Regret

I am so absolutely furious, I could spit nails. 

Perhaps you’ve seen the news breaking all over the internet, that Miley Cyrus has posed topless in Vanity Fair magazine.  Here are the details from the New York Times:

Some parents reacted with outrage over the weekend when the television program “Entertainment Tonight” began showing commercials promoting a scoop: Ms. Cyrus, the star of the wholesome Disney Channel blockbuster “Hannah Montana,” had posed topless, albeit with her chest covered, for the Vanity Fair photographer, Annie Leibovitz.

I don’t fault Miley for this.  I know I wasn’t always making the best choices at age 15.  But her parents should have known better.  The New York Times reports that her dad was on the set when the photos were taken. 

Can you, as a parent, imagine any circumstances in which you’d let your 15-year-old undress for a photographer?

I’m furious because these parents (and Disney, and Vanity Fair) have exploited a child.  Since when have topless photos of a minor been acceptable?

I’m more furious because they have now put me, as a parent, in the position of having to discuss topless photos with my sons (this WILL be discussed on the playground, you can be sure of it, and I want my kids to hear my perspective first). Thanks so much for that, Billy Ray, and Vanity Fair, and Disney.

And, if I’m honest, I’m mad at myself for what I might have done to enable this situation.  I’ve been so relieved about the Hannah Montana show as an upbeat, wholesome alternative to some other entertainment, that maybe I’ve bought into it too much.  I’ve voiced concern at the same time I bought my kids tickets to the movie.  I feel creeped out myself, that I’ve somehow contributed to the exploitation of this child. 

So we’ll be having an upleasant conversation in our house tonight, about modesty and decision-making and growing up too fast.  I’ll be making a hard choice myself, as to whether I withhold an otherwise quality show from kids’ viewing.

And I will breathe a prayer for Miley, smack dab in the middle of a firestorm not of her making. 

I’d really be interested to hear your thoughts about this, particularly about how (or if) you plan to address this with your kids.

178 thoughts on “Regret

  1. Jolanthe says:

    Seriously? I just can’t believe that a parent would let their child do that – no matter how famous they are. Even more so, that a company is letting a MINOR pose “sorta” topless.
    What message does that send to other young girls?

  2. Laurie Bearce says:

    I do plan on speaking to my 7 year old daughter who is into Hannah Montana along with her classmates. Frankly I’m not suprised by this at all. I am reading a book right now called “Every Young Womans Battle” by shannon Ethridge & Stephen Arterburn and my eyes are opening to the reality of life in our sex-saturated world. My daughter is only 7 and is already faced with things like the desire to show off her body and have a boyfriend. I am saddened by this – but not suprised when much of what she sees in the world revolves around sex. I can’t even take her to the mall for fear she’d look at the Victorias Secret posters or Abercrombie posters and think she needs to look like that. There is a prep book to go along with “Every young Womans Battle” that would be more appropriate for a 7 year old. I will go through that this summer with my daughter. There is also a book for adolescent boys called “Every Young mans Battle” by the same authors I think. Anyway, I agree with you and feel terribly sorry for that poor girl who will undoubtedly feel shame and regret later. And shame on her parents!!!!

  3. Priscilla says:

    I feel that eveyone is to blame here- even young Miley! at this point in the game she needs to have a very keen awarness about how she is projected and most impotrtant to whom she is selling. Ultimately her parents should have said no even if she was wineing about doing an artsy picture with the famous lebowitz- They should put their foot down and be parnets. As a young mother to a 6yr boy, 3yr boy and a 2 yr daughter I also though hannah was different but if this is how they( every one involved, the magazine, parents, disney miley etc) decide to market her/her show, then I say no thanks.

  4. Amy loves Bud says:

    We disconnected the cable back in August, but I had stopped my 7yo dd from watching HM prior to that. Even though it was “wholesome”, I just think that consistent exposure to older girls’ lives is bad for younger girls. They all just want to grow up so fast – I remember feeling that way, and in retrospect wish my parents had paid better attention to what I was watching and reading. Why encourage it? It happens too quick anyway!
    I feel very sorry for Miley, that she doesn’t have an adult in her life with enough sense to put his or her foot down and stand up to this kind of garbage. Verysad.

  5. Amy loves Bud says:

    Oh, and to answer your questions, we homeschool so my dd won’t necessarily find out about it. I’ll talk to her friends moms to see if they heard about it at school, and then address it if I think it will be the after school topic du jour. But yes, I’ll address it.

  6. Ewokgirl says:

    This is the paradox of those tween shows. They use kids to glamorize high school life, and all the while, this is being peddled to young kids who shouldn’t even be thinking of high school, boy-girl relationships, and whatever else goes with it yet.
    Add to that the instant fame the young stars receive, and suddenly stuff like this happens. I imagine it’s very difficult to remain a child in age-appropriate activities in Hollywood. Kids like Miley are thrust into adult situations and treated like commodities. I suppose it’s hard for the kids, and even their parents, not to buy into all the trappings of fame and fortune.
    As I don’t have kids, I won’t be discussing this with them. It just makes me sad for this generation that is growing up in a culture that desperately wants to make them older than they are, rather than letting them just be kids.

  7. GiBee says:

    I always want to think the best of people … but you’re right — this is a disgrace, and there is no “best” side to this. What were her parents (professed Christians) THINKING?

  8. Nash says:

    I am thankful my children are too young to know who this is. There absolutely NO circumstances in which I would ever allow my children to do anything remotely like what Miley did. Baffles me! Anything for money, I guess – so sad.

  9. Sydney Glenn says:

    It’s funny because of course she was one of the milions of girls who said that she wanted to be known as the “Good Girl” and now she’s just on the road towards being another Britiny Spears. sad.

  10. Kim says:

    And this is coming from someone who says he is a Christian also? Why would a Christian father do this! I am made too! Thanks for the news I didn’t know that! Out goes another positive role model for our kids today!

  11. angela says:

    I was sickened that in one part of an interview today she said that when Annie (the photographer) asked, that “you can’t say no to Annie”
    I don’t care how high, mighty, powerful, etc – when you are 15 years old, if you feel you can’t say no – isn’t that what your parents are for?
    Her parents have said they were there and that when the photo was taken it was different, artistic, etc. YOUR DAUGHTER WAS TOPLESS, AT 15 YEARS OLD, FOR A NATIONAL PUBLICATION

  12. Laundry & Children says:

    I am speechless. How stupid are these people? I allow my 7 year old daughter to watch Hannah Montana and was thankful that there was something that she found cool and I found decent. We have Rachel with the notion that she should strive to be a “Quality Girl.” Well, letting someone take pictures of you without a shirt on is definitely not “quality.” This is the first that I have heard of this so I don’t know what we are going to do. My gut reaction is to say, “Well we are done with that chicky if this is the road that she is going down.” But my daughter doesn’t know that this photo exists, so do I take away something that she loves because the actress made a mistake? ARGHHHH! I go back to my first qustion. How stupid are these people? And I am angry that now I am in this position with my daughter. Why must everything decay in to the tawdry and titillating?

  13. L.Rose says:

    This is JUST what I was telling my daughters the other day (they are ages 11 & 12)…that Miley Cyrus is gonna have to start marketing herself as a “sexier” more “sophisticated” entertainer in order to make it into the next level of the industry. Think about it: do our 12 yr. olds want to watch “Barney” or “Dora the Explorer” anymore? No, and why? because of course they’ve moved on to more “grown up ” type entertainment. So the 9 – 14 yr. old market is “behind” Miley..she’s 15, she’s going to need to “reinvent” herself. It happens to ALL in the industry. Some handle it better than others (or maybe it should read, some PARENTS of celebrities handle it better than others).
    I haven’t let my daughters watch Hannah Montana. Wholesome, maybe. But why should a 9 yr. old girl be watching what a character is doing on a show about teens & high school age? Encourages them to want to act that way as a preteen…And I just can’t see facilitating them being involved in idolatry. Basically that’s how I see it when someone becomes SOOOO obsessed over an entertainer…many young girls are sooo obsessed. It’s scary. And I don’t want my girls to grow up too fast. I want them to understand that they can be who THEY are and NOT who some famous person is….where’s the individuality in EVERYONE trying to be Hannah Montana?! And then, when the star is so popular, and the fan base gets older, they will want to follow her right into her next personna…her next “more sophisticated, sexier” image. Did you see her on American Idol’s “Idol Gives Back” night? The dance/song she did was quite frankly to close to the edge sexy for me…made me think I was right in my assumptions of what will come next for her. Hope I’m wrong, for her sake.

