Tuesday, April 29, 2008


CNN.com reports on the latest episode of teenage girls gone wild: the controversial photographs of Miley Cyrus being published in the next issue of Vanity Fair. Gigi Durham, author of The Lolita Effect, is quoted extensively in the article. On her blog, Durham offers this appraisal of the Miley fiasco: "Miley Cyrus’ semi-nude photographs in Vanity Fair are sparking controversy because of the supposed smear on her squeaky-clean Disney image. Of course she’s following in the footsteps of former Disney child-stars-turned-sex-symbols like Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera: there should be no surprise here.The photographs by Annie Liebovitz are undoubtedly beautiful and artistic. But the raging controversy about them is not about their artistic merit, it’s about 15-year-old Miley’s sexuality. To me, the entire situation points to the way we insist on polarizing girls’ sexuality: it’s either repressed or exploited for profit. All teenage girls need to be able to express and enjoy their sexuality in intentional, healthy, safe ways. But Miley’s reported embarrassment and shame, and the press’ lurid interest in the pictures, indicates that there’s much amiss here. Not because Miley, at 15, is sexual — but because we can’t accept that as a normal, completely natural part of her life that needs neither to be ogled nor denied."

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