Media folks continue to weigh in on the semi-racy photographs of Miley Cyrus, and while they make different, though mostly salient points, almost all the writers agree on one thing: Disney is a big fat hypocrite. Writer/feminist Germaine Greer points out that teen girls have been sexualized for eons. "In western art most of the women portrayed semi-clad or totally nude are children," Greer writes. "Their nipples are pallid and undeveloped, their breasts hard and veinless, their pubes unfurred." She also adds that the image of a naked, adolescent-figured 34-year-old Kate Moss freaks her out more than a backless Miley Cyrus, because "The icon of the 34-year-old mother qua 13-year-old virgin is even more disturbing than the sexy image of the 15-year-old Cyrus, because it is so much rarer and weirder."
Cindi Leive, editor in chief of Glamour, doesn't really understand what the big deal is either. She said at an event held by Mediabistro idiotically titled "Skirts, Slacks and Supper": "I think it's a bit hypocritical how up in arms everybody is about it because clearly girls are sexualized far too early in this culture all the time, so we look at that one, I agree, relatively tame picture and we're suddenly so shocked, shocked! It seems a little disingenuous."
Speaking of disingenuousness, blogger Auntie Fashion posted a picture of then-17-year-old model Behati Prinsloo in a see-through shirt, walking down the runway in Lagerfeld. Auntie was outraged when he realized that the girl was under age, and asks, "Where were this child's parents when she was walking down the runway in a see-through top. Where were her agents? Where was Karl Lagerfeld?"
Maybe ol' Karl was checking out Disney billboards in China, looking for his next runway star. According to Daniel Brook at Slate in Beijing he spotted a billboard showing " a white girl who looked all of 12, reclining in a matching bra-and-panties set adorned with Disney's signature mouse-ear design. In a particularly creepy detail, the pigtailed child was playing with a pair of Minnie Mouse hand puppets. In the upper left-hand corner was the familiar script of the Disney logo." When Brook notified Disney, they were horrified — apparently they license Disney products to a third party, and with thousands of such third parties, they don't have the time to comb through every piece of advertising that gets created. Brook, however, was reassured by Disney execs that the offending billboard would be taken down immediately.
The age of consent in China is 14, a year younger than Miss Miley. Even with the big hullabaloo about Miley's Vanity Fair pics, the media will continue to sexualize teenagers especially as long as the "ideal" body type to many is one possessed mostly by the under 18-set. And it might not ultimately ruin Miley's life anyway. Brooke Shields' Calvin Klein ads from 1980 made her a cultural icon, and she doesn't seem to regret them one bit. "The response] was immediate," Shields told VF in last month's issue. "It was me and the jeans. We were inseparable. I didn't do a television show without that being in my bio. I didn't go on the street without somebody saying, 'Got your Calvins on?' People still come up to me and mention it."