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Monday, April 28, 2008

Hannah Montana Bares Her…

posted by on April 28 at 9:52 AM


shoulder. And that’s not okay, because the Disney star is only 15 years old and she wasn’t wearing a top and so her teenage breasts can totally be inferred here. Parents are outraged, Cyrus is contrite, and Vanity Fair is bad. Because we all know that it’s a slippery slope from inferring teenage breasts to, you know, actually blowing loads all over ‘em. So instead of looking at this shocking, exploitative picture of Miley Cyrus’s bare shoulder, let’s look instead at this wholesome picture of a pre-teenage girl modeling the Hannah Montana Girls Rock Bikini—for sale now at Disney’s website.


Ah… that’s better.

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Off-point, she looks like she's fucking dead.

Posted by Mr. Poe | April 28, 2008 9:55 AM

what kind of parent would let their child wear a bikini? Parents complain about pedos but then shoo their kids out the door wearing pedo bait like THAT?

Posted by Bellevue Ave | April 28, 2008 9:57 AM

It'll be fun when she goes batshit in 2015 or so.

Posted by tsm | April 28, 2008 9:58 AM

Mr. Poe, Annie Liebovitz can bring out the corpse in anyone.

Bellevue Ave - You should go to a beach sometime (and not some frigid Washington beach, but one where people actually go in the water). Then you can have a real prude-fit.

Posted by Providence | April 28, 2008 10:00 AM

Dan, the first picture is without a doubt sexualized. The second picture is not sexualized. Parents don't want their pre-teens to have a sexualized role model.

I suppose you're just oversensitive to this kind of thing because of the daily ration of shit Erica Barnett gives you over printing those American Apparel ads.

Posted by elenchos | April 28, 2008 10:02 AM

dude, adults arent children. i'm fine with adults doing what ever they want and wearing whatever they want. children, not so much. it makes me uncomfortable knowing that somebody, somewhere is probably jacking off to that picture or writing some kind of terrible story based around that picture.

if it makes me a prude to be able to differentiate between children and adults putting out sexual vibes, then i guess im a prude.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | April 28, 2008 10:04 AM

I'm all for artsy photographs, but there's not much point in a woman showing her bare back and wearing a sheet while smiling over her shoulder if she's NOT supposed to be sexy. And I don't want to think of Miley Cyrus as sexy at 15--I think that's doing Miley a disservice as much as anything--so I'd rather they had posed her in some other way. Age-inappropriateness aside, how many frigging times have women posed like this for a photographer? Annie Liebowitz should have challenged herself to do something new.

I'm not outraged or disgusted, but ambivalent. It doesn't move me. Get out of the rut, Annie.

Posted by Emily | April 28, 2008 10:07 AM

Ooooohhh yah! Let the Hanah Montana backlash begin! Where's David Shields when you need him???????

Posted by KeeKee | April 28, 2008 10:09 AM

Um, I was pretty fucking sexualized by age 15. As I bet most of you were.

Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty | April 28, 2008 10:10 AM

I think it's a valid comparison, and I'm also glad that Dan posted it instead of ECB, because even if she had written it the exact same way, everyone would now be on her back saying she's a touchy feminist who takes everything too seriously and just needs to wait until she's "off her period" or some shit like that.

Posted by Cook | April 28, 2008 10:11 AM

I dunno... My high school sweetheart was 15 when we started, uh... seeing each other. Know what I mean?

Posted by Hal | April 28, 2008 10:12 AM

Bellevue - unless you dress kids in burlap sacks, there's some pervert somewhere whacking off to their images.

Folks put kids in bathing suits all the time and have for as long as I've been going to the beach. Bikinis for girls, speedos for boys, and butt-naked for toddlers. They're not perverts, and they're not necesarily bad parents. And it would be a damn shame if pedo-paranoia ended the American family beach tradition.

Now if you really want to prude-out, walk around a public junior high school sometime and see how kids are dressed. I had the misfortune of seeing this once, and it made me feel downright victorian.

Posted by Providence | April 28, 2008 10:17 AM

The point is that Hannah Montana fans are not 15; they are 10.

And if ECB had posted the same story, it would have been four times as long, and 3/4 of it would be lies and distortions. There's a reason why the other half dozen women who post on the Slog don't get the kind of criticism Erica does.

Posted by elenchos | April 28, 2008 10:17 AM

About as curvy as a young male ethiopian goat herder durring a rougher season ... oh yeah.

