Much Ado About Miley

FOR DOWNLOAD MORE GALLERY Miley Cyrus says that she is "embarrassed" by her upcoming Vanity Fair photographs. Disney, Cyrus' employer, says that the young star was deliberately manipulated in order to sell magazines. Photographer Annie Leibovitz says that the photos are "simple" and "beautiful", and the photographs have been misinterpreted. And one blogger is threatening to boycott Cyrus, calling the photographs "illegal".

Cut the crap. Cyrus and her family knew exactly what they were doing, and that is creating a controversy out of nothing in order to generate a billion dollars worth of free publicity. The mainstream media is going nuts about this, mainly because people must be bored with the Presidential race, as well as with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and people obviously are not concerned about $4 per gallon gas and skyrocketing food prices.

So what exactly is so offensive about the photos, which show the 15 year-old pop culture phenomenon draped in a sheet with her bare back turned to the camera, hair tousled and a demure come-hither look in her eye? Is it the fact that her back is bare? No, it can't be that, because there is nothing offensive or illegal about the nude human back in our culture for persons of any age or sex. Is it the look on her face? No, it can't be that, because there are countless photos of Cyrus out there with a pouty or provocative look on her face. Or is it the combination of the bare back with the sexy glare that is so offensive? No, that can't be it because if the photo of Cyrus had been taken on the beach with her in a bikini, there would have been more exposed skin.

What makes this photo such a sensation, such a scandal, is the fact that Cyrus has already apologized for the photos in advance of their publication, thus ensuring a sell-out at the newsstand, and a predictable media frenzy. Cyrus, her family, and her handlers have played the media and the gullible public like a harp from Hell.

Are the photos "illegal" as that one blogger claimed? Absolutely not. There is nothing illegal about photographing the nude human body, no matter the person's age. What is illegal is photographing a minor engaging in sexual acts. Courts have consistently upheld the works of Robert Mapplethorpe, Jock Sturges and Nan Goldin as being valid works of art, even though their work sometimes features nude children, and create controversy. There is a fundamental misunderstanding on the part of many people about what is child pornography, and what is the artistic depiction of innocence and beauty.

And now Jamie Lee Curtis has chimed in on the whole manufactured affair.
Today's generation of performers have had to navigate the treacherous shoals of adolescence in full frontal viewberty of the peering voyeurism of the media and it's voyeuristic participants. We have watched them as they stumble out of the safety of childhood, not that being a professional actor as a child is safe, but that is another blog, into the glare of celebrity, rehab, prison, teen pregnancy and now this, a backless shot of a young girl. It was called "artistic'.
More nonsense. Comparing the "backless" shot of a young girl with rehab and prison is further sensationalizing and publicizing the situation. And someone who is really deeply concerned about "voyeurism" shouldn't be in "show" business.

Anyone who just stands back and examines the photo can see that there is nothing wrong with what Annie Leibovitz calls a simple and beautiful image, but looking through the forest of false indignation, insincere apologies, corporate condemnations and public hysteria makes it hard to see the trees.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , FOR WATCH MORE VIDEO