Friday, May 2, 2008
Can a 15 year old have SEX appeal? Miley Cyrus hits the satin sheets... and our culture's Age of Consent Issues
Okay, This (if you don't already know) is Miley Cyrus. A.K.A. Hannah Montana.
She's interviewed in Vanity Fair magazine, who gets the Celebrity of celebrity photographers, Annie Liebovitz, to photograph her.
She poses with no top visible. She has on red lipstick. She's partially covered by a satin sheet.
Is she a girl or is she a woman?
Disney (and many fans) scream GIRL! She should have no sex appeal. She's just a cute girl, that every girl should want to be like. She's the girl that every boy should want to (of course) platonically, date, and the girl every parent should want their child to grow up to be.
Clearly Annie Liebovitz was interested in exploring just how much of a woman is there in this teenager that has the world on a string. (There are estimates that she will be worth a billion dollars by the time she is 18 years old!)
I think it's fascinating that she first poses in a "womanly" and revealing set-up, and then reacts to her fans' supposed outrage by reverting to being "girly" and saying she's now "embarrassed" by the photos. Pure celebrity damage-control.
But the whole episode brings up a HUGE issue for our culture. We want our teens to be consumers, we sell everything to them and everyone else with SEX (have you looked at some ads lately? Abercrombie & Fitch, Guess Jeans, almost everything...), but after all that, we don't want our teens to be sexual... ever.
We see it with the blind federally mandated "abstinence-only" sex education programs. (God forbid we teach sexually active teens how to use a condom and avoid getting HIV/AIDS or pregnant!)
We see it in the different age of consents around the world for "gay" versus "straight" sexual activity.
And we see it in Miley Cyrus' doing a woman's photo shoot when everyone wants to keep her a "girl."
How come none of these adults REMEMBER being a teenager? It's precisely that awkward mix of girl/woman, of boy/man that is so confusing and so powerful. And I guess, so scary to adults that have forgotten...
So how come no one's asking Teens what they think?
Well, I am. Asking, that is.
What do YOU think? Can a 15 year old have SEX appeal? Was Miley Cyrus wrong to pose suggestively, or was she wrong to apologize?
Click Here to take the very first "I'm Here. I'm Queer. What the Hell do I Read?" Survey - It will take you less than a minute, I promise!
I'll post results Friday of next week...
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