April 29, 2008

"I'm sorry that my portrait of Miley has been misinterpreted," said the famous photographer Annie Leibovitz.

"Miley and I looked at fashion photographs together and we discussed the picture in that context before we shot it. The photograph is a simple, classic portrait, shot with very little makeup, and I think it is very beautiful."

Vanity Fair got millions of hits, and Disney says: "A situation was created to deliberately manipulate a 15-year-old" ... whose father was right there the whole time.

Here's the slideshow at Vanity Fair. Judge for yourself. I think the photographs were intended to get the attention they got, but don't actually cross the line into scandalous. The girl is beautiful. Deal with it. Bare shoulders are not nudity. But to say "very little makeup" when there is red lipstick... well, that's disingenuous.

ADDED: Compare this, from another era. Scroll to 2:51 to start.


John said...

Yes it's just a PR stunt. But using a scantily clad 15 year old girl to sell magazines is morally questionable.

If it weren't, Vanity Fair wouldn't have published the picture in the first place.

Anonymous said...

News reports this morning suggest that Miley's father stepped away to run an errand, and Liebovitz pursueded Miley to do that pose during Dad's absence.

Is it even legal to pose a 15 year old like that?

MarkW said...

Why do people fall for this? Every teen star does the same damn thing for the same damn reasons (for publicity and to escape the pre-teen fan/Disney Channel ghetto -- which she's going to age out of soon anyway). Britney Spears and Christine Aguilera did the same thing and there was exactly the same sort of silly, manufactured controversy at the time.

It's perfectly obvious why the teen stars and their publicists decide to do this, but why do the new media (and bloggers) fall for it every time instead of pausing briefly to roll their eyes and move on to talk about something interesting? Is everybody new around here?

Ron said...

Dealing with beautiful girls is a grenade I will throw myself on for the greater glory of the Althouse blog.

KCFleming said...

"I'm sorry you were offended," said the famous photographer Annie Leibovitz in her non-apology.

Vanity Fair, Disney, Miley, the TV circus, and expecially Vanity Fair all got what they wanted. And we lost.

Leibovitz and VF metaphorically deflowered a 15 year old, turning her into a sex object where before she had been presumed innocent. And you cannot go back once the line is crossed.

It's all an intentionally created scandal. I hope her folks are smarter over the next few years, or it's gonna be a bumpy ride, ending in the usual ritual of drugs, booze, rehab, and decay.

nina said...

Well, it's not the first time Leibovitz has gotten herself into trouble in this way. And each time I think to myself -- but her photos are so beautiful and so NOT vulgar...

You put up the Shirley Temple clip. And there are so many other examples of young girls acting out adult poses! How about little girls feeding their baby dolls? Does it encourage early pregnancy?

We are obsessed with appearance here! Absolutely obsessed with a public display of virtue. Vanity Fair pushes our buttons in this way and we fall for it every time.

A bare shoulder on a 15 year old gets us all up in arms? Really?

AllenS said...

Not to mention, an early pregnancy.

MadisonMan said...

If only we hadn't seen Janet Jackson's nipple on Television! That's why Miley could pose this way. It's all interrelated.

kjbe said...

Miley got busted, plain and simple. Now she's having second thoughts. Whatever - oh, the outrage. But, too, she now gets to have it both ways, paving a way into a post-Disney career. Eventually, she has to re-brand herself. Here's the start of that.

George M. Spencer said...

Everybody knows what's going on.

The parents need to transition their conglomerate, er, kid into young adult/adult properties and exit the children's markets. (Especially that tacky Wal-Mart deal.) The business needs not only adult media vehicles but also adult women's clothing deals and other diversified opportunities, such as perfume licensing, high-end accessories, and so on.

The new Lindsay Lohan wants more glory, more attention.

The fact that Liebowitz is a...a...a lesbian, well, of course. I would expect nothing less. Adds that certain frisson. (What would we think if the child actor was a boy and Bruce Weber of Calvin Klein fame was not taking the pictures?!)