  14. Kimberly says:

    Maybe I am too jaded to be outraged. And not shocked that there is a double standard: as a culture we are so against child pornography, but if it is “art”, well then.
    What if Hugh Hefner was printing the photos? Would it be art then?
    I wasn’t offended, btw, when Demi Moore posed naked and pregnant. Somehow that was something of a celebration of womanhood, and pregnant women should be celebrated. But this is ridiculous.
    Idiots. Her parents, that is.

  15. lisa (lost pezhead) says:

    honestly i really don’t see what the big deal is. it is extremely hard to be in hollywood and still live like you have morals. just cause you’re on a disney show that seems somewhat wholesome, doesn’t mean the actors or their families are. children should be taught to have real life role models, not moviestars and singers.

  16. Rach says:

    My in-laws swore up and down that her dad was really responsible and wasn’t going to allow stardom to get to her head. I swore up and down that it was a bad deal; him letting her get into show biz that much, that fast.
    Guess I was right.

  17. Melanie says:

    Shannon-
    He wasn’t just on the set. He took some of the pictures with her. Not topless ones, but inappropriate nonetheless.
    I wish a former child star would come forward and stick up for Miley.

  18. jennielynn says:

    My first reaction was “What’s the big deal?” I saw the photos and they weren’t showning anything. BUT the more I thought about it, the more I realized that these photos are provocative and inappropriate for a 15 year old. Her parents and management team have done their utmost to market her as wholesome and innocent and those photos are not evidence of that.
    I don’t think any parent who pursues stardom for their child is a good parent. I don’t care how much the child want it. The entertainment industry is a destructive thing, especially for young people. Very little good comes from allowing your child to be sold as a commodity. Children should be allowed to be children.
    I don’t say this as someone ignorant of the industry. Drama Queen was a beautiful baby and we were repeatedly approached by agents and casting directors (the peril of living in So Cal) but I always said no. My child is not for sale. No part of her. I would think someone who had been chewed up and spit out by the business (as Billy Ray most certainly was) would have been more cautious of his child.
    It’s just sad.

  19. Eva says:

    Stuff like this is why we only watch an hour of TV a week. And why we homeschool. And why we don’t buy products advertising TV and movies.
    And why we’ve been accused of sheltering our kids. Um, why shouldn’t a kid have shelter?

  20. Jen says:

    I agree with the previous comments. But, I also think this a GREAT opportunity for us as parents to Stop. Pray. Think…about Who it is God wants our children to emulate. It won’t be anyone walking around our houses, our streets, our churches, or (most definitely!) on TV. He wants us to teach our children to look to Christ. Period. Sure, our kids are going to admire others (I know I do!), but it’s our job to be sure that admiration is kept in its’ proper place and doesn’t become an idol. And that their admiration is focused on the Christ-like qualtities of others. While it sickens me to think of this poor girl and the way she is being paraded as a “sex symbol,” I thank God for the reminder to be mindful of who my girls are watching and learning from.

  21. T with Honey says:

    This quote by Miley Cyrus summed it for me, ‘And you can’t say no to Annie. She’s so cute. She gets this puppy dog look and you’re like, ‘O.K.’
    Sounds like the photographer did a wonderful job of convincing a teenager to do something she didn’t really want to do.

  22. Leslie says:

    I am horrified! I don’t watch the news so I hadn’t heard of this yet. Now I am forced to have the same conversation with my 9 year old daughter. Her parents should have known better. I had taken the same pictures of my child and sent them to Walgreens to be developed I would not have been surprised had CPS shown up on my doorstep. Shame on her parents!

  23. dcrmom says:

    I just posted a shorter much less eloquent post on my blog. I probably won’t bring it up unless my kids do. My son is 8, and I don’t know that he gives a rip about Miley Cyrus. My 5-y/o adores her but probably won’t hear about this.
    I’m hoping they’re not as bad as it sounds. But the whole thing sounds really sick.

  24. Kris says:

    I was just sick when I heard this. I hoped, prayed, that it was some sort of mistake or a marketing ploy to get you to watch ET and that Miley had not, really, done the photos.
    I hadn’t really thought about talking with my kids about it yet. I was hoping that, by some miracle, they wouldn’t hear about it. That’s naive, though. As I am constantly telling people, just because we homeschool, we’re not isolated. They will hear about it.
    I guess they’ll be some unpleasant dinner conversation at my house tonight. *sigh*

  25. Deidre says:

    I read about it this morning and was disturbed by Miley’s comment “you can’t say no to Annie (the photographer)”. Honestly, I’ve been disturbed about it all day. My 6 year old daughter loves her and al though we allow her music in moderation around here, she still loves her and idolizes her – yuck! I’m praying about what to say to her. We’ve had similar conversations about this, but I know she won’t like our answers tonight when it comes to Hannah Montana. It’s difficult for a 6 year old to grasp, but then that’s my fault for allowing her to develop a fondness to her in the first place.

  26. Brandy says:

    I won’t pretend that I read each word of each comment here. I also won’t pretend that I have children of my own.
    But what did leap out at me was the condemnation of Miley Cyrus’ parents (both of whom were at the shoot). Of course, I believe that no 15-year-old should be posing topless, even if she’s covered. I do believe that her parents should have intervened. But, I just kind of got a sick feeling when they were called idiots. When the implication was that they are bad parents.
    Again, I don’t have children. I have no idea what it’s like to raise a teenager. Especially not one in the public eye. But I do know that parents mess up. They lose their tempers. They make bad decisions. Fortunately, for most parents, those mess-ups happen in the privacy of their own homes. Certainly, they don’t happen on a Vanity Fair set.
    I guess my thought is, yes, what her parents did was irresponsible. Yes, I believe they should be called out on it. But I hope they are called out by people who love them, in a gentle, firm way.
    Just my two cents.

  27. DT says:

    Her mom, Tish, was on set of the photo shoot, too. At the Vanity Fair web site, they have a slide show of behind-the-scenes photos, and you can see Tish and Billy Ray clearly in the background while the very photo in question is being taken. And these people are Christians? Shame on them.

  28. Stacey @ Happy Are We says:

    I think the danger in allowing our kids to get so attached to celebrity role models is that those role models GROW UP, and not usually with the values that originally made them appealing. They go about trying to re-market themselves to their growing audience, but I think 9 times out of 10 they go way off-base.
    This has happened with so many young singers or actresses who seemed so harmless at first. Anyone remember Lindsay Lohan in The Parent Trap? She was adorable! Now she’s a total train-wreck.
    I have a hard time encouraging my kids to get too ga-ga over anyone, because it just seems like disappointment is inevitable.

  29. Kristin says:

    I have a 5-year-old who ADORES Hanna Montana, and even before this news came out, my husband and I had discussed whether she was just too young to be exposed to a show geared toward older kids.
    So, today as I am on my laptop, I go to drudge and find her picture right there, with nothing but a sheet covering her. And of course, that’s the moment that my daughter decides to come see what I’m doing. I wasn’t prepared for the discussion, so I closed the screen.
    I read further and saw behind-the-scene photos of the shoot. Her mother, father, and younger sister were there. What kind of parents encourage this?! Don’t they realize they are throwing her to the wolves! My husband can’t even discuss the idea of his little girl growing up, dating, and marrying (typical daddy), but Billy Ray seems to have no qualms letting men the world over derive pleasure from his 15-year-old daughter’s body.

  30. Mandi says:

    Well although Hannah Montana is huge in our house and my daughter loves Miley… I don’t see myself having to discuss this with her. Since we homeschool and my kids are too young to see the evening news.
    That being said I really blame the photographer more so then anyone else. She knew what she was doing. I am more upset by the way Miley’s hair and makeup look in the picture then the fact that the blanket/towel hide her clothes so she appears topless.
    With her messed up red lipstick and messed up hair, well that bothers me.
    I can see though being 15 and being caught up in the glamour of a photo shot, and hearing the photographer and all the people around you saying how great this looks etc. It seems to me even as a parent that in that atmosphere it would be easy to get caught up in the it. When you are in the middle of that firestorm then the picture probably did look cool and artistic.
    However taken out of the photo shot and shown all by itself it doesn’t. I have to commend Miley for saying that after seeing it in the real world that it embarassed her.

