Much Ado About Nothing: Miley Cyrus’ Controversial Vanity Fair Photoshoot

29 04 2008

A little late this morning but better late than never. Anyway, you can blame WordPress for the delay. No, not technical issues, but rather the “Hawt Post” on the main WordPress.com page. When he logged in, Mr President was confronted with a post about a topic he was planning to write about in a couple of days anyway. Given it’s a hot topic now he decided not to delay it.

Instead he’s postponed the discussion he had planned for today for another day. This little shift has meant he’s running a little behind schedule. Here at Textual Relations we value the quality of our output and would be loathe to put out any inferior posts. Not having had much time to put together this story (as it was planned for another day), and not wanting to sacrifice quality, we simply delayed publication. Apologies for the wait.

So what is this issue that shifted the focus? Hannah Montana star Miley Cyrus’ controversial photoshoot for Vanity Fair. Some have referred to it as a topless shoot or a nude shoot, but it was neither. A salient fact that’s missing from some of the reports is that she was wearing a top underneath the sheet that left her back exposed. It was designed to create a provocative yet “safe” image. Which, given the reaction, it did.

Besides, even if she were nude under the sheet, does that take away from the artistic value of the photographs? Of course not. She looks beautiful, and the use of the suggestive pose plays off the contrast between the innocence of a young girl, showing that here is a girl on the cusp of womanhood. No longer a girl, yet not quite a woman.

From an aesthetic point of view, they’re stunning photographs. Whether she’s nude or not (and those present at the shoot insist she wasn’t) is besides the point. Nudity isn’t sexual. We make it so. After all, are we not all born naked? As a child Mr President was fond of running around the house naked as the day he was born, and he knows he’s not the only toddler who did this. Is that wrong? What about pictures of babies in the bath?

Some have cited the book Lolita, or are talking about this being symbolic of a society where young girls are being expected to grow up too fast. Whilst we agree where it comes to 11 and 12 year old girls wearing makeup and dressing provocatively, this is a 15 year old girl. She’s not a kid, and how many girls of the same age wear halter tops?

Common sense should prevail. The photos are artistic and tasteful. End of story.


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3 responses

1 05 2008
Textual Relations

[…] 05 2008 On Tuesday El P discussed the Miley Cyrus controversy and in that post he said that this had been a change of plans. He had originally planned to discuss […]

1 05 2008
Grand Theft Auto: Satirising The Downfall of Society. « Textual Relations

[…] Theft Auto: Satirising The Downfall of Society. 1 05 2008 On Tuesday El P discussed the Miley Cyrus controversy and in that post he said that this had been a change of plans. He had originally planned to discuss […]

3 08 2008
Miley Cyrus Lover

“Much ado about nothing” sums it up nicely. These photos weren’t all that big of a deal, and other celebrities have done media antics that were considerably far worse (e.g. Britney). Miley was just testing the waters of a more mature audience, and I think the Disney camp realized it wa a mistake and have since cleaned up her image nicely.

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