As for Vanity Fair, it's The National Enquirer for poseurs. It exists to exploit...anything, primarily the luxe compulsions of its skimmers. Graydon was for the Iraq War when that was fashionable. Now he positively loathes George W.

Go to Vanity Fair's home page....see the tarted up Miley just below an image of the nude Madonna.

But don't worry, sez VF, "it was a relaxed family affair in the picturesque hills of Calabasas, California."

Mmm, juxtapose me, baby.

Tibore said...

Ok, I have to say it:

Just leaved through the slideshow. Where are the racy pictures?

Randy said...

I'm with Nina on this one.

Laura Reynolds said...

Yeah, what's the big deal?

Swifty Quick said...

I think the photographs were intended to get the attention they got, but don't actually cross the line into scandalous. The girl is beautiful. Deal with it. Bare shoulders are not nudity.

It's little girls who make up Miley Cyrus's fan base, little girls between the ages of about 5 and 10. These are the ones who clamor to see the latest thing regarding her. Thusly, parents of little girls in that cohort (or, in my case, the grandparent of one) get it. People who understand exactly what and who Miley Cyrus was being projected as and marketed to. They (i.e., Disney, Miley, and her father too) reassured the world Miley Cyrus wasn't like or going to turn out like Lindsey Lohan or Britney Spears or Jamie Lynn Spears. But here we are all over again.

Anonymous said...

Rick: Not that I'm complaining, but I usually don't like my filth this clean.
(Bachelor Party, 1984)

Christy said...

Am I the only one more disturbed by the very sexy pose of Miley and her dad together? It is the sort of shot we usually see of lovers, isn't it?

Tibore said...

1. Correction to earlier post:
"I leafed through the pictures." My spellchecking ability seems to have deteriorated with the advent of the internet. :(

2. Reiteration of earlier question:
Where are the racy pictures? I still don't see them. To be blunt, what I saw in high school in the mid to late 80's was far more lascivious, and it still was allowed in the building.

Freder Frederson said...

Yes it's just a PR stunt. But using a scantily clad 15 year old girl to sell magazines is morally questionable.

My God, what a fuss over nothing. Am I the only one here old enough to remember the answer to the question of what gets between Brooke Shields and her Calvins? Compared to the Pretty Baby controversy, this is nothing.

Miley needs a new fan base. Her current base is fickle and she is getting too old for them. Of course her handlers are thinking about the next step.

Freder Frederson said...

Am I the only one more disturbed by the very sexy pose of Miley and her dad together?

What disturbs me is Meatloaf singing "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" with his son (I think it is just a tv commercial son) in a cell phone commercial. Now there is a disturbing image.

MadisonMan said...

Miley got busted

Ha! Excellent way to put it.

Trooper York said...

I count myself as second to none in my appreciation of the female form in all it's naked glory, but this is typical of the slime bag parents who pimp out there kids for money. This is really just a little kid who is a hero to a lot of other little kids who is being exploited for money. Pogo is 100% right about this. She is on the road to Lohanland.

And the shots with her dad are really really creepy.

Beth said...

George is right; this is a carefully planned transition to the adult market. In one picture, Achy Breaky is accompanied by his 8-year-old daughter, so they have more stock in the back room to feed the hungry-for-innocence crowd.

I'm not worried about her 5- to 10-year-old fan base getting ahold of Vanity Fair, not without help from someone to reach the high shelf at Barnes and Noble.

And I didn't see anything scandalous. There's a picture of her in a strapless gown that shows as much as the wrapped sheet.

I don't like turning kids into dancing bears, and I'm no more a fan of these folks than I was of Britney's parents. But this photo shoot isn't obscene and Leibovitz doesn't have anything to apologize for.

Trooper York said...

I don't know Beth. This is the first big step to Lohanization of this kid. You know that there is a club of celebs who have banged Lindsey who call themselves the "Riders of Lohan." We don't want it to get to the point where they start a "Miley High" club either. I hope they nip it in the bud and let this kid be a kid for a little while. But I think it's too late already. Money is money.

Moose said...

Sorry. This is important.

This is another brick in the wall, so to speak, of our current trend to whore up children at younger and younger ages.

My 10 yo daughter is a fierce Hannah Montana fan, (punches her older brother when he accuses her of lip syncing).

This crap just reinforces the marketing down of skank 'ho imagery to the tweens. My wife and I are both disgusted with the Bratz line of toys. My wife just the other day was complaining that you can't find girls clothes that don't make them look like groupies at a White Snake concert.

Annie Leibovitz has a well known history of liking to push buttons. Well, she's pushed mine in big way here.

P_J said...

I don't know how we've missed the whole Hannah Montana thing with a 13-year-old daughter of our own, but I had no idea that Billy Ray Cyrus was her father.

kimsch said...

Destiny Hope Cyrus is a beautiful girl and Annie Leibovitz took a beautiful photograph of her.

Miley would be showing more skin in her bathing suit than she does in this photo.

freder: Marvin Aday has two daughters, no sons. The kid in the commercial is Adam Cagley. I must say that the casting for the commercial was inspired.

P_J said...

I can understand people's discomfort with the photo shoot, Miley's being a role model for pre-teens, and what looks like her parents using her in an inappropriate way.

But -- Oh, Lord! That Shirley Temple clip was off the creepy meter.

Swifty Quick said...

pastor_jeff: 13 is too old. This is Disney channel stuff. Little girls. That's why people are bothered.

Trooper York said...

Wait a minute, they just annouced that Miley is going to start dating Roger Clemins. This is taking it a little too far!

Freder Frederson said...

Miley's being a role model for pre-teens, and what looks like her parents using her in an inappropriate way.

The real sickness is a society that allows Disney to manufactures these stars to become role models for 10 year old girls. Disney doesn't care if they are role models or not, they just want to separate parents and children from their money.

ak said...

A situation was created to deliberately manipulate the public. Like others have pointed out, celebrities deliberately manufacture these controversies. Just a few days ago, Miley Cyrus was in the news for some "candid," "personal" photos of her and her boyfriend "accidentally" leaked to the media.

As for the photo in question, the "it's just a bare shoulder" argument doesn't fly. If it was a photo of Cyrus sitting out in the sun in a cute little halter top or even a bathing suit, laughing and smiling nturally like a 15-year-old kid, there would be no discussion. But she's holding a satin sheet up to her (it's clearly hinted, bare) breasts. Her hair is tousled and she's wearing bright red lipstick. Come on. We've seen this post-coital pose from 40s pin-ups to Brigitte Bardot on down.

And this points to another issue: Leibovitz is an unimaginative, run-of-the-mill celeb photographer.

Ann Althouse said...

"Leibovitz is an unimaginative, run-of-the-mill celeb photographer."

That is plainly untrue.

Trooper York said...

Well she may be a famous photographer but she ain't no Althouse!

Let's see her take some piquant photos of dogs urinating in a baby carriage. Hah!

Bruce Hayden said...

I was frankly expecting much worse, given the publicity. I was expecting Lindsay Lohan or Britney Spears level stuff, and this ain't that.

I will admit that I do on occasion watch the show - not for any prurient reasons, but rather I think because of the chemistry between father and daughter. I like it because I too am the father of a (slightly older) daughter.

TMink said...

Liebowitz is a fine photographer, and I fail to see how who she sleeps with is involved at all.

I think that the brouhaha (ha ha ha) stems from her moving away from bubblegum photos. Annie Liebowitz did this with David Cassady as well, in a photo that showed his pubic hair. Now he was of legal age at the time, and a male, but Annie does that kind of thing.

I did not react to the photo as overtly or overly sexualized, and I would never expose a child of mine to the celebrity nonsense in the first place.


former law student said...

Her dad should be wearing a t-shirt saying "Hey you pervs -- she's only 15."

I don't know. The classmate I had a crush on in the 8th grade was stunning, with a figure grown women could envy. Talking to her I couldn't look directly at her lest I forget what I was going to say. Yet she was only 14.

Joe said...

This is a completely absurd and manufactured controversy. Using words like "pimped out", "deflowered" and "pornographic" shows that our society really has gotten sick, but not in the way those pretending to be offended claim.