  31. Kari says:

    Wow. I understand your frustration but I’m astounded at some of the highly judgmental comments. Miley and her family made some bad choices. They’re not perfect. They made a mistake. Some of you said things that are very hurtful to the Cyrus family and those of us who know them.
    Maybe we could also use this unfortunate opportunity to teach our kids that everyone will make bad choices at some point. That’s why we need a Savior!

  32. Blue Castle says:

    I recently saw a short little clip from the Hannah Montana show and was not impressed with it. I have young boys, and we don’t have cable tv, so we’ve not been impacted by the whole Hannah Montana craze. But I didn’t like the little bit of the show that I saw. Shows like that make a lot of laughs off of poking fun at the parents and in this show in particular it seemed, Miley’s dad was the butt of many jokes. There was an overall sense of her dad as being the “dumb dad” that is so often portrayed in sitcoms nowdays. That did not impress me. I think it’s been just a matter of time before she ran into some kind of scandal. At 15, she’s awfully young to be put into the situations that she’s been put into. It’s terribly sad that this happened to a 15 year old. She’s much to young to be starting down this road, and Vanity Fair should be called on the carpet for their actions, not to mention the photographer as well. I can’t believe that any good father would stand on the sidelines and allow his daughter to disrobe in front of a camera – to whatever extent. But it doesn’t surprise me too much either. It’s kind of part of the package of being famous in today’s society. The line between being famous and being morally upright is blurry and morality is all too often sacrificed for popularity, fame and fortune. Anybody remember “virgin” Britney Spears, and even Jessica Simpson? They were supposed to be “role models” too. Perhaps it’s time to find other role models for our young daughters and sons. Disney and Hollywood should be the last place we look for guidance for our children. They’ve proven that they are incompetent, and in reality, it’s not their job anyway. Why do we continue to allow them into our homes and lives?

  33. suzanne says:

    I gladly bought my almost 8-year old daughter the Hannah/Miley CD’s. She’s a cute kid, and my daughter LOVES to sing those songs. My daughter happened to standing behind me today as I brough t up the story and she gasped, “Mom, why is she naked?” (actually it came out more like NEKKID).
    I told her that it was supposed to be art but instead just looked like a way-too-young girl half-NEKKID for some photographer. It looks like kiddy porn to me. As a photog myself, I don’t even take naked butt pictures of newborns. Somethings are sacred.
    I pray that her folks reign the force that is the media back in. She’s JUST a kid, who happens to be worth a BILLION now.
    I wish kids stayed wholesome longer.

  34. Jodi says:

    Well, as a mother of preschoolers and younger, this story only gives added confirmation to my longtime suspicion that I simply need to keep my TV turned off.
    I recently heard a Christian speaker with grown children reflect that when it came to TV in their house, if she had any doubt at all about the wholesomeness of a TV program, they simply didn’t watch it. And then she said with all the confidence in the world, “And I never had any regrets.”
    I don’t fault poor Miley either. But I’ve seen so many girls who absolutely worship her. Topless or not, I don’t want to offer my girls even the chance of stumbling into this modern-day idolatry.
    We used to have Psalm 119:37 taped to the top of our TV: “Turn my eyes away from worthless things.” Here’s to filling our childrens’ hearts and minds with things of worth!

  35. Tracye says:

    This is disgusting. I can’t believe it’s even a topic of discussion. Why would a kid’s parents allow their child to be an object of child pornography, which is exactly what it is? I would hope charges would be filed on her behalf, but I’m not going to hold my breath.

  36. Smellyann says:

    I guess I’m on the only one who really doesn’t see what the big deal is. I saw the pictures. My reaction: So?
    I guess if my kids cared about Hannah Montana, though, my feelings might be different. Carry on.

  37. Rebecca says:

    We said good-bye to tv years ago, and we’ve never looked back.
    Hollywood values just can’t be reconciled to ours, and the constant stream of propaganda is so harmful to our kids.
    The heat gets turned up so gradually, as a parent, you never see it coming.

  38. Debbie says:

    There was a discussion of this on The View earlier. Whoopi had what I considered a very good view on the situation. These photos had to be approved by her parents and Disney and they obviously did not stand up for Miley.
    They also showed a picture of Miley and her father which I also found a little distrubing.
    My youngest is 17 and we did discuss this briefly this morning and I will talk more with her this evening.

  39. Amy Beth @ Ministry So Fabulous! says:

    I don’t have time to read all the comments, so forgive me if this has already been mentioned. But if it hasn’t, prepare yourself —
    According to Vanity Fair’s website (where the pictures are), Miley’s mom was on set the whole time. In fact, in their behind-the-scenes photo album, there’s a picture of her with a caption about “Behind Miley, her mother looks on as lip gloss is applied” or something.
    So sad. Very, very sad.

  40. Chelsea says:

    I’m suddenly feeling very good about my decision NOT to let my girls watch Hannah Montana. They are 7 and 8 years old and “all their friends watch it” but I didn’t think it was age-appropriate and I’m a little anti-Disney anyway. I do think Miley’s public admission of embarrassment is genuine, but those photos are downright creepy.

  41. Julie Anne says:

    I am glad that my kids are too young to even know about this right now, but it really concerns me as to what I will have to deal with when they get older. This is ridiculous!!
    What I can do is pray that God will protect my girls and keep them pure, and that my son will know what is right and wrong and be protective of his sisters and look for the right things in a wife someday!!
    This job of parenting is NOT EASY!!!

  42. We are THAT family says:

    Today when I saw this on CNN news, I just wanted to throw up. My first thought: Where were her parents? Oh, I read further. They were on the set all day. At what point did it seem okay to watch their child slip off her shirt to be photographed?
    My 8 year old daughter came home today wearing her Hannah Montana t-shirt. We’re going to have to talk.
    I have that same sick feeling.

  43. LisaC says:

    I haven’t read every post, but I agree with most of what is being said. Why would the photographer even suggest it? Artistic or not, she is 15. I would, however, hope that after all this time she is becoming a bit savvy about dealing with the media and would be able to say no, even to Annie L., if she was uncomfortable. I am pretty disappointed in her parents for letting her get naked and then approving the pictures. I am thinking of that girl whose name I can’t remember who left the show “7th Heaven” and starting doing more risque things so people would see her as an adult and not teen Mary Camden. It didn’t really seem to help her career at all.

  44. Michelle- This One's for the Girls says:

    Uh- did you see the pictures on msnnbc.com of her licking the tongue of another teenage girl at a party?
    Clearly, Miley Cyrus isn’t the wholesome girl that she has been marketed as. We’re done with her and we’re done with that show. Forever.

  45. Ashleigh (Heart and Home) says:

    I feel sick about this. I admit, I had begun to think that perhaps Miley would be different. That is, until last week, when my mom told me about the pictures she posted to her MySpace showing more than should be seen. The thing that is the saddest to me is that I recently saw her in an interview, and she was asked what made her different than all the other teen stars (Britney, Lindsey, etc) and her response was that it was her strong faith and her family. It is just… sad. This poor girl is caught in a whirlwind of secularism all around her. We ALL know what it is like to become desensitized to things and later look back and wonder how we drifted like that. I just hope for the sake of this young girl’s heart and life, she and her parents take that backward look before she goes too much farther.
    As for addressing it with children–my little one knows enough to say “Miley! Cute!” when he sees her singing once in a while in a clip after Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. But I’m thankful that’s the extent of it for us. I certainly don’t envy those of you with older ones!

  46. Worlds Greatest Mommy says:

    I completely agree with you about the fact that a 15 year old can’t be held fully responsible for what adults said was okay to do.
    Her parents, the photographer, her press agent, the magazine, everyone should have known better.
    Unfortunately, I think there will be a lot of backlash about this for Miley. My daughter is just now at the age when she wants to be a Miley fan. She has a Miley fashion doll and wants to listen to her music and watch her show.
    After this, though, I can’t in good faith allow her to form an attachment to someone who serves as a role model for young girls, without the benefit of having a good role model in her own life.

