Be my friend :-) Like Mommy-Morhphosis on Facebook!

Search This Blog

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Miley's shame is ours to bear

There's a lot of blogworthy news this week. The campaign for democratic nominee has turned into a 3 way showdown Clinton vs. Obama vs. Wright. Nick Cannon and Mariah Carey turned their weird whirlwind romance into the ultimate publicity stunt - an off shore marriage. And America's sweetheart Miley Cyrus aka Hannah Montana is on the verge of losing her Disney branded image over a few provocative portraits courtesy of Annie Lebowitz.

Since this blog is about my motherly musings I'll focus on Ms. Miley. Sadly I saw this coming months ago. Her fame started out innocently enough. She was the cute daughter with the toothy grin of onetime country sensation Billy Rae Cyrus. All the kids loved her, stayed glued to her TV show and flocked to concerts across the globe. Hannah Montana frenzy even got the Bears booted from Soldier Field to accommodate her stage show. Then Miley started to emerge from the nest that is Nickelodeon and move in a more mature circle. There she was, an A-lister at the Academy Awards. Her concert movie #1 in box offices nationwide. On American Idol exchanging quips with Billy Crystal. Its only natural that her immense popularity would give her access to people and places that would overwhelm a 30 year old let alone someone as impressionable as a 15 year old teenage girl. Not taking away from her talent and savvy it is purely fact that at 15 you don't have it all together. What bothers me the most is America's fascination with the ingenue, the Lolita. All smiles and giggles while perverts mumble under their breath about the countdown to her 18th birthday. She is not the first fresh faced girl from the center of Americana we've placed on a pedestal only to watch struggle to keep her balance. Dare I say oops we've done it again? We ogle, ooh and ahh over these young women and put them in positions of influence beyond their years. In those now infamous photos she's a young girl who went a touch too far posing in the mirror. Only difference is most of us locked the bathroom door and daydreamed about gracing magazine covers. Miley's actually living the dream.

Getting to the meat of it, what's the big deal about a shoulder?!? I mean come on, Vanity Fair is not exactly Playboy or Cosmo Girl for Pete's sake. I can't imagine teenage boys sneaking in the bathroom with that mammoth high fashion publication tucked under their armpits. How come its acceptable to celebrate her beauty as a teen pop star in overdone makeup, a blond wig, flashy miniskirts and baby tees, but risque to see her naturally in the lovely light Lebowitz captured her? I don't think it's the image memorialized through the master photographer's lens that's lewd. Its the pop culture lens through which we view young ladies like Miley that's shaded with a red light. They're over hyped, prematurely sexualized, applauded for being sassy and charged with the rearing of a nation full of younger girls who look up to them. Here she is celebrating herself without the makeup, without the scripts, and because something about it makes society at large uncomfortable its in bad taste. I call bullshit! What people are feeling is not shame for Miley, not a fear of her exploitation. Its guilt. We are forced to look face to face with their creation: a little girl who's been growing up a bit too fast. Let's face it at 15 its hard enough to make good decisions for yourself, how can she be an infallible role model for other children? If these photos were sooooo outrageous where was her council? Where were her role models? Are they all so blinded by her earning power that she calls the shots? Does she have a family and staff of yes people? Where were the Disney and Nick Kid reps? Weren't they invested enough in their latest cash cow to monitor how she'd portray herself?

The moral of this story is being worth multi millions at 15 doesn't mean you have the wisdom and life experience to always know what's best. It is the responsibility of parents and loved ones to guide our children and more than anything protect them against this big bad world. Its a jungle out there. They'll love you one day and leave you the next. You can't please all of the people all of the time. Miley had to learn these lessons the hard way. If parents get busy being present in the lives of their children and let talented teens serve as entertainment instead of role models maybe they can avoid the scrutiny that Miley has endured this past week.

No comments: