There’s a lot of buzz going on right now about Miley Cyrus. This is where I was planning on giving a detailed explanation of who Miley Cyrus is, but then I decided that if you don’t already know you should just put the damn paper down and slither back under that big rock you call a home.
Recently, Annie Leibovitz photographed Ms. Cyrus, 15, for Vanity Fair and people are freaking out because they feel the pictures are too provocative. I’ve bit my tongue over the past few weeks because really, what business is it of mine to bash other people and their opinions? But alas, I’m finally going to have my say in the matter because honestly, I don’t have anything else to talk about.
The fact that I’m jumping on this crazy bandwagon makes me wonder if boredom is the ultimate culprit behind our society’s obsession with celebrities. I admit that I check out gossip sites most regularly when I’m supposed to be doing something else, like bathing my kids or writing a story. And I go to celebrity sites like a person goes to an adult site–not because I think it’s a depiction of real life, but primarily because I want to escape my own humdrum reality, if only for five minutes.
That being said, all this Internet and news chatter about Cyrus is much to do about abso-fricking-lutely nothing. Seriously, the girl is fully clothed in most of the shots and when not, the most skin you can see is on her side and back. I don’t see parents lining up outside of the toy store boycotting Nightclub Barbie or the Pedophile Bratz, both of which I think are way more sleazy than the photos of a 15-year-old girl–sitting in an upright position!–completely covered by a sheet.
Furthermore, all the parents in an uproar about the pictures should take a chill-pill because the last time I checked, Vanity Fair was a magazine for grown-ups, not something kids will stumble across while browsing Junie B titles in Borders.
Yes, Cyrus is a role model for young girls. I take that back—her Disney character “Hannah Montana” should be the role model for our daughters. I’m okay with the idea of Hannah Montana as a role model because I know for a fact that her character on the show is going to keep things rated G.
But a problem occurs when parents allow their kids to idolize the human behind the character. Characters are easily controlled–writers create their moral code, reaction to situations and even the consequences to those reactions. People, even good people, aren’t so stable or predictable.
Kids, especially teenagers, are bound to make mistakes. To me, that’s cool. Mistakes are natural; it’s how we pick ourselves up after we fall that defines what type of person we are.
Even if I felt that the photos Cyrus took were in bad taste–and I don’t–it wouldn’t be the end of the world. I would wait to see how she handled the situation before judging her.
Most importantly, I think parents need to remember that it’s in their power–at least with young children–to monitor who their children look up to. My daughter is a huge Hannah Montana fan and she doesn’t have a clue that there’s even a tad bit of controversy surrounding the star.
I like to see childhood as a twilight between fact and fiction, where the two worlds aren’t clearly separated, and I think that it’s preferable to let kids get caught up in the world of controlled, scripted role models rather than celebrities.
Not that this is a perfect solution, but it works for us. Of course, my girl also thinks her real father is Spider-Man.
Starr Begley is really excited to meet Egan Inoue at the mall this Saturday. MTW