Posted by OR Matt | April 28, 2008 10:37 AM

Vanity Fair and Annie L seriously need to come up with a new look/ photo set up for their "groundbreaking" celeb photo shoots. I feel like I've seen a million photos like that one before (Lindsay Lohan, Nicole Kidman, etc, etc).

Posted by gillsans | April 28, 2008 10:40 AM

providence, i actually run a children's burlap sack boutique. i was just trying to drum up business.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | April 28, 2008 10:40 AM

This stuff is TAME compared to the kinds of things you see in Japan. Do a web search for "Junior Idol" and up comes links like this:

Video site:

Posted by genman | April 28, 2008 10:44 AM

My daughter (six) is a huge Hannah Montana fan. She loves to watch her show on the disney channel. She doesn't read Vanity Fair, I do. I can comprehend that a disney star at 15 is still a sexual being, just like I was at 15. So, you know, as long as she keeps her clothes on during the show and saves the boundary pushing for vanity fair I think the world will keep on a'spinnin.

Posted by Jaime-Leigh | April 28, 2008 10:48 AM

@12 - I'd argue someone would still be fapping off to a kid in a burlap sack, too.

Posted by Sam | April 28, 2008 10:51 AM

Maybe because I'm 100% gay, and couldn't give a rats ass about some starlet's titties, I don't see that photo as offensive in any way. I don't think it's Annie's best photo ever, but certainly don't find it offensive or exploitive.

Now if she was flashing her shaved cooch getting out of a limo, I can see parents getting all upset. Wait another 5 years.

Posted by Reverse Polarity | April 28, 2008 10:56 AM

She needs to eat more (and not throw it back up). I find that being able to count her ribs more offensive than anything else.

Posted by susanb | April 28, 2008 11:14 AM

Did anyone see the video of the photo shoot posted on vanity fair's website? They claim they posted it to show that the photo shoot was "family friendly" but it doesn't really show very much at all.

Posted by hm | April 28, 2008 11:16 AM

Newsflash: we live in an era where 15 year-olds are sexualized and are having sex. The only other time in history that this happened was in the Classical Period, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and oh yeah, always. I think young people should be protected, like everyone else, from unwanted sexual attention but this is nothing new. This photo is not particularly prurient. Brooke Shields and Olivia Hussy were making R rated movies at that age. We need to stop pretending that adolescents are not sexual creatures and start creating an enviroment that lessens the risks they face such as STIs, unwanted pregnancy, abuse and most of all ingnorance.

Posted by inkweary | April 28, 2008 11:54 AM

inkweary, encouraging 10-12 year old girls to have a sexed up 15 year old role model, this prevents STI's and pregnancy how? Is that your idea of sex ed?

Posted by elenchos | April 28, 2008 12:01 PM

@24 Actually, yeah, I'd rather my daughter have a role model who embraces her sexuality than one who denies it. Really. I'm more annoyed that Miley Cyrus is doing the whole pledge her virginity thing than I am when I see her "racy" myspace pics.

Posted by Jaime-Leigh | April 28, 2008 12:13 PM

Will this be enough to spur the Bible Belt to institute honor killings? Oh the shame that little strumpet has brought on poor Billie Ray.

Posted by Ted | April 28, 2008 12:17 PM

This is why I love the Slog.

Posted by kurt | April 28, 2008 12:19 PM

@23 Well, yeah, teenagers were having sex in the Middle Ages, but that's also because they were getting married at the same time and dying at about ages 30-40. Technically, if we follow the curve, with US residents living into their 80s, we shouldn't be having sex until our late 20's.

I'm all for a safe-sex-positive education for teenagers (and have never quite gotten where everyone else is getting theirs... mine, in rural Wisconsin, was pretty much "use condoms. look, a birthing video. want that to be you?") but there's a big difference between a safe-sex education (thumbs up!) and sexualizing young teens in the media (thumbs down!) One is private, personal, and responsible... the other is public, crass, and leads to such award-winning journalism as "Girls Gone Wild."

Posted by Marty | April 28, 2008 12:21 PM

Posing semi-nude for Vanity Fair's readership of adult men is not "embracing sexuality" in a way that young girls should emulate. It doesn't resolve any question they have about sex; rather it says that looking hot to older men is their goal. And the virginity pledge is not an anomaly; it is just as much a part of the same idea as the pictures. The message is that sex is front and center, and should be the most important thing in their lives.

Posted by elenchos | April 28, 2008 12:28 PM

You know, this portrait reminds me of Inges' paintings. Porcelain, almost too-perfect smooth skin with subdued palette accented by one or two striking highlights of blue and red.

