Disney Girls Gone Wild?

One photograph can make or break a career. For the young (15-year-old) millionaire superstar, Miley Cyrus, there has been one heck of a hullabaloo over a photo taken by the legendary photographer, Annie Leibovitz.
Certainly it would be an honor to be photographed by Leibovitz. She’s snapped some of popular culture’s most historic photos. (She took the photo of John Lennon and Yoko Ono in bed, among others.)

The fuss is over a topless photo of the 15-year-old who is wrapped in a satin sheet. The photo is in the June issue of Vanity Fair. Her body is covered more than most 15-year-olds’ are generally covered so the fuss isn’t about the skin she is showing. The real fuss is about a young girl who is looked up to as a role model for practically every teen and pre-teen American girl today posing for a photo that implies sexuality and sensuality. As a parent, I have serious concerns about the lack of judgment shown, not by the child Cyrus nor by Leibovitz, who is expected to push the envelope when snapping photos, but by the parents of Miley Cyrus.

Certainly Miley Cyrus didn’t need the additional exposure (no pun intended) to propel her career to the next level. The child star is expected to be a billionaire by the age of twenty. In fact, Miley Cyrus could stop working right now and live comfortably without ever working again in her life.

Let’s look at another good girl gone bad.

Not so long ago, Britney Spears was a wholesome, Disney star who took off on her music career like a rocket. We saw her go from good girl to bad girl before our eyes very quickly. Then we saw the deterioration of both her career and her personal life before the age of 25.
Can we realistically expect a 15-year-old or even a 25-year-old to have the good judgment to know what sort of image they should be portraying when they live in the public eye? Can we realistically expect them to understand the effect that one photograph can have on the rest of their life? I don’t think so.

Can we expect their parents to understand these things and help them to make proper decisions?

Absolutely.

I don’t blame Miley, or even Britney. I blame their parents.

Shame on you, Billy Ray and Tish Cyrus. How could you sell out your little girl and turn her into a pinup?

Now how many American girls at the tender age of 15 or even younger will be taking similar photos of themselves and posting them on their MySpace sites?

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