  47. Daphne says:

    I’m not believing this. I was under the impression that her family were Christians or at least had better morals. I’m very disappointed and guess I’ll have to talk to my impressionable young daughters tonight. I hate the fact that our kids have to grow up so early.

  48. Katy (aka funny girl) says:

    Talking about this on my blog today as well. My biggest issue is that a few months ago, People Magazine did a spread on Miley and she talked about her faith, etc., and now this makes her look like yet another hypocritical Christian.

  49. Kelly @ Love Well says:

    I am disappointed by the Cryus’ decision to allow the photo. But the most recent stories online say they are filled with regret, too.
    I would chalk this up to one more person (or family, in this case) making a bad decision when faced with intense peer pressure. Being in Hollywood is tough. It’s easy to say, “Just say NO!” when we aren’t the ones being sweet-talked into an “artsy” photo by one of the most well-known photographers of our generation. (Not to mention the constant feedback they must get to keep Miley in the public eye by almost any means necessary.) That kind of pressure is TOUGH AS NAILS.
    Should she and/or her parents have refused? Yes. But honestly, I’m glad I’m not in their shoes everyday.
    Having said that, though, this is a great opportunity to talk to your kids. Mine are too young to know who she is, so I don’t have specific advice. But your plan sounds wise, Shannon.

  50. Staci at Writing and Living says:

    We don’t have cable, so my kids only know Hannah Montana from what they see at Grandma’s and what they hear from friends. I don’t think it will come up, but it might.
    I’m just going to say that nobody should pose for pictures like that, fifteen or 25.
    I, too, am disappointed in her parents. It’s so easy to get caught up in things without thinking when you’re that age.

  51. T. says:

    I’ve been waiting for your post on this as soon as I read the article! =) I found it so ridiculous that she should even be the one made to comment on it. She thought she would be in good hands with the photographer. At what point does her father say “Hey, wait a minute, she’s topless and covered with a bed sheet. And wearing red lipstick?” I haven’t seen the photo to know whether she is actually on a bed, but doesn’t a bed sheet imply the same thing? I have all boys and my oldest is 9. Thankfully he hasn’t shown any interest in Hannah Montana but I am concerned what he will hear at school as well. So Sad. Maybe she has a chance for growth in this.

  52. Krista says:

    I actually read the article and looked at the slide show on VF when I saw a link this morning. When asked how she felt about posing topless Miley says something like – well, when Anne asks you to do something she has these big puppy dog eyes and you can’t turn her down, but I’m covered with a big blanket so I don’t see what the big deal is. Sounds like she was a) pressured into it and b) sadly doesn’t even see what’s wrong with it. Although for all the articles spouting about how “mature” she was I can’t exactly fault her considering she is still a kid. Ugh.

  53. Veronica Mitchell says:

    I saw the photos, and while I didn’t think they were particularly scandalous (you see more in the tank tops girls wear nowadays) I was disappointed in Annie Leibovitz, the famous photographer who took the photos. From the article, she seemed aware that the photos she took would be damaging to the kid, and she did it anyway.
    I think more disturbing in the photos than the amount of skin showing was the come-hither poutiness of the photos, clothed and unclothed. I found that more sexualizing than a draped sheet, and I wondered what on earth her father was thinking.

  54. Kim Priestap says:

    T with Honey pointed out this quote:

    This quote by Miley Cyrus summed it for me, ‘And you can’t say no to Annie. She’s so cute. She gets this puppy dog look and you’re like, ‘O.K.’
    Sounds like the photographer did a wonderful job of convincing a teenager to do something she didn’t really want to do.

    Do people understand that this is how pedophiles work? It sounds like this 15 year old girl didn’t want to do this, but was talked into it by the photographer. And her father went along with it. Her own father allowed her to be sexualized, objectified, and used. It’s sickening. Not only Vanity Fair but her dad must have had dollar signs in his eyes, too.
    What a real disappointment.

  55. dawn says:

    This was a stupid stupid move. But are we just going to write comments about it, or should we be complaining to Vanity Fair, Disney etc. If we don’t complain to them directly, these businesses will think we don’t care what happens to 15 year olds, and it is ok for the same thing (or worse) to happen to other minors.

  56. Kim N says:

    I have a seven year old daughter and I have made a point of keeping her away from Hannah Montana and High School Musical. I don’t think there is anything wrong with these shows, but I think they are completely over the head of a first grader. I don’t want her looking ahead to her teen years and thinking about dating and boyfriends and cliques and popularity right now. She has no idea about these things I want to keep it that way for as long as possible! I think for older kids High School Musical is a fun, upbeat show (I did watch it myself) and when she is older I won’t mind her watching it. I just don’t see the point of seven year old watching a show about high school.
    Also, I think that in a lot of the tween shows on stations like Disney and Nickelodean (sp?) there is a lack of respect for authority, including parents. A lot of times the parents, teachers, principals and other authority figures are mocked and made fun of and made to look dopey. I haven’t seen Hannah Montana so I don’t know if that is the case on that show, but the majority of the ones I have seen seem to portray that. I would rather not have the added influence for my kids to sass me and not respect me!
    If I had an older daughter who knew about Miley I would use this as an opportunity to talk about modesty and what is appropriate.

  57. Colleen says:

    Thanks for posting this. I couldn’t believe it when I read it, but had a feeling it was only a matter of time. I hope that she can learn from this experience and stay on a good track with her career. She has a lot going for her.

  58. Heather @ Loving Our Homeschool says:

    Okay, yet another reason why I’m glad we only have an antenna for our TV channels, why I’m glad we homeschool (no playground talk around here) and why I’m glad my oldest daughter (age 7) and her friends are very much into dolls and playing dress-up as Queens and Princesses. My daughter has heard the name “Hannah Montana” but has no idea who or what she is.
    Speaking of Princesses, we just read “The Princess and the Kiss” last night. A wonderful, introductory book about God’s gift of purity. The one for boys is “The Squire and the Scroll” which I have not read.
    I didn’t read all of the comments here, but one person said this is why they shelter their kids. There is a line between sheltering and protecting though, and maybe that mother is really protecting her children rather than sheltering them. Right now, I’m protecting my daughters from things with which they are just not ready to deal. We discuss things in the world that are sinful, but those things are age-appropriate to their level of thinking. Too bad Miley’s parents aren’t protecting her.

  59. Leanne from Canada says:

    Disappointed-yes, surprised-no. I’m never surprised by what I consider to be bad choices when they are made by celebrities (or anybody who does not know the Lord). We all know how difficult it is to live a Godly and upright life in our culture, and as Christians we blow it everyday (if not in deed, than in thought). Why would I expect our culture to live up to a Godly standard? This does however bring about a very teachable moment with our kids….I always try to come back to “what does God say on this matter?”. Teaching our kids to think as God thinks is our daily and most important job. Whether they are somewhat sheltered or not, one day (and that day comes sooner than we think), they will have to make some decisions for themselves. Will they turn off the T.V. or computer (even at a friends house?), will they say no when everybody else is saying yes?, will they choose to speak up against the voice of the crowd? The challenge for all of us is to live like “Daniel’s” in a culture that is most certainly ungodly. It’s more subtle than we think and more pervasive than we want to acknowledge. Living in the world but not of it…our daily challenge, and one that is best dealt with face down!!

  60. Cassie says:

    I have seen different talk shows that have tried to justify it–saying that her fan-base is getting older and she is just trying to keep them as fans. I think that is a bull-crap excuse. I think that most of her fans (including my 7-year-old niece who got every Hannah Montana related Christmas present possible) are still very young, but even if it were teenagers, she shouldn’t have to do things like that to entertain people.