It is about as tasteful as something of this nature can get. This photo is about as sexual as a greek statue in the Met portraying semi-nude robed young ladies.

The prudish, often obsessively violent reactions to stuff of this nature begin to show the cracks when even artistically done work is ridiculed on the same level as a Britney Spears Crotch Shot paparazzi photo. Seriously, people. Another post had it right: ANYTHING can be sexualixed. Frankly, there is a HELL of a lot more skin showing in that hilarious bikini shot- and it is about as sexual as the Hanna Montana Vanity Fair photo.

Get over it. The more we tout it as sexual the more sexual it becomes.

Posted by MarsAttack | April 28, 2008 12:56 PM

If only she was 2 years older, then there'd be no problem. Funny how that works.

Posted by blank12357 | April 28, 2008 1:13 PM

Dan, stop being such a touchy feminist. You take everything too seriously. You just need to wait until your off your period.

Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me | April 28, 2008 1:39 PM

@31-Or 12 years younger.

@30 Nails it.

Posted by inkweary | April 28, 2008 2:01 PM

I think we're all getting away from the real point here, which is that this Miley chick is totally fuckable.

Posted by Fnarf | April 28, 2008 2:04 PM

Sorry- I side with Bellevue Ave- My daughter wore ONE piece bathing suits until she was 16- call me a prude- but I'm protecting her-Dude.

Posted by Lindsarella | April 28, 2008 2:15 PM

@34: No. No she is not.

Dan, one of the major arguments brought up in the Great Internet Boob Debacle of last week was that you have to see it in the larger societal context. Can you really look at this picture and not think of the hundreds of similar ones like it, all of which have a clearly sexual implication? The bare shoulder and back (to show that she's naked), the sheet covering the front (to keep it legal), the messed up hair (to suggest that she's been rolling around), the turned-away shoulders and dipped chin combined with a direct gaze, all of these compositional elements together have a very specific meaning of which Annie Liebovitz is CERTAINLY aware. Sure, the bathing suit shows more skin, but this picture is clearly more sexual.

Posted by Greg | April 28, 2008 2:26 PM

I'd do her.

Posted by him | April 28, 2008 3:11 PM

None of you fellows who are outraged by this photo mentioned he was outraged by looking at it. Funny that. There have been many comments on how inappropriate this photo is because grown men will find it sexy and that it will lead young women astray as a bad role model, yet none of you refer to teenage or preteen boys which I find very interesting. I have no idea who the current boy band heart throb is but you can bet your your prized 1st edition of Lolita that every teen magazine has a picture of him just as unclothed as Miley and no one brought that up. It always seems to be OK for boys but bad for girls, right guys? I can assure you that almost every straight 15 year old boy is already looking at the girls around him with a great deal less art direction involved. All normal kids are interested in sex and need to have frank, straight-forward, unbiased information about it readily available in their schools. At least Fnarf made an honest comment, the rest of you prefer to wax Puritan.

Posted by inkweary | April 28, 2008 3:27 PM


You seem moderately intelligent. Can't you, someone of at least SOME sound mind, admit that everything you just wrote is a perfect, true example of "through the eyes of the beholder"?

The very same look in her eyes could be seen as mysterious. It could be seen as a smirk. It could be seen as any number of things. Her "tousled" hair could be nothing more than the product of a shower, or an average night of sleep for a person who tosses and turns. And the position, placement, and expression are nothing but pure reenactments of famous, amazing works of priceless art hanging in your local Museum of Fine Art. Go and look at any painting of the 1700s and 1800s. Every woman was either portrayed sullen or coy. Hell, "coy" was ALL the Rococo period used!

And yet that is a place people bring their 5 or 6 year olds to get cultured. Nearly-nude prostitutes lounging with fruit! SCANDALOUS! Oh wait- sorry. Not really. Why? Because they were made with the utmost diligence to lighting, form, shape, composition. They were created to be works of beauty. And while I'm not saying this photo could even come close to the amazing works of Ingres, it certainly does an amazing job imitating what made his work so great.

Maybe it isn't this photo that's the problem but the media's reaction, and the parent's indignation. Nothing is more attractive to a child than something that makes their parents go apesh*t. Maybe if no one cared, kids wouldn't latch onto it so quickly, eh? Seems to work well for Europe, Canada, and the rest of the Western world.

Posted by MarsAttack | April 28, 2008 3:37 PM

Maybe it's the baby face, I understand the elements, but she just looks like a girl acting older than she is. I wonder if that Sears Portrait Studio background was an intentional gab at her being a family icon. That said, she posed and should just stand behind the pictures, especially if she has the hundreds of millions that she's rumored to have socked away.