Beth said...

Trooper, we're not entirely in disagreement. I really hate the way young people are marketed as celebrities these days. Just look at the Jacksons, heck, even the Osmonds, to see what the future holds for 15-year-olds who are doing world tours lip synching their "musical hits" instead of going to school and having a normal adolescence. I'm saying only that I don't find these pictures all that risque, no more than a lot of yearbook pictures.

The daddy-Miley pic is creepy, no doubt. And the whole parents pimping their teen daughters for multi-million dollar paydays is sick, too.

Some have complained about the role model issue for the much younger kids who idolize Hannah Montana. Those parents need to look at history, at least back to Britney on the Disney channel. History will repeat itself.

Trooper York said...

I know we don't disagree Beth. But yearbook photos are really by kids and for kids and are not really for pervy old dudes. With the new Face Book and My Space world, younger and younger kids copy what they see other people do. That’s why if enough people bitch they might realize they are jeopardizing their rice bowl and back off a little. I was only aware of Hannah Montana and High School Musical and the rest of the tweener obsessions because of my granddaughter. When she comes to our house she gets to watch a coyote drop an anvil on the head of roadrunner, you know wholesome entertainment.

KCFleming said...

History will repeat itself.

The Life Cycle of a Preteen Idol
Money sinkhole.
Money trickle.
Cash Cow.
Monkey on the back.
Money borrowed.
Money shot.

Sigivald said...

Trooper: How do you get from "pictures in Vanity Fair" to sleeping with everyone, exactly?

Modeling fashion, singing, and god help her, looking sexy - none of these things lead inevitably to promiscuity.

(Indeed, my experience around people's 15 year old kids suggests that most 15 year old girls are quite aware of sexuality, and while I wouldn't encourage them to get it on with anyone, the idea that baring their shoulders is "exploitation" or removing their "innocence" is utterly laughable, both culturally and biologically.)

Back to my point, I see no reason at all to imagine she's going to start sleeping with everything that moves - and if she does, it won't be because of a fashion shoot. They do not have magical powers of making otherwise chaste girls turn promiscuous.

I submit that Lohan's upbringing and inherent personality have more to do with her sex life than her image's sexualization for commercial purposes. Let's not confuse cause and effect, or shared causes with effects.

This furor is utterly daft, and much of it seems to be based more on people now upset that letting Disney parent their children has turned out to be a non-zero level of work, because the great Disney product grew up and can't stay appropriate for the 5-10 market forever.

(Those kids aren't reading Vanity Fair, and if she's their primary role model their parents have already deeply failed.)

Beth said...

When she comes to our house she gets to watch a coyote drop an anvil on the head of roadrunner, you know wholesome entertainment.

Hah! I was going to say this earlier, but dropped it: when I was little, I don't remember idolizing many kid celebs. I loved Flipper, and Gentle Ben, and Rin Tin Tin, and all the various cartoon characters of the day.

Sigivald said...

Ann said: But to say "very little makeup" when there is red lipstick... well, that's disingenuous.

Well, I sympathise, since the lipstick is prominent, but... for fashion photography, if all there is is colored "lip gloss", as it was labeled in the captions, that does seem like "very little makeup" in context.

Models are, after all, often completely slathered in it, with no bare facial skin exposed without some sort of makeup on it.

Trooper York said...

Sigivald, I don't know man. We can take a poll though and ask Britney Spears and Lindsey Lohan and Drew Barrymore and Dana Plato and a whole bunch of other people. When kids are overtly sexualized for commercial purposes it usually doen't end well. That's why people are pissed. We've seen this before and maybe the leeches will back off a little before the pluck the little golden goose with the red lip gloss.

Trooper York said...

Maybe I can explain it in this way. Starting down this road puts the kid in play in the celebrity bang the star olympics. Hollywood douche bags are gonna line up. Just look at the Olsen twins and how they went from sweet kids to having dead movie stars in their beds. Can't they let the kid be a kid for a little bit longer and not rush it and not get a lot of fans to follow her and make some big mistakes. Trust me, I am no prude but enough is enough ya know.

reader_iam said...

