Monday, April 28, 2008

Schadenfreude Monday

Billy Ray Cyrus' daughter, Hannah Montana star, and all-around teen icon Miley Cyrus recently appeared in a Vanity Fair photo shoot by Annie Leibowitz. Her shirt did not appear in the same photo shoot, so it was replaced by a demurely positioned satin sheet. Apparently this is a problem.

Actually, I'm much more troubled by this quote from the"relationships, marriage, and parenting" blog Telling It Like It Is: "I figured it was only a matter of time before she [Cyrus] was added to the increasing number of teen pop stars heading down the path towards becoming a tramp, right along with Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears." (It's amazing how prevelant that virgin-whore dichotomy becomes in pop culture once you start looking for it.)

I have no great affinity for Disney pop stars and I have never seen or heard Hannah Montana the TV show, but as far as I can tell Miley Cyrus stands on the cusp of having herself and her fictional persona actually vilified for fictional sexual transgressions--remember, these aren't paparazzi photos. Whether Lohan or Spears are "tramps" is legitimately debatable, I guess (it's a very silly, boring debate, in my opinion), and it's true that they have been extensively photographed by paparazzi in in various unsavory situations. But this photo was taken by one of the most famous and respected portrait photographers ever, in a studio, in the full view of dozens of adults including many ostensibly responsible for Cyrus' welfare. The photo itself is a pose--a fiction--not a caught-in-the-act photo--not journalism. I don't disagree that it is a suggestive photo, but it seems very bizarre to me that it makes her an actual "tramp" or that Miley Cyrus is the problem here, especially in the eyes of a blog that seems to value protecting children (remember, Miley Cyrus is 15). Seems to me that the blogger is confused about who the transgressor here is.

But, then again, to most people, Miley Cyrus is probably less real than ostensibly fictional Hannah Montana (who, apparently, is actually just a rockstar persona of Miley Stewart, who is nothing more than an average California teen--at least according to my Wikipedia research on the show) so maybe we should expect confusion.

Anyway, in the interest of not confusing fact with fiction, the Flux authors and I agree to take full responsibility for any unsavory things the characters in their novels might do. Please don't call them tramps; it's not their fault.


Anne Spollen said...

I didn't know people still used the word tramp...

A.S. King said...

Hoo boy.