I am so absolutely furious, I could spit nails.
Perhaps you've seen the news breaking all over the internet, that Miley Cyrus has posed topless in Vanity Fair magazine. Here are the details from the New York Times:
Some parents reacted with outrage over the weekend when the television program “Entertainment Tonight” began showing commercials promoting a scoop: Ms. Cyrus, the star of the wholesome Disney Channel blockbuster “Hannah Montana,” had posed topless, albeit with her chest covered, for the Vanity Fair photographer, Annie Leibovitz.
I don't fault Miley for this. I know I wasn't always making the best choices at age 15. But her parents should have known better. The New York Times reports that her dad was on the set when the photos were taken.
Can you, as a parent, imagine any circumstances in which you'd let your 15-year-old undress for a photographer?
I'm furious because these parents (and Disney, and Vanity Fair) have exploited a child. Since when have topless photos of a minor been acceptable?
I'm more furious because they have now put me, as a parent, in the position of having to discuss topless photos with my sons (this WILL be discussed on the playground, you can be sure of it, and I want my kids to hear my perspective first). Thanks so much for that, Billy Ray, and Vanity Fair, and Disney.
And, if I'm honest, I'm mad at myself for what I might have done to enable this situation. I've been so relieved about the Hannah Montana show as an upbeat, wholesome alternative to some other entertainment, that maybe I've bought into it too much. I've voiced concern at the same time I bought my kids tickets to the movie. I feel creeped out myself, that I've somehow contributed to the exploitation of this child.
So we'll be having an upleasant conversation in our house tonight, about modesty and decision-making and growing up too fast. I'll be making a hard choice myself, as to whether I withhold an otherwise quality show from kids' viewing.
And I will breathe a prayer for Miley, smack dab in the middle of a firestorm not of her making.
I'd really be interested to hear your thoughts about this, particularly about how (or if) you plan to address this with your kids.