  61. Robyn says:

    I am disappointed by this. Miley should know better. Someone in the Miley camp has obviously told her that she needs to glam up to attract an older audience. Annie Leibovitz is one of the most talented and recognized photographers of our time. I can imagine that Miley was a little star struck and lost her good judgement. Annie should be ashamed of herself.
    I personally have no problem with seeing Miley backless. she wears red carpet dresses that are backless. The picture shows NOTHING anatomically. WHat I DO have a problem with is what it represents. She’s wrapped in bed sheets, has touseled hair, and smeared makeup. If there’s ever been a “post sex” picture, here it is.
    I also blame Billy Ray Cyrus. I think he genuinely loves Miley, but I also think he’s trying to ride her coattails and further his career. He’s LOVING being the center of attention right now. I bet he’ll regret this one day, if he doesn’t already.
    Here’s what I think we should do. First, Miley is a 15 year old girl. Despite the fact that she made a bad choice in terms of this picture, her TV show is still a wholesome form of entertainment for tweens. We should support the good sides of Miley and defer attention from this bad decision to the hundreds of good ones she makes each day. We need to get off our lynch mob soap boxes and realize that she’s a KID. She doesn’t have the ability to predict the consequences of her actions. She messed up. She learned a good lesson. I’m sure she will be more careful in the future. I’m sorry she had to learn the hard way that even “world renowned photographers” and her daddy don’t always have her best interest at heart.

  62. Fancy Delights says:

    I too am sick about this. My 6 year old is just getting into HM (thanks to grandma – ugh). Guess we will be “getting out” as quickly as we are getting in. So sad. I really thought more about Billy Ray than that. He seems like a pretty decent guy. Guess not.
    Michelle @ Fancy Delights

  63. Dot says:

    Why do superstars like Miley Cyrus feel like they have to sell themselves to stay popular? So what if they fade out…they’ve made enough money for a lifetime before they’re even 18. Retire, kid…enjoy the riches and forget about stardom.

  64. Amanda says:

    Uuug. I remember your post from way when, Shannon. Sad that fame is proving to be so predictable. It makes me want to pray for those God has allowed to be in the lime light proclaiming Him and His Word. I pray fame keeps them in safe in high accountability and in His daily care… and not in the looney bin like most Hollywood stars.
    This split life will most likely do its number on Miley too… if something doesn’t nip it soon… and really soon. Please, God send in some angels amongst us to this child. Her appointed guardians got bought off.
    And if Billy reads these… which I hope he somehow does… I hope these outcries aren’t silenced by a defensive attitude. I hope he will seize the unfortunate opportunity to ADMIT a mistake, and follow steps back to some kind of parent child relationship. Not greasy agent and exploitable client.
    My daughter isn’t old enough(4)for us to have to deal at home with this now. But I will remember this when the next tween star is gracing every product in Wal-Mart and Target and is being marketed to her during her tween time. It hurts to agree with many mom’s here… but this is quite a pointed object lesson. I’m praying for you ladies who are having a discussion tonight.
    Life can just be too tempting outside of some sensible boundaries. Too bad the ones that should have known better, were the ones calling the shots. When you don’t have a previously defined boarder of, “NO!”,even adults can get stuck in a big bowl of “STUPID-MOVE-HAVE-FUN-WHEN-THAT-ONE-HITS-THE-FAN.”
    And just in case we have any sympathetic readers who would wonder why such stones are being so quickly thrown… it would be because we know no boulder is big enough to knock out a person who exploits children. I think the phrase ‘it would be better if a millstone…’ comes to mind instead. She who has an ear, let her hear…

  65. Andrea says:

    What I don’t understand is why it’s acceptable to coerce a child to pose provocatively clothed, while these same people would totally denounce that kind of pose in the nude. It’s all the same to me.
    I like what a previous poster said about making Jesus our kids’ role models. I’ve kept my girls away from the whole teen show thing for this very reason. The line between reality and the show gets blurred. Girls are idolizing HM, but not recognizing that the REAL person is Miley and can be completely different. So to them, it’s Hannah Montana posing, not Miley.
    I’m not saying it’s wrong to let kid watch the shows, but I don’t think it’s necessarily healthy to let them get to the point where all they want is to be like the people on the show. But then, I’ve never been that way myself, so maybe it’s easier said than done!

  66. that girl says:

    my son (11) is obsessed with her and says she’s “sexy” — he doesn’t even know what that MEANS and thinks he’s saying she is “cute,” and YES I told him to stop saying that… then this photo appears and he sees it today when I’m watching the View. I let him see it for a moment, then turned it off and asked him what he thought. He said, “So? What’s the big deal?” My point is, kids are so immune to EVERYTHING b/c of TV and the internet, it’s sad. For him to think it was the nation’s (or his) business shows me he’s watching way too much TV, so that’s what I’ll be adressing in my house. All we can do is fix our own house/kids/parenting, we’re not going to influence the Cyrus household. I just hope Miley’s investing her earnings because I think the sand’s about to run out on that hourglass!

  67. Org Junkie says:

    My 11 year old daughter has never seen an episode of the show or listened to the music as she has never been interested which I am very thankful for right about now.

  68. Laura says:

    I never let my 8 year-olds watch HM. I think it’s wholesome compared to other shows out there, but not meant for children- more for the older tween- what interest would (or should) my elementary school children have in a show about kids so much older than they are anyway? As for the photos- I was surprised to see this happen- simply because it is a bad marketing move on their part- I guess I’m cynical. It’s tough to try to keep our children from growing up too fast and things like this discourage me, but at the same time strengthen my resolve to do it my way. (Hint: I TIVO the Brady Bunch and Full House and read the program notes before I allow them to watch. The BB is a huge hit with them- even the ones where the older kids are dating are so mild and there is always some moral for them to figure out)

  69. Kelly @ Pass the Torch says:

    I just don’t know why it’s necessary. Why would anyone include her in the shoot? Six years from now, that photo wouldn’t cause any controversy.
    I’ve been holding by breath with this girl, hoping she’d stay the girl we all love, even amidst pregnant Zoey 101’s.
    But then this might all be the spin doctors at work, in which case Miley will be fine, it’s just the rest of us that have to figure out how she fits in our virtual lives.
    Let’s hope…

  70. Angela @ Becoming Me says:

    This is so disheartening. Why is it not classified as child pornography? I have a four year old who has never watched the show, but has seen Hannah Montana all over the place and really admires her already. I agree with Eva…we so need to pray for this girl and for others … for all our young people really.

  71. Judy says:

    Uh …HELLO….Does Anybody remember how Brittany started out as a wholesome Disney singer and then step-by-step descended into what she is today? And her parents were supposedly keeping an eye on her! Miley is 15 years old….her parents are to be held responsible!

  72. Nicki says:

    First a disclaimer: Please, know that what I have to say on this subject isn’t meant to be critical of other parents and their decisions. These are just my honest observations and thoughts on the situation.
    Having said that… 🙂
    I think that it’s kind of weird that these particular photos have caused such controversy. Haven’t we been seeing her doing ‘unwholesome’ things in photos with friends, on the internet for some time now? Also, every picture I’ve ever seen of her at a red carpet event, she’s wearing clothing where one false move means she’s going to expose even more than what is being seen in the Vanity Fair picture. So, I guess I’m not surprised at all by this. To me the writing has been on the wall for some time now.
    We don’t watch TV. This is one of the very reasons why. Although, we’re not completely sheltered from her existence. Hannah Montana is on…EVERYTHING! It all just seems ludicrous to me. While shopping in Target the other day, my 7 year old daughter asked, “Who is Hannah Montana? And WHY would I ever want her picture on my clothes?” I couldn’t give her an answer.
    And Daddy Cyrus was most definitely on the scene of the photo shoot. How is this for a father/daughter photo to hang on the den wall? To me, that is even more disturbing than the other picture.
    Grow up, Billy. And let your daughter be a kid.

  73. Anonymous says:

    I am officially horrified. Miley is 15 and legally a child. I agree that her parents should be ashamed of themselves. It is a tragedy for our children that they are growing up in a world that simply does not let them be innocent kids. They are exposed to adult behavior at an impressionable age. Blech!
    I am new to your blog! Love it!!
    MB

  74. Stephanie says:

    Although I don’t have children old enough to warrant a speaking to about this, it definitely opens my eyes for what I will face in the future. How in the world is this okay to some people? She is not even 18, and obviously had assistance in making this decision. After seeing her with her down-to-earth parents on Oprah, I didn’t think she was headed toward Britney-dom, but I guess now no one is safe from parents and companies willing to do anything to make money off of you and your name. Sheesh.

  75. Francie says:

    Well, another role model for my girls bites the dust. I want to be that role model but I know I’m not the one they’re talking most about on the playground. I can turn off the TV, cover their eyes at the magazine rack and talk to them about it, but, oh, how I hoped this one was different. Please, Miley, err on the side of modesty. A generation is looking up to Miley whether we like it or not.