I pretty much said everything I could say in response to this post with regard to "role model" thing in the comments thread of this other Althouse post, except to say that I've seen more revealing photos taken at a church pool party.

I agree with Althouse's take here.

Oh, and the pix are beautiful and Liebovitz is an immensely talented photographer.

Trooper York said...

Reader_iam you commie liberal journo you! You gonna make a horn dog like me defend these little girls.

You a Soccer Mom!

Oh wait, you and the professor have boys, ok no harm no foul.

When can we look forward to those sexy pics where Suri Cruise drops her diaper. It's art man, chill out we're all bohemian art people here.

An Edjamikated Redneck said...

I've seen more revealing photos taken at a church pool party.

Maybe the is that these ar posed photos, and not candid shots.

Finding a 15 year old in a casual pose in a candid, personal and private setting, and having a very limited display of those photos, is a lot less disturbing than having the same 15 year old posed in those same positions in a professional setting, with the shots sold for money.

An Edjamikated Redneck said...

Maybe the is that these ar posed photos, and not candid shots.

What I meant to say was:

Maybe the issue is that these are posed photos, not candid shots.

Trooper York said...

But Beth I bet you liked Peppermint Patty though didn't you.

I always identified with Bluto myself. Big and stupid, that's the ticket.

reader_iam said...

Soccer mom?

Now that's hilarious.

Trooper York said...

I am glad I could bring you a smile lady.

Trooper York said...

But you are you know. You ain't gonna let your kids play football now are you. It's too dangerous!

Soccer would be just right, ya know running around with nothing happening where the score is often nil nil (zero,zero for you dumbass americans) where everyone can pretend that they are winners. You know, it's very European.

Synova said...

Certainly there are some child stars that didn't "go bad" aren't there?

I suppose it's better the longer that we can pretend that a 15 year old hasn't had boobs and periods and all the hormonal reactions that go with it for three long years already. Probably, biologically, girls ought to be finding our mates and reproducing a good decade or two earlier than we do.

But sure, physical maturity isn't emotional maturity or common sense or anything else and those are the things that will determine how well a person gets on. Miley looking sexy isn't going to destroy her life. A lack of work ethic and common sense may well destroy her. It depends on how entitled she feels and if she's got productive ways to assert her independence and adulthood in place of parties and drugs.

So far so good for Hillary Duff, right?

Miley might manage it.

Trooper York said...

It's like half nekid pictures of little girls in magazines. Very European. It's so artsy fartsy. Get over your puritan based objections you rubes.

reader_iam said...

Trooper, my son was in a football (and I don't mean soccer) league this past fall and wants to repeat the experience. If you had an e-mail address, I could send you a picture.

To tell the truth, my son's not particularly talented at either sport. I think he'd better off pursuing track and field, cross country or cycling, or even swimming (except that, with that sport, you almost have to have already gotten started on a team).

Anyway, enough of that. End this bit of OT.

Trooper York said...

You might be right Synova, who knows. Maybe Miley can give Tony Romo a lap dance at half time of the Superbowl. It's all about the art of the dance ya know.

Of course Tony will free because the Giant's will be repeat Champions. (Sorry Lawgiver).

Trooper York said...

No problemo reader but I do want to enlist you on the side of letting kids be kids as long as possible. We need reasonable voices, and I have no creditability in urging restraint and toning down the sexual excesses of our society. It's like askin' Cedarford to sell Israeli war bonds or RH Hardin to sell soap, it just doesn’t fly ya know.

vbspurs said...

Shame. I was hoping for this again.

"Less dressy! What do you think this is?"

Awesome. Billy Ray Cyrus should've put her in her place too, if he weren't in collusion with pimping out his daughter.


KCFleming said...

Oh, and I thought I was being sooo clever with my 'money shot' innuendo.


blake said...

As someone with a six-year-old girl who loves all things Disney Channel, I say: Meh.

She'll never see the Vanity Fair, she'll never know about the Vanity Fair. At six, she's still pretty much a nudist anyway. (Well, okay, half nudist, half clothes-horse.) By the time she's old enough to pay attention to this stuff, Miley will be an old maid.

