An Illustrated Guide to Mendacity and Folly in the Imperium Americanum

Trying to Have it Both Ways

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Ahhh, Hannah Montana, such a boundless bundle of innocent energy, leading a double life as an ordinary person and a tween idol. And guess what? looks like Miley Cyrus has at least two (if not three) lives she’s leading as well–how life doth imitate art. Lemme see, she’s one of those super-talented Disney kids growing in the hothouse atmosphere of Disney exploitation, a Christian doing it all for Jesus, and … what’s this? a normal girl? Someplace buried under the hyped up talent and the hyped up sweet Christian innocence? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying she isn’t talented. She’s at least as talented as a couple hundred thousand kids her age who DON’T have a famous dad and a multibillion dollar conglomerate behind her. And I’m sure her faith is, well, about as genuine as any 15 year-old’s who hasn’t found out about real life yet (something that, if she’s careful, she’ll never really have to do and can become President). But has she had a taste of it this time?

You better believe she hasn’t. Look at that Vanity Fair shot by La Leibovitz. Standard Vanity Fair, umm, fare. Right? None of us would have any objection to that shot if it was one of Annie’s standard subjects, une dame d’un certain age who was still trying to look hot. Or even a younger woman, except she’d probably prefer to get her exposure in Playboy and show even more. Miley, as her fans have said, isn’t showing ANYTHING. But that misses the point of what the photograph suggests it is showing. A naked girl sitting with bed sheets over the censorable bits with a smoldering pout and an inviting come-hither look in her eyes. But she isn’t in bed–oh? why bed sheets? But it was just supposed to be “artistic”. Yeah, right.

Miley isn’t so innocent she didn’t know what she was doing. If she didn’t, there were family members and members of her entourage with her to protect her. Tho’ I have my doubts about Billy Ray’s ability to see past “ooo, that’s a hot pose, Miley.” You KNOW they had approval over which shots would be included in the magazine layout. As did the Disney organization, since she’s their most profitable commodity of the moment. So no one was pulling the wool over anyone’s eyes. Certainly not Annie Leibovitz who knew exactly what she was doing. She knew she wasn’t just photographing a pretty girl, she was photographing a pretty piece of JAILBAIT. And it would do wonders for VF’s circulation and her own reputation. No, this was a calculated move on everyone’s part. What gets me pig-biting mad (Ed Anger, where are you now?) is the hypocrisy of everyone involved. Miley Vaniley over there isn’t gonna lose any of her fanbase from this, so she didn’t risk anything and she’s prepped her way to crotch-grabbing Britney Spears-dom after she graduates from the Mousergarten, and remember, little Britney became even more popular after she became legal, until she decided to play house and her widdle brain went all ‘splodey. Yeah, a few moms will have second thoughts, but the kids will support their heroine. But watch out Hanna Montana, that path is littered with rockets that burned out on re-entry…

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