  76. Hannah says:

    Wow! I definitely hadn’t heard about that. My kids aren’t really old enough to be into her but I’ve had a bad feeling about her for a long time. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a child star having a good, wholesome life so really I guess I shouldn’t be that surprised about this. It is sickening to me that a parent, a dad especially, would allow his daughter to be portrayed in that way. My husband is extremely protective of my daughters particularly because he knows the way men work and wants to protect our daughters from that as much as they can and I can’t imagine the kind of man that would not feel that way. It’s disgusting. I think that this is the sort of thing that Jesus was talking about when he said that it would be better for someone to be dead at the bottom of the ocean than to harm a child or cause them to stumble.

  77. Dawn says:

    Luckily my kids don’t know that much about her. We don’t have cable so they don’t watch her show. I asked my eight-year-old if he knows who she is and he said, “She’s a famous singer.” He doesn’t know anything else. I don’t think Disney had anything to do with the pictures, so it will be interesting to see if they say something about it. I’ve seen the picture and even though it doesn’t show anything, it is way too suggestive for a 15-year-old. I think it was a huge mistake for her parents, Annie Lebowitz and Vanity Fair to let a picture like that be taken, let alone show it to the public. I think her reputation is going to take a hit.

  78. ter says:

    I hadn’t heard about this. I think Miley’s parents, the photographer, etc. should all be charged with child endangerment or explotion. Most parents would be horrified to have their teenaged daughter posing like this!

  79. feefifoto says:

    From T With Honey:
    “This quote by Miley Cyrus summed it for me, ‘And you can’t say no to Annie. She’s so cute. She gets this puppy dog look and you’re like, ‘O.K.’
    Sounds like the photographer did a wonderful job of convincing a teenager to do something she didn’t really want to do.”
    I think it’s a question of the photographer’s convincing a teenager to do something she SHOULDN’T do.

  80. Christine @ Serenity How? says:

    This is so sad. I hope Miss Cyrus and her parents will take a long, hard and prayerful look at what has happened and decide to do right from here on out. She could so easily slide downward from here and the industry would happily help her along that path.

  81. Megan says:

    Precisely the reason why we avoid the craze of these things. We first heard of Hannah Montana and Miley Cyrus this year when the girls started attending a two-day per week school for HOMESCHOOLERS (aren’t they supposed to be the ones with their heads in the sand?) Kidding. Really.
    Okay, so we don’t have cable. This is one major reason. We don’t want our kids bowing to all things Disney and frankly, even the things they put out as “innocent and cute” have much more in there.
    I have personally been really surprised by the amount of presumably discerning parents who are ga-ga over High School Musical. Huh? I watched it with my girls on purpose after they began hearing about it. I stopped it multiple times to give voice to some of what they were seeing: disrespectful attitudes toward parents, adults being portrayed as stupid, heavy emphasis on guy/girl flirting and dating at young ages. Was it cute? Sure. Did it send a very strong message to my girls of who they should be as future 14 and 15 and 16 year olds? Absolutely. Was the message sent one I want my kids embracing? Not on your life.
    I can’t exactly speak to the Hannah Montana thing. We’ve never seen the show, never heard her sing. We just see her face plastered all over other 6 year olds’ t-shirts and talked about everywhere. So we talk about pop culture and such. I’m not at all surprised this has happened. We need only to look at the fine example set by the Speares’ family to see how easy it is for parents to lose their brains here.
    Sad, yes. Surprising, no.

  82. Jackie @ where the boys are says:

    Frankly, I’m a little disappointed by all of you who are only a little too happy and anxious to be casting that first “I told you so” stone. Yes, I am equally disappointed by the choices that were made for her by her parents and her management team. We’ve all made mistakes in our parenting (and you can say “well, I’ve never let my daughter pose topless, etc. but a sin is a sin and parenting mistakes are parenting mistakes.)Only most of us aren’t trying to do it under the microscope of the media and a viewing audience – thankfully.
    Again, I’m not defending the pictures (which I’ve not seen) or the choices, I’m just curious to know where all those self- proclaimed Christian values are that so many of you say you’re trying to teach your children. Wouldn’t this, also, be a perfect time to teach them about the concept of extending grace to someone who has obviously messed up. You don’t have to watch her show, buy her merchandise or listen to her music, but she doesn’t deserve to be villified either.
    And for the record, no, I don’t have daughters who are looking to immitate and emulate her. Worse than that – I have boys, who I must protect from these kinds of sexually charged images that they are subjected to from every possible source. I am just as diligent in trying to protect my sons as you are in protecting your daughters.

  83. Jen says:

    Yes, ma’am…my sister & I were just discussing this today…that we now have to bring this up to our daughters. My daughter wasn’t SO into Hannah Montana yet, but a little bit. But my sister’s girls are. We are definitely going to have to discuss it with them, and who knows what other questions it will bring up…UGH, the dread of it… I told her I long for the days of Nick Jr. You’d never catch Dora doing a topless photo shoot…

  84. Nicole says:

    My kids are too young for Miley/Hannah (or at least I haven’t let my 5 year old get into it yet) so I haven’t been engrossed in it. But I did hear the story on the news and was shocked. If her parents did it for the exposure (no pun intended) then they were stupid because she’s doing just fine without all the Paris-style media coverage.

  85. Kristen says:

    I saw a bit of this on the news tonight. I am disgusted, like you, not by Miley’s decision, but by her parents’ decision to allow this. And to be honest, I was more disturbed by another photo–the one of Miley draped across her father. To me it appeared as if they had a relationship other than father-daughter. (I’m not insinuating anything here, just saying what I thought the photo portrayed). My children do not watch this show, they are too young, but if they did, I would surely open the lines of communication up with them.

  86. TransitionGirl says:

    Isn’t that illegal? since she’s a minor? doesn’t matter if she’s a celebrity, its still child exploitation and child pornography, in my opinion. Someone should smack her parents.

  87. kd says:

    Has no one questioned why HER DAD was watching his daughter topless? Doesn’t anyone else view this as the way incestuous relationships begin? He should be IN JAIL, not making money off this deal!

  88. Heather says:

    I saw the photo and it wasn’t a sexual or even flirty pose. Her red carpet outfits are a lot more worrisome.

  89. Marianne says:

    Oh dear.
    I have just started letting my daughter (almost 7) watch HM. I watched a bunch with her and thought, “Wow – this is not so bad.”
    That poor child. Hasn’t Billy Ray been watching what’s happened to Britney Spears the last few years? How could he agree to this, to not just allowing his babygirl go down this road, but shoving her down the path?
    I’m gonna have to tackle this discussion head-on because I’d rather it come from me than anyone else.

  90. Mommy Cracked says:

    I absolutely hold every adult that had anything to do with that photo shoot, including her father, accountable. She is a CHILD. She has no idea who this photographer is, the quality of work she is known for, etc. And Vanity Fair? At her age? Totally inappropriate. Her dad REALLY burns my hide…he is constantly trying to be her “friend” instead of the parent. It’s sad.

  91. Dawn @ My Home Sweet Home says:

    I heard about it today and that the pictures were on the Vanity Fair website. I admit to being curious, but none of the links went to pictures (even though the posts said they would). Maybe they had the decency to pull them.
    I read that part mentioned in the above quote, too. That’s awful for a photographer to exploit a child like that.