Back in the day, the much younger Brooke Shields was completely naked (full frontal) in Pretty Baby. So to argue that things are more sexualized now is to forget the '70s and "porn chic", teeny-boppers in tight jeans and half shirts (no bra, 'cause they were, y'know, "liberated"), and how every movie had to have a sex scene.

It is, as always, up to parents. Whether we can improve the society or not is a larger battle that's going to take longer than it does for your kids to grow up. So, shield them if you like, or walk hand-in-hand with them through the cultural mine fields, or just let them figure it out for themselves. Results by approach may vary.

As for Ms. Cyrus, I don't think she's going to go the Lohan route. (I never "got" Britney's appeal but Lohan's squandering her talent strikes me as tragic.) If Leibovitz asked me to pose nude, I'd probably do it, too. She takes purty pictures. (Her pregnant Demi shots are awesome and similarly controversial.)

I could be wrong.

But let's look at some Hollywood kids. Shirley Temple turned out fine, right? How about the Howard family? Salt-of-the-earth (even though Mom and Dad were actors, too). They kept Ronny and Clint centered and both turned out well. (Yes, Ron has the "better" career but Clint probably has more fun.) And Bryce Dallas seems like a nice young lady.

Whereas Drew Barrymore, well, dad was an alcoholic drug-addict jailbird. Big surprise she battled similar demons. The Spears mother seems like white trash, and her children seem determined to emulate that.

Other child actors who seem to have done all right and stayed in the biz: Paul Walker, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Billy Mumy, Jode Foster, Raven, Dean Stockwell (wow, I'm all over the map on this one).

Show me the kid whose life was ruined because they saw Brooke Shields in Pretty Baby and thought, "Yeah, I wanna be nude in pictures!"

There's usually a source closer to home for issues.

On the other hand, Thora Birch seems to be doing okay and her parents were porn stars.

I'm all for making the culture less coarse. But it doesn't get to decide how my kids' morals, either way.

blake said...


Oh, and I thought I was being sooo clever with my 'money shot' innuendo.

Aw, I liked it.

'cept, you know, it was coarse.

Beth said...

I just want to say that I've enjoyed Trooper's comments on this issue. I tend to agree with him on the sexualization of young celebs, but I also don't find this particular example that alarming. He could be right, though, in seeing it as a little hint of trouble in the future, ala Spears and Lohan and company.

Brooke Shields and Jodi Foster are good examples of kids celebs who grew up okay; maybe Natalie Portman, too. All performed in roles that stirred up controversy, but they all seemed to keep themselves grounded, and managed to pursue their education along the way. I'm not coming at this as a pointy-headed intellectual, but there's something good about having some discipline and a sense of the importance of things other than parties and gossip magazines.

Beth said...

Blake -- good examples and you beat me to them. The Deschanel sisters could be added to that list. Their dad was a set designer, I think.

Trooper York said...

"Shirley Temple turned out fine, right?"

She turned into a Republican Blake!
What could be worse than that!!

KCFleming said...

It's not actually the performers themselves at risk here, although that is a concern. They have literally tens and hundreds of overseers, desired or not.

It's those at the margin, the folks who live ordinary lives who become affected. A 9 year old won't know about this now, but if this unfolds in the manner of Lohan-Spears, this former role model will serve poorly when she hits 13 and thinks hey, me too.

Early teen sexual activity is fast becoming the norm. And this isn't a positive development.

Coarse it was.
But I thought it an appropriate warning even so.

Trooper York said...

Of course you should let your kids only watch what you want them to watch. I just want them to grow up in an atmosphere of senseless violence and ethnic stereotyping that I enjoyed as a lad.

It will be soon enough time for Tracy Jordan to get them pregnant behind the middle school.

Revenant said...

I've seen the photo, and I don't see what was wrong with it. Miley Cyrus is an attractive girl, and it is an attractive picture. It isn't like they showed any "naughty bits".

Trooper York said...

As Simon would say it is not the picture per se, but the slippery slope.

