Chicago Sun-Times
Tuning in with Thomas Conner

Hannah Montana... sex symbol???

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To be clear, as a professional rock critic and amateur hedonist, I am no prude. But I found the quickly becoming notorious, provocatively posed, semi-nude Annie Liebovitz photo of Miley Cyrus for the new Vanity Fair pretty darn disturbing for the way it sexualizes a 15-year-old whose entire career as Hannah Montana was corporately crafted by the Disney Empire to appeal to other girls that age and much, much younger.

Still, I wanted a reality check to see how this might play to the pop singer and actress' target demographic. Here is the critique of a certain 11-year-old critic and Hannah fan of my acquaintance:

"Oh my god! She looks stupid! I like Hannah Montana and all, but why is she all glammed-up like that when she looks good just being herself? It's like she's trying to look a lot older -- or cause some controversy. I think she must have just had a break-up, and she's looking for attention! She looked a lot better in concert."

Pretty astute observations, one and all.

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8 Comments

DeRo,

You should never lend your ink to a possible replacement.

-- SCAM

Miley's parents need to keep track of her and guard her so she doesn't end up like other teen stars gone bad. I hope, from what her father has said, that they actually do have a tight knit family and good morals for her to fall on.

Miley's father was with her throughout the shoot. One of the more disturbing pictures is a shot of her with her midriff showing as she is laying with her head in Billy Ray's lap. It really does have a strong aura of sexuality to it. Beyond that all the shots were gone over with Ms Cyrus and her father. She saw the shots after they were taken and apparently liked them and her father approved of them...at the time.

Now of course Disney is in an uproar, their virginal pubescent star is being portrayed as a woman in a major publication. To my thinking this is a much more complex issue than the simplistic "They exploited me" crap I am hearing. Ms Cyrus is at a point in her life where, if she wants to maintain her career, she needs to transition into a more mature performer. These photo's and this publicity will help grease the skids and help put her on that path. That being said I am wondering if they (Miley and Billy Ray) underestimated the reaction from Disney and are not quite ready to give up that gravy train. I find that hard to believe. More likely I am of the opinion that the Cyrus clan knew Disney would disapprove and did the shoot anyway and have planned all along to use the controversy surrounding the photo's to help launch her into a more mature career. That of course is just my $.02 worth.

I am a 70 year old Canadian and I find this sensationalism around the photos of Miley and her dad completely overblown. This teenager could be sitting in a bikini with a towel at the beach.This inflamed response is pure idiocy.The beautiful father and daughter image is a Liebovitz art portrait based on pure design concepts . Teenage girls ...and their mothers ...dress this way these days with their midriffs exposed...Billy Ray is used to his daughter being dressed like this and there is nothing salacious about this pose except for those who wish to see it that way . I do not think the Cyrus family should have apologized for these images at all . Just more sanctimonious silly prudery. Half the audience of 10-15year olds for a Miley Cyrus fan concert are probably dressed similarly.The other half have mothers who would disapprove. The way of the world after all .

Well she probably will gain more sales from this literal exposure ! She has commited NO sins in these photographs in Vanity Fair. Let the self-righteous moms point out to their little daughters that they look like that after a swim!

did you just get out of the shower

i love u

you are nastyyyyy i was your fan but mowww not

we love mily cypus

we r stanfurd students who love love love mily cypus alot

shes so hannah like montana but not really cuz shes acting!

hahaha im no 80 year old canadian fatso

hahaha

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This page contains a single entry by Jim DeRogatis published on April 28, 2008 5:08 PM.

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