  92. oh amanda says:

    My daughter is only 2, so I don’t really travel in the Hannah Montana circles…BUT, you asked what circumstances would you let your 15 yo undress—I’m guessing BIG MONEY will make you do lots of things! When Annie Liebovitz is photographing your daughter and she gets paid millions for singing a song, your life is not your own.
    And I don’t say this as a slam to parents, b/c good grief, you can’t stop kids (especially kids in public schools/activities) from knowing what’s popular—BUT somehow we’ve got to manage what our kids watch and adore. For example, I just hate it when I see 1st graders wearing High School Musical shirts. I know it’s “clean” but good grief–HIGH SCHOOL.
    I hate it for Miley–I read she apologized. But there’s no where else to go except there, you know?
    I hate it for parents–b/c like you said, they’ll have to address it (if they’re good like you!)
    I hate it for kids—is it POSSIBLE to let your kids be kids? *sigh* I’m sad for my 2 year old…

  93. Tamara Cosby says:

    I had not planned on discussing this with my 9 year old daughter until reading your post here…I forget about playground talk and now I remember why I want to homeschool (I’m not but boy do things like this make me want to sometimes…). Anyway: we will be having a conversation about modesty and “PEER” pressure and what is right and wrong. I am proud to say we went shopping the other day and my daughter picked out a little tank top, nothing risque but it had rhinestones ALL over the chest area…I brought this to her attention as she is telling me she likes it…held it up to my chest and asked her what people are going to stare at if she wears this top. She promptly decided she did not want the top and we moved on. I pray this is the same thing that happens with Miley Cyrus. I pray my daughter realizes idolizing someone is not a good thing and there is a reason God wants to be our one and only.

  94. AmyG says:

    My 6 year old hasn’t heard anything about it, that I know of. I don’t know if they talk about this stuff in kindergarten?? Anyway, I felt so bad when I saw the news story on GMA this morning. I love Miley. I’ve been thinking, I hope she stays on the straight path & doesn’t follow the foot steps of the other girls, like Britney & Lindsay Lohan. Then when I saw the picture, I wanted to cry! Like you, I can’t believe that her Dad, of all people, allowed them to take these pictures. I would never, never sit back & let this happen with my child. So sad… and you know, society will put her down & rip her apart, when it should be the adults involved that they need to rip apart!

  95. Heather says:

    My 5 year old turned into a big Hannah Montana fan. I bought into it for a short period, but then it just hit me like a ton of bricks….”this girl is going to fall and she’s going to fall hard”. I weaned my daughter off of Miley/Hannah because I didn’t want her looking up to anyone in the public eye like that, because eventually they all fall off their pedestal. Now I am SO glad I did. She doesn’t have to be hurt by Miley’s actions. I don’t particularly think Miley is a bad example just because of that photo, but I just no the worst is yet to come.

  96. The (Almost) Amazing Mammarino says:

    I SO understand the desire for clean television shows and movies for children. We draw our line at movies which take the Lord’s name in vain, so out of all the so-called children’s movies that come out, we average seeing one a year. Television is completely out of the question.
    That being said, I am disturbed by how dependent children (and their parents) are on these forms of entertainment. We are created to worship. Why are we worshipping the wrong god? Why is it so incredibly important to HAVE to be entertained?
    Because our family watches so little TV, we have more time to do family things together. We read wholesome books. We play games. We explore His beautiful creation. Not filling our hearts and minds with false idols makes it easier to “Set [our] affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” (Colossians 3:2)
    I, for one, am a little sick of hearing about how “grounded” and “well adjusted” Miley Cyrus is. Articles gush about her “faith”and that she is a “committed Christian”. Although she may very well be a Christian, I have to question the commitment of a person who raved that “Sex and the City” is her favorite TV show. And let’s not forget the pics of her flashing her bra. (Those were not Photoshopped, because she later apologized for them.)
    I am not saying this to lambast the poor girl. (Assuming she is a Christian, she’s a far better person than I was at 15.) My problem lies with the way she is practically worshipped. It’s almost like parents are so disgusted with the Britney Spearses, the Lindsay Lohans and the Olesons that when the first seemingly clean celebrity comes along, they let their guards down and fall all over her.
    Again, why is entertainment so stinking important?
    Yes, Hannah Montana seems to be a nice, clean show. However, one must remember, the bottom line at Tinseltown is $$$. Once the nice, clean show starts sagging in the ratings, and once Miley’s fan base starts aging out of tween- and teen-aged programs, they will reinvent her. They are already pushing her to “mature”; the Vanity Fair picture is a prime example. (Did I use that semicolon well, Shannon?) (;
    Even more disturbing are the handful of comments like this one by Lisa (Lost Pezhead):
    “Honestly, I really don’t see what the big deal is. It is extremely hard to be in Hollywood and still live like you have morals. Just cause you’re on a Disney show that seems somewhat wholesome, doesn’t mean the actors or their families are. Children should be taught to have real life role models, not movie stars and singers.”
    What’s the big deal, she asks?
    A fifteen year old – one who is idolized by children as young as three – appears to be naked in bed. Her tousled hair, sultry eyes and painted red lips seem to say, “Was it good for you?”
    To me – as well as any other parent who doesn’t want their little girls to be sexualized – that’s a big deal.
    The other part of that post which bothered me was the implication that because it’s too hard to live a moral life in Hollywood, children shouldn’t idolize stars. This smacks of the same reasoning that celebrities such as Madonna have used when they said, “I didn’t ask to be a role model, so I am not a role model.” As though it were that simple. Like it or not, anyone who is in the public eye IS a role model. Preachers. Football players. Mayors. Coaches. And yes, celebrities. Just because it’s harder to be a role model in Hollywood doesn’t mean TV and movie stars can get a free pass.
    I do agree that children should be taught to have real life role models. Accomplishing this, however, requires taking an unpopular stance. We can’t have it both ways. We can’t tell our kids, “Okay, you can watch Hannah Montana, but I forbid you to want to be like her.” Everything a child is exposed to becomes a part of her. What do you want your child to be made of?
    “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” Phillipians 4:8

  97. D'Anna says:

    I have also thought that all these Disney Channel shows with High Schoolers was way too old for most children! I say turn off the tv – just turn it off! Let my child be active, live life with real people, in real situations, and let us (her parents) be her guide – not anyone on tv or movies . . .
    Let’s all do it – TURN IT OFF! 🙂

  98. Lisa says:

    That picture is a horrible, trashy looking, artistic portrait of a beautiful 15 year old child. What on earth were her parents thinking? I wonder if any parent would see a picture of their daughter like that and think that it was okay? Shame on you Billy! Shame on you Annie! And if Vanity Fair doesn’t pull that picture, I think that something should happen to them. I would think that there would be some sort of law against exploiting a child, no matter how famous she is!

  99. Gego says:

    Oh, MY….. My parents were “totally” upset with Elvis and his gyrations. Then, along came the Beatles with long hair and girls screaming..Paul was the cutest!
    For my own children it was Motley Crew, and some other band that began with a “P”
    Then, my daughter was allowed to attend a Bobby Brown concert with her friends. I was in the parent room studying for a final. It was later that I learned he was naked on stage. I thought too much info for my teen. It did open up a wonderful conversation about sex…. who, what, when, where. It was probably the most open conversation we had..
    I NEVER told either of my children thart I attended a “Hot Nutz” concert in Dallas.
    Y’all pick your battles. Sometimes the WORST scenerio turns into a life lesson that will serve them well at college.
    PS: I really, really, fault Marley’s Dad in not being a leader and chasing the almighty $$$$$$ instead of looking out for his daughter’s best interest.
    .

  100. Sarah Joy says:

    I don’t believe any of the comments here could possibly be more hurtful to the Cyrus family than what they have already allowed. Maybe they will see a lack of hatred-but real alarm and concern. As a mom of three little girls, my heart is filled with pity, anger, and disgust when I see a girl exposed as a sexual being to the entire world to see.
    That photographer knew exactly what she was doing, and she got a great picture of vulnerability, shyness, and soiled innocence.
    There is a purpose for shame in our society. It isn’t a dirty word. It protects the innocent. They should be ashamed, and it should cause them to make fundamental changes in how they market their child and her talents.
    My littles don’t know about her, because we are a homeschooling family living abroad. I expected something like this, just from the way she dressed. She was already oversexualized, and I didn’t want my girls to want to dress like that.
    I prayed for that poor girl.