Cause before you know it your gonna see the slippery slope of her shaved cootch getting out of a limo in Vegas while partying with Paris and Lindsey. They got nip it in the bud. So to speak.

Trooper York said...

It's really a shame that a gavone like me has to defend the innocence of little girls. I don't have the vocabulary or the sensibility to put it correctly. Where are all the pastors and the religious guys? Paddy O! Pastor Jeff! Bueller! Anyone! Help!

David said...

Speaking of Shirley Temple, isn't that Shirley in the film clip Ann put up of the weird "Kids in Washington" film? Strange!

Palladian said...

"Hah! I was going to say this earlier, but dropped it: when I was little, I don't remember idolizing many kid celebs. I loved Flipper, and Gentle Ben, and Rin Tin Tin, and all the various cartoon characters of the day."

Yes, I hated little kid celebrities when I was a little kid.

reader_iam said...

Trooper, has it yet occurred to you that perhaps it's not so much about NOT being willing to defend actual little girls, but rather not wanting to defend the choices and the shunning of responsibility by adults?

I mean, jeez, over on that other thread I linked to earlier, someone said something about his or her daughter having gone through this three times now (in reference to Jamie Lynn being the third) by, or before, I don't remember the details off the top of my head, age 10. Sheesh, I guess now the poor child is on number four of that going-through!!! I mean, what's a parent to do (woe is us)?!?!

Is this enough to jumpstart your usually excellent dots-connecting ability? Well, it's all I'm gonna give you, dude. Seems to me not even this should have been necessary, and although I could, I'm certainly not gonna give you any more hints.

reader_iam said...

OK, one more: watching TV, even Disney, or Nick, or whatever, is not a need or a requirement. (MadisonMan, for example, appears to have done quite well with grappling with and nailing done that concept.)

Synova said...

Full disclosure?

I've got three girls, 15, 13, and 10.

15's first boyfriend is Fabio (not really, but he's a boy I said two years ago when I didn't know who he was reminded me of Fabio. Worse, I told *her*.)

13 needs a new bra because she's overgrown the B-cup I bought her a couple of months ago.

10 is taller than I am and refuses to wear a bra (okay, so she's 11 in two weeks) and isn't amused when I try to explain to her that she's got jiggle problems.

Trust me, my desire to DE-sexualize young girls is about as strong as it can be. I just realize that it's impossible. D*mn biology all to heck and gone. It refuses to listen to me when I explain, yet again, that a 10 year old should not be getting boobs. And it wasn't a "Hey, she's 15" T-shirt I seriously considered but a "DUDE, I'M TWELVE!" version.

Take away the "clutching a sheet" picture and the pictures of Miley are pictures of an attractive girl in the full bloom of her full bloomy-ness. There is no avoiding it any more than I can turn the crop of C-cups in my house into A-cups. If I'd even want to do that.

But I have noticed something. Kids, teens, as much as they're inundated with sexual messages, miss most of them. And as parents we have to decide how much to clue them in to sexual subtexts or inferences and how much to just grit our teeth and let it go.

blake said...

That's exactly right, Synova. A well-endowed (and gorgeous) friend of mine related how an innocent kid's game resulted in her watching her pubescent daughter deep-throat a bottle.

Totally innocent. But hard for her mom to watch, even in context.

But see, her mom will be there for her, as you are for your girls. Pity the girls who don't have that.

There is, there, an argument to be made for having the surface culture tend conservative, as Pogo says.

blake said...

"Shirley Temple turned out fine, right?"

She turned into a Republican Blake!
What could be worse than that!!

Touché, Troop. Touché.

blake said...

Hey, and here's an interesting side-note I was not aware of till just this second:

Disney hired Annie Leibovitz to do stills of their movies!

Here. One was just released on the 25th! (Julianne Moore as Ariel from The Little Mermaid.) That's some kind o' kismet, innit?

Trooper York said...

Wait a minute reader, I just figured it out. Your secret identity. You're really Joyce DeWitt! The journalist story is all a big smoke screen. This explains so much. No wonder you won’t let a TV in your house. And your acrimonious relationship with blonde costars. Well come and knock on my door.

reader_iam said...

