I am the Elizabeth Taylor of the feline world.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Achy Breaky Skanky


I started this post on Thursday, planning on making a few mullet jokes. After some research and exploration, I changed my mind.

Statement regarding creepy photo before people started freaking out:

"Annie took, like, a beautiful shot, and I thought it was really cool. That’s what she wanted me to do, and you can’t say no to Annie . . . I think it’s really artsy. It wasn’t in a skanky way."
-- Miley Cyrus

And statement regarding creepy photo after people started freaking out:

"I took part in a photo shoot that was supposed to be 'artistic' and now, seeing the photographs and reading the story, I feel so embarrassed."
-- Miley Cyrus

Ole Miley doesn't get it: the portrait is artistic. Furthermore, this picture might be the most important statement Annie Leibovitz ever makes about our culture.

Look a little closer. The picture is basically in the style of a turn of the century European nudie postcard, typically featuring a child prostitute, one might pick up on the streets of Paris during that same time period.

Can you say IRONY?

Annie Leibovitz just made a statement about our culture, its infatuation with youth and celebrity and the willingness of some to sell their children for money. You might not like it, as it's an uncomfortable sight, but important messages are sometimes disconcerting.

Suddenly, Disney is making me nauseous in a way I would never expect.

Nothing good comes of selling your children for money. A myriad of what should be cautionary tales parade across our television sets hour after hour. But still, some of us aren't listening.

Disney, who produces Cyrus' television show, had a different take altogether:

"Unfortunately, as the article suggests, a situation was created to deliberately manipulate a 15-year-old in order to sell magazines."

Disney is whining about exploiting a child for money. Disney created many 21st century cautionary tales, in a complicated exploitation, all in the name of money.

I saw the picture. I've heard the arguments about art and subjects and sexuality and all that jazz. But I still think it comes down this:

Where the hell were her parents and why are they agreeing to photo shoots with Annie Leibovitz?

Granted, Leibovitz is a very relevant artists/ photographer. Her portraits hang in gallery exhibitions all over the world and are displayed as cover art on and in such magazines as Rolling Stone, Vogue, and Vanity Fair. Her recent photographs of the Queen of England were said to create a "regality no other recent royal portraitist has achieved".

But just as I wouldn't allow my child to be photographed by Robert Maplethorpe (if he were still alive) or painted by Lucian Freud unsupervised (if at all), under no circumstance would I agree to such with Leibovitz, who has also exploited Cyrus for her own agenda.

By the way, I am in no way comparing the works of Leibovitz to Maplethorpe or Freud for any other purpose other than to say she is a controversial artist as are they.
But what about the rest of us? I have five references alone to Britney Spears and a couple more to Lindsay Lohan. Am I adding fuel to the fire by freely and openly mocking them? What about those parents who cough up $500 bucks a pop for Hannah Montana tickets? "The Man" can't exploit these kids if we don't allow kids to be exploited.
Something to consider . . .

10 comments:

Crabby McSlacker said...

I think you nailed it.

When I go to a Maplethorpe or Leibovitz exhibit, what I love about the photographs is how they're sometimes so complicated and dark and ironic. But I often wonder why the subject (or the subject's parents) consented to be used that way. I'm with you, I'd never allow a child (or kitten) of mine to be photographed by a famous photographer unless they only did fawning, flattering portraiture.

Leah J. Utas said...

Penelope, you're a very smart cat.
Miley may not have gotten it originally, but her parents were at the shoot and knew exactly what was going on and why, and approved the images.
As for Disney, please...

Mr. Shife said...

Excellent post. You are one smart feline. I think you nailed about the parents. They need to accept some sort of responsibility for what their daughter does and does not do. And we wonder why child stars have such a hard time transitioning to adulthood?

Mom In Scrubs said...

I am in total agreement. Parents need to look out for their kids and not let them be exploited. It's not like she isn't growing up too fast already...then this.

Is the queen pic done by Liebowitz?

Mom In Scrubs said...

Poor Miley. Exploited by her company and now her own parents. Sad sad sad. As if she isn't growing up too fast as it is.

Is the pic of the queen by Liebovitz? Why isn't Her Majesty half naked and slutty? At least she could have shown some cleaveage - or a little leg...

EEw. I know.

Merry said...

Sorry... I was going to leave a deep and profound comment... then I read Mom in Scrubs' comment... I'm speechless... and can't stop using ellipses...

Mom In Scrubs said...

Whoops. The first comment I left went to comment-limbo. So I wrote another one. Then the other one popped up too. It's not my other personality...We're not...I'm not... I swear...come back here!! Waaaaiiiit!!

Josephine Damian said...

I have five references alone to Britney Spears and a couple more to Lindsay Lohan. Am I adding fuel to the fire by freely and openly mocking them?

No, you're upping your hit counter by using popular key words.

More visitors? That's a good thing!

To hell with pics. My head is still spinning over Miley's book deal! How many first time authors are getting paltry advances so that this publishing house can pay Miley all that dough?

Emily said...

What a great post, you just summed up everything I feel about the whole Miley Cyrus/Kid exploitation that is going on.

I think it's sad that everyone's first question about Miley was "is she the next Britney Spears?" Then these pictures come out and we're all quick to jump in and say "I was right, she's going to end up like the rest of the Hollywood skanks."

Billy Ray Cyrus would be completely unknown these days if it wasn't for Miley. I think it was a brilliant publicity stunt to allow the photos to be circulated. He knew what he was doing- pimping his daughter to American pop culture!

SUV MAMA said...

Cats truly are brilliant. I haven't read any other commentary on the subject that actually articulated the ISSUE as well as you, Penelope.

Kudos to Leibovitz, however. Her agenda is plain and obvious, while Miley's parents package her sexuality under the guise of girlhood innocence.