's too young to be have her sexy artsy picture shown to millions of people.

Grandpa said...

ok I admit I have only seen two pictures, and what I saw wasnt bad at all. I am usually one of the first people to rail against the horrors of the Prostatot generation that is being created, but I dont see a problem. If you show me pictures that are inappropriate I will gladly retract this statement.

one the note of recanting I think thats kind of low, more accurately if she did it and wanted to, and was proud of the pictures she should say so, if she is saying it is a mistake just because it will hurt her disney image then that is sad. if she honestly thought differently then thats great.

Andrew said...

I saw the pictures. I was not offended by them. Annie Leibowitz is a generally tasteful and always talented artist, and what she did when she composed the photo and snapped the shutter, was art. What she did when she signed the contract to produce them in Vanity Fair, was prostitution of art.

The pictures are fine; their purpose and venue of public exposure (as well as the intent) are disgusting.

Grandpa said...

thats the most pretentious load of bull that I have ever heard.

Amelia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amelia said...

Feministing just put up a new post on this topic:

http://feministing.com/archives/009099.html

And Grandpa, you can disagree, but please. I am sick of monitoring all you people who refuse to use your real names, and have nothing to say but "that's stupid!" Why do you disagree with what Andrew said? If you can't explain, don't say anything.

Andrew said...

Most of my feelings on this issue have already been voiced by Amelia and Kate.

However, I would like to add that, considering that the Vanity Fair magazine's target audience is significantly older than that of Cyrus' TV program, I don't think anyone can legitimately deny that her image is being marketed for its sex appeal.

I've been reading your blog for a while, but this is my first comment here. Keep up the good work, everyone.

Lindsay said...

http://bluemilk.wordpress.com/2008/04/28/
and-then-one-day-the-craziest-thing-happened/

Brilliant.

deb said...

she was completely on board with the idea to begin with, but she later decided it would be better if she said that they turned out...different then she expected

She is a 15 year old child. It was not for her to decide or defend. It is a parents job to protect our children and parade them for profit.

deb said...

correction NOT parade