LifeSlices: Weighing in on Miley

Miley Cyrus backlessI’ve been seeing this picture all over the Web today, and if you haven’t, you probably need to have somebody call an ambulance, because you’re likely not breathing. The picture is the hook for hundreds of scandalous stories of Miley posing topless, apologies (another), accusations, blame and the like. Miley is, of course, only 15-years old and a rising (hell, she’s already “risen”) star of the family-friendly Disney company. The photo comes from the latest issue of Vanity Fair, and I’ll spare you the other details.

I just have one question. How is this picture — in any way — considered “topless?”


There is just no way you can stretch the language enough for this to be topless, for the word MEANS to expose one’s breasts. No breasts that I can see here. Move along.

This manufacturing of conflict is the American way of life for celebrities, and it’s a sad commentary on all of us. We’ve all seen as much from a 15-year old heading to the prom, so please, people, get over it.


  1. I respectfully disagree with you. Here is a sexy, backless prom dress ( Here’s another ( Neither one of these is age appropriate for a 15 year old. What Miley is doing in that picture looks more like she’s taken the prom dress off, then artfully posed with it over her front. It’s a bit risqué for a 15 year old girl. Am I supposed to think she’s hot? Look at the ribs poking out of her childish back. Is this art or just uncomfortable? A lot of people are leaning towards “uncomfortable”. What were her parents thinking?

    But really, if this was Britney or Lindsay nobody would be upset. They’re older and we’re used to their antics. This photo, however, is of a girl who is billed as a church going virgin (complete with photo ops of her in her Sunday best). People feel lied to. I think there’s something there to be upset about.

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  2. In the eternal paradox of celebrity news, commentary on the story is almost as bad as the story itself. Only way to truly take a stand against gossip is to ignore it completely.

  3. The two things that bother me about this photo are 1, that she’s unhealthily thin. Visible vertebrae is not a sign of strength or health. And 2, it’s an extremely sexualized picture. It sends the message that it was intended to send — it creates the idea that this 15 year old child has just had sex. Hair mussed, lipstick a little smeared, sitting up in bed, covering herself with a sheet. The point of this picture is to further sexualize innocence and little-girlishness. Yeah, that’s just what our culture needs more of. Great. Just great.

  4. I don’t really care what it’s labeled — you should have seen the look on my 11-year-old daughter’s face when she saw a news story featuring that pic. We adults can bicker all day. The look on her face when she saw her idol looking like that said it all to me: “Why, Miley?” Miley’s a hero to those tween girls who are about to face some difficult times dealing with their sexuality. Did we need to rush things?

    I’m not even about to moralize here. Instead, I’ll let the look on my daughter’s face — the shock, the disappointment, the questions, the disbelief — speak for itself.

  5. Holly… I’m right in your camp. As I commented elsewhere, the sheet doesn’t bother me, but the trashy-trampy makeup job is way over the top, and sends a horrible message to young girls who have been marketed to look up to Miley as a role model.

    Ugh. and Ewww.

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