I will be away this weekend, visiting Allan at Virginia Beach. Like most family vacations, this means posts are unlikely, as I will have my hands full. Besides, I don't take my computer with me on such excursions.
However, before I go, I would just like to put in a word about Miley Cyrus. This may seem strange, but I have many beloved young girls in my life, even if they are not my own, and besides, I'm an art historian. This is a question of art and society.
I am tired of seeing the photograph derided as inappropriate, pornographic, or embarrassing.
Miley Cyrus, like it or not folks, stands on the brink of womanhood... and Annie Leibovitz caught that moment in a young lady's life beautifully, artfully, and tastefully. The photo is far less revealing- or provocative- than many of the costumes Disney is putting her in, with miniskirts, exposed mid-drifts, and plunging necklines- and backs (thankfully, none of them are like the costumes of other teen celebrities- they still maintain decorum. None of the linked photos show Miley in anything I would consider inappropriate! Though it is interesting that the footage I've seen of the costumes is far worse than any stillshot I can dig up).
If this pose is so bad, what about the one in the lap of her father? I initially mistook it for being in the lap of a boyfriend (no, I am no fan of the Cyruses and have no idea what they look like). No? And you'd be quite right- an image of a young lady being close to her father, with his strong guiding hand clasping hers, is not inappropriate, either. But it sure told you a lot about how I view teenagers and images of them, doesn't it? Something I had to rethink.
The only reason this lady has to be embarrassed is because the media is deliberately embarrassing her by broadcasting language about this photo that has no business being attached to it. Wholesome young girls CAN become strong young women, with all that womanhood entails: something Annie Leibovitz and Miley Cyrus' grandmother seemed to understand very well, and something so many of us seem to want to ignore, hide, deride, and degrade.