1) Oh, now, Trooper, I have a lot of stories, the vast majority of them mostly true, even. That's part of the problem.

2) I also never said we don't have televisions or cable, just that they're not mandatory, or a "need" for children, much less any individual channel or show. My child, were he to know the word, would agree with y'all that I can be a real bitch about that.

3) Never been a brunette or a florist. Considering trying out the former, however.

Trooper York said...

I got it now. Your secret identity is that you are really Linda Kelsey
the spunky red headed cub reporter on Lou Grant. You weren't really a reporter, you just played one on TV and retired to the Midwest to raise a family. Well played my dear, well played.

knox said...

Modeling fashion, singing, and god help her, looking sexy - none of these things lead inevitably to promiscuity.

No, a photo shoot does not inexorably turn a girl into a slut. But it's a little disingenuous to just shrug it off. It seems for young female celebs, increasing levels of sluttiness is what gets you to the top. I am hoping that with Britney's highly-publicized foibles, that sort of behavior will become frowned-upon again, but I'm not holding my breath.

I don't know if parents just don't care, if they're trying too hard to be cool, or what. I have a 1-yr old daughter and I certainly will try to shield her from this kind of bullshit when she reaches a certain age, but it's everywhere. It seems like I'm hearing from more experienced parents that it's not so hard. I hope so because I'm dreading it.

(Annie Liebowitz might be a great photographer, but if she is, she shouldn't need to do "controversial" stuff like this to stay relevant. I'm not crazy about artist who use stunts on a regular basis.)

Unknown said...

She is one of the biggest stars in the country right now in terms of selling out shows, album sales, her show's ratings, etc. (it doesn't matter that it's kid-based) she's still a HUGE right now. Don't you think this photo-shoot was discussed with her parents, manager, agent, publicist, etc., etc., etc. in full length??? It is ridiculous to say that while her father's back was turned all of a sudden the evil Leibovitz manipulated her. Come on, if anyone is manipulating this girl, it is all of the other people I just mentioned and not one photographer. As someone else said, she's fifteen ... this is the age when normal kids who aren't celebrities are exploring their sexuality. But since she IS a celebrity, her transformation has to be scrutinized by the entire world. Face it, kids grow up - she can't be a little girl forever no matter how much all the parents whose kids watch her show want her to be!

Anthony said...

"It has to be this way -- for harvest"

blake said...

No, a photo shoot does not inexorably turn a girl into a slut. But it's a little disingenuous to just shrug it off. It seems for young female celebs, increasing levels of sluttiness is what gets you to the top. I am hoping that with Britney's highly-publicized foibles, that sort of behavior will become frowned-upon again, but I'm not holding my breath.

Actually, if you're paying attention, it's quite the opposite. Lohan and Spears went from HUGE to joke in one pantiless flash.

knox said...

I don't get that at all, Blake. Lindsey Lohan just got a huge spread in Vanity Fair and in the midst of all Britney's mess she had a hit single. Neither of those are bad outcomes if you are a fame-hungry celeb--or aspiring to be one. Now to you and me, are they a joke? Sure... but they still get tons of press and attention.

blake said...

It's all relative.

Lindsay Lohan may have gotten a big spread, but last I heard she was having trouble getting work.

Britney was huge prior to her meltdown. Yeah, she had a hit single but that was a surprise, whereas before it would have been more or less expected.

I'm not saying they vanished into the pit of social ignominy (as in days of yore), nor that they couldn't come back, but I think it's clear their antics diminished them.

Even, I guess I should add, if it just means repairing their reputations as professionals.

Karen said...

The Shirley Temple clip was uncomfortable in the extreme, AND I also see that even back then, it was always the guys in the top hats that were the bad guys. Today, every guy in a suit is a bad guy and every guy with low hanging pants is a misunderstood good guy. What's with that, anyway? Who stands up for the businessman or the diligent guy who goes to work early and stays late?

Carol said...

The excuse in the 1930s was nobody thought like that but of course they did. Just start with Chaplin...

Hollywood was full of 'em.