Practically Speaking

Kyle and her husband moved to Brookfield in 1986. She became active in local politics and started blogging in 2004. Her focus is primarily on local issues but often includes state and national topics, too. Kyle looks at things from the taxpayers' perspective in a creative, yet down to earth way, addressing them from a practical point of view.

She's only 15 for heavens sake!

Ethics, Family, Unintended consequences

UPDATE: Two world-wise, twenty-something young women today and I were talking about the Miley picture. Their reaction surprised me because they did not seem all that conservative. They both thought the picture was in inappropriate. Good, I thought, there is hope for today's youth. They then went on to tell me of another picture from that shoot that they both deemed "creepy". It was of Billy Ray with Miley draped over his leg--hardly a father daughter pose. This photo will be harder for Billy Ray to claim, I would not have allowed that pose had I been there. Obviously, he was!

I had not seen the picture of Miley Cyrus until this morning, but I did hear plenty about it on the radio yesterday. The photo looks pretty much as I expected it to look. It was not the amount of skin--she could have been wearing a halter swim suit at the beach--it was the context.

Actually, I am glad the public is shocked to see "Hannah Montana" portrayed as a sexy woman. It shows at least some concern for the loss of innocence in our children. 

Possibly it was because of the juxtaposition of the squeaky clean Hannah image with the sultry photo of Miley Cyrus that the reaction has been so pronounced. Maybe it will serve as a wake up call to parents of girls in particular that allowing our little girls and minor teens to look like sex objects is sending the wrong signal.

Miley's parents, in my opinion, are ultimately responsible for this photo shoot.  A young girl is not going to tell a famous photographer no--especially since young girls are often anxious to look older than their years. The famous photographer Leibovtiz is only after taking another controversial picture featuring a lot of skin. I would have thought that Disney would have been more protective of Hannah's image though.

How could a parent sit by and watch this happen to their daughter? (A comment on Fairly Conservative stated that according to ET, the parents were not there for the actual shoot, but Mercury News indicated otherwise.) 

Whether dad was there or not, may I suggest that in the world of theater and dance, artists have a very casual attitude about their bodies. Modesty is pretty rare.  It is not unusual to see a stark naked actor or dancer sitting at their makeup table or even having a conversation with a wardrobe person as if nothing was odd. I don't know if this was the case with Miley, but she and her dad obviously did not seem to think draping her naked self in a satin sheet was odd.

Sometimes like the frog in the pot being desensitized to rising temperatures, we are desensitized to the increased sexing up of our children. It is only when caught in the stark light of public scrutiny that the Cyrus family seemed to realize how inappropriate this picture and image was.

But before we start pointing our fingers just at the Cyruses, I have seen lots of teen girls in public with their parents dressed in a very trampy way. Ads in the Sunday paper for teen clothing make many of them look like they are looking for night work. Parents often want to keep their girls from looking like that, but when met with resistance they just give in and say, what can we do about it?

It is up to parents to protect their children from losing their innocence. That means not allowing them to be vulnerable to inappropriate situations, not allowing just any PG-13 movie to be viewed--some are very inappropriate, not allowing unlimited access to the internet in remote areas of the home, not allowing access to any TV show, and not allowing the school district to decide what is appropriate information for your child to learn about Human Growth and Development.

Protecting our children's innocence is our responsibility. We must take the time to investigate, filter, and shield.  Hopefully Miley's photo will jolt parents to say, what is going on here?

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