I absolutely agree with Dan that the clothing that's aimed at girls as young as three and four is a far more insidious threat. It literally makes me nauseous as a dad. If Disney cares about kids, they can stop operating sweat shops in China and make sure there's no lead paint on toys. Until then, spare me the pious b.s.

Posted by left coast | April 28, 2008 3:53 PM

Dang, this topic is bringing out all the pedophiles who lurk on the slog. Creepy.

Posted by elenchos | April 28, 2008 3:54 PM

@39: I'll see your Ingres and raise you a Sargent.

Posted by Greg | April 28, 2008 4:13 PM

But really, the difference between this photograph and, say, Manet's Olympia is that thousands of preteen girls aren't buying this girl's album, going to her concerts, or watching her show. Also, this prostitute is of age.

Posted by Greg | April 28, 2008 5:47 PM

I'd do her in three years.

Posted by w7ngman | April 28, 2008 5:51 PM

@29: "Posing semi-nude for Vanity Fair's readership of adult men..." You mean, Vanity Fair's readership of fortysomething women, right?

Posted by miss_m | April 28, 2008 6:38 PM

ok wow, lots of thoughts here.

1) re: "her ribz are showing omgz!" may we please reiterate, for redundancy, yet again, that she is 15? so.. sophomore year in high school? what's your thinest healthy weight, ever, after you got boobs, ladies? early high school maybe? when you still had that, wait what is the adjective? oh yeah, stereotypical mid teenage lithe quality? if she is throwing up, yeah that's bad, but she has a pudgy baby face, and totally lacks the eating disorder weird hollows look, so i sincerely doubt it.

2) of course she is a sexual being. speaking as a former 15 year old girl who grew up in a household where two piece bathing suites, spaghetti strap tops, midriff showing shirts, shorts above the fingertips, rated R movies, non-christian music, and dating, were all VERBOTEN, i can say with absolute certainty i was already very much a sexual being at 15. i was at 12, before i ever got boobs or kissed a boy. i'm pretty sure that teenage sexual thoughts , even ones that preface the age of customary first experiences, are totally normal. i'm sure ms. cirus felt totally sexy doing that photo shoot, i'm sure she enjoyed herself, and i'm sure she looked at those pictures and was like, wow i look SO HOT. THAT IS AWESOME.

which brings us to
3) oh noes! a 15 year old girl willfully did something and is now EMBARRASSED. i think the world might end, cause that has never happened before.*
(*yes, it has.)

4) seriously, they are worried about the 10 year old fans? what 10 year old fan reads vanity fair?

5) god forbid we teach our 10 year old daughters their backs are not something to be ashamed of, even though it's not appropriate for the hypothetical 10 year old to behave sexually, yet. that might cause us to have to have an actual conversation with our child if they saw this picture.

6) every time i see the (blond wig??) tranny levels of makeup that "hannah montanna" wears, a throw up in my mouth a little.

7) remember, girls, you're only pretty when you're blond. brown haired girls are just "ordinary."

8) can someone please explain to me what part of the teeveenews show broadcasting miley cirus's "teasy peekaboo" bra shot is not child porn, legally speaking? their repeated showing of that makes me want to throw up in my mouth a little, too. (confidential to teeveenews guy: 15 year old girls very typically date 16 and 17 year old boys, because they are slightly less of shits than 15 year old boys.

Posted by clausti | April 28, 2008 8:22 PM

Seriously, have we gone back through some kind of time warp? Does anyone remember Britney Spears when she was younger? The photo here is not even overtly sexualized unless one wants to look at it that way. Just because the girl's BACK is nude does not mean she is Neekid!!! And I agree, it would be better if you couldn't see her RIBS...why a girl should be this skinny is kind of not even noticed...bah. But, that's just me.

Posted by Kristin Bell | April 28, 2008 8:41 PM

Yeah… we knew it was coming. See
for snarky commentary and my predictions of what will happen next.

mark my words

Funny: when I hopped onto Dan's blog at The Stranger, the banner ad at the top was for Disney Vacation packages. So when do they roll out the Annie Leibovitz shoot/soft-porn simulation ride at Disney World?

Funny also: comment #47 here is from someone calling herself Kristin Bell. Is that teen sleuth Veronica Mars, aka Sarah Marshall, and the bad-ass firestarter on Heroes? When you gonna show us *your* bresseses, ...I mean ribs, sweetie?

Posted by Marking Time | April 29, 2008 11:32 AM

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