  101. Amy in Idaho says:

    I am sad and disappointed….. in myself. I have allowed my daughters (8 and 13) to idolize Miley/Hannah. I have supported and encouraged and financed it because “she was a good role model”. I was kidding myself.
    I should have had my daughters in the Word learning about their God and his plan for their lives. I should have had them on the Compassion website praying for children who don’t know who Miley Cyrus is. Who wish they had food, water and better shelter daily – not access to TV’s, Movies, Cd’s, T-shirts, Posters etc…. All sporting the image of Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus waiting to be worshiped. I am disgusted with myself.
    I am so frustrated at the lack of parenting that was done on that set though. Her mother, father, grandmother and teacher were all present for the shoot and NO ONE said “NO, this isn’t appropriate. A 15 year old shouldn’t be photographed topless or in such an overtly sexual fashion”. And make no mistake she was topless, you can go to the Vanity Fair website and you can clearly see that there is nothing on under that sheet. http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/features/2008/06/miley_slideshow200806 .
    What I found even more alarming than the pictures was the article “Miley Knows Best” http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/features/2008/06/miley200806 where Miley says, “It’s my favorite show! I love it!” says 15-year-old Miley Cyrus, speaking of Sex and the City” Hello – why is a 15 year old watching Sex and the City? What on earth could a 15 year old child need to learn from that show? The article by Bruce Handy goes on to say, “ Miley says her Disney Channel sitcom, Hannah Montana, in which she plays a schoolgirl with a secret life as a rock star, is patterned in part after the former HBO series about women looking for love and hookups in Manhattan. “Obviously not the scenarios,” she explains quickly. “But if you watch Sex and the City, like the way the friends are, the way that it’s dry and they all have distinct characters—that’s a thing we try to do on our show.” Now I never personally been a fan of Sex and the City, and have only watched 1 maybe, 2 episodes and the only thing I saw was ADULT women having promiscuous sexual relationships outside of marriage, smoking cigarettes, shopping excessively and drinking alcohol – Again, I have to ask what part of that show is appropriate for a 15 year old and why have I supported the Hannah Montana show that is trying to bring those “relationships” to the tween generation? I’m done and perhaps this time the lesson will stick (I was already slapped in the face by Vanessa Hudgens poor choices). My family and I will no longer worship anyone but Jesus. I cancelled our satellite service to make that just a little bit easier for all of us. Now I just have to get on my knees and ask for forgiveness for my poor parenting and for not standing up sooner and saying, “This isn’t appropriate!”

  102. Jeana says:

    I read here that her parents actually left before that particular shot was taken. I’m betting they’re really kicking themselves over it. This is one of the many times I am reminded how glad I am that I’m not parenting in the spotlight for everyone to see the mistakes I make. Ditto for my kids, not growing up in the spotlight. I don’t understand why parents want that for their children. It almost never ends up well.
    Am I surprised though? Not really. Not because of Miley herself, but because it is so near impossible for any child to grow up in the Hollywood spotlight with their integrity intact. We’re trying to shift the focus away from pop culture in general for that reason. It’s not good for our kids, I think, to keep making heroes out of tv, movie and music stars when the odds are stacked in favor of those stars living a life of alcohol, drugs and promiscuity in a few years. I don’t mean we don’t ever allow our kids to watch/listen to those things, just that we try to keep it controlled, below obsession level, and we talk to them about how even the squeaky clean young stars have the odds stacked against them.

  103. Jane @ What About Mom? says:

    I think the greatest lesson to be learned here is about peer pressure, and how it can trick even parents, even sophisticated (one imagines), fame-experienced grown-ups. This is what Miley said originally about the photo:
    “I think it’s really artsy. It wasn’t in a skanky way. Annie took, like, a beautiful shot, and I thought that was really cool. That’s what she wanted me to do, and you can’t say no to Annie. She’s so cute. She gets this puppy-dog look and you’re like, ‘OK.'”
    Saddest words I never want to hear out of my daughter’s mouth: “you can’t say no to Annie.” She’s famous, she’s intimidating, she’s emotionally manipulative (puppy-dog look?). Miley’s dad Billy Ray had a chance to be a real hero on that photo shoot, to stand up and say, “No. In our family we don’t take off our clothes in public.” And then to his daughter, he could have said, “Honey, you can say no to ANYONE. You never have to do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable, and if anyone ever asks you to, I hope you’ll come to me for help.”

  104. JeanneE says:

    My daughter is 5 and has no idea who Miley is (thank God), but I know that in a few years there will be another teen idol gone astray (there always is). I figure I can either stress about something I can’t control (i.e. the media portrayal of this) or I can turn it into a good learning opportunity. What I need to do in the meantime is pay close attention and figure out how find the silver lining (i.e. the lesson) that will benefit my daughter…

  105. 'cuz I'm the mommy, that's why says:

    Hello? Kiddie porn? Anyone home at the local copshop? Where I come from taking topless pictures of 15 year old girls will land you in prison. Period. And taking your 15 year old to have her picture taken without a shirt? Promoting child pornography. Hannah Montana will not be seen in my house any more. My 12 1/2 year old is very wise and mature, and it will be explained that we do not support people who put children on display so that perverts can get their rocks off. Irresponsible parenting that would be punished anywhere outside of Hollyweird. Thank God I live in small-town deep-south America where this kind of crap is punished rather than promoted.

  106. Stephanie says:

    I have a 15 year old daughter myself, and I can testify to the fact that no matter how mature and wise they think they are, they can be easily persuaded. As her daddy, Billy Ray is supposed to be there to protect her and to help making the right decisions. Or over-rule the bad decisions if necessary. Young ladies need to be able to depend on their fathers for their strength and guidance and unconditional love. No matter what Miley thought she wanted to do, the answer should have been NO. Her daddy let her down.
    If someone had even vaguely suggested my child pose in such a way, my husband would have taken her home instantly.

  107. Mandy says:

    I have 3 daughters (8,5,2) whom all LOVE Hannah Montana. I talked to my oldest daughter about Miley’s poor choice. She said “I’m not going to watch her show or buy her stuff until she changes her behavior”
    Unfortunately, that’s the only real way to get the message across to her & her father. Hit them in the pocketbook.

  108. amy says:

    Thanks for making me think about this twice, Shannon. When I first heard about it, I blew off all the fuss as just that – fuss. But I guess I didn’t realize she’s underage (and 15 is YOUNG). My daughter is only 3.5 and while she can recognize Hannah merchandise in the store, she has no idea about the show. I suppose I’m lucky because I don’t have to have this very hard conversation in my house tonight.
    Also,
    @T with Honey: that quote you offered from Miley Cyrus about Annie? CREEPED me out. Big Time. If Annie were not a photographer – say, were she a stranger approaching a Miley of any age – all of our red flags would go up. Isn’t this the stuff we teach our littlest ones not to trust in adults we don’t know? Billy Ray has been caught in the trap, too. What a shame.

  109. Heidi Reed says:

    Since when DOESN’T Disney exploit children? Seriously. Think about it…
    Britney Spears
    Christina Aguilera
    Justin Timberlake
    Miley Cyrus
    Just to name a few!
    And McDonalds too because they need the famous faces to sell fattening, disgusting food to teenagers who are already zit-laden.
    Anyway. I haven’t seen the pictures. But I know from reading other things that Miley is a Christian. And I have seen other Christian kids get caught up in the modeling/fashion industry with highly suggestive poses. It’s the parents.. the adults. The kids do things to please them.. yes, even the teens. Miley should have no blame in this. None. She’s a child. Humanize her for a minute, those of you so hot to put her down. She’s a kid. What kid doesn’t get excited about attention no matter his or her foundation.
    We all make mistakes. She’s in a fishbowl. How would your teens stand up?
    How did you behave as a teen?
    Don’t be so quick to judge young Miley!
    Heidi Reed

  110. Tonggu Momma says:

    I remember, a number of years ago, feeling concerned when my five-year-old niece was listening to Radio Disney. “It’s wholesome. What’s the problem?,” my husband asked. I replied, “if this is cool at five, what will be cool at ten? at fifteen?” And now she is fifteen and watches “The Bachelor.” I rest my case.

  111. Melodie says:

    Having a daughter who adores Hannah Montana, this has put us in a sticky spot as well. And you’ve nailed it–kids are going to hear this on the playground. But I believe that as parents it is our responsibility to discuss our sexual and moral values in the home–early and often. We’re often afraid that our children’s sexual innocence will leave to early, or that they’ll become oversexualized if we start talking too early. Guess what? Vanity Fair, Disney, and Miley Cyrus are already down that road! If we are silent and say, “Oh, our kids won’t ever see that,” then we run a terrible risk of letting the world imprint it’s values all over our chidlren. I would rather help my child understand her sexual innocence and the dangers of oversexualization–rather than have to play defense when she’s a teenager (and I have even less influence as a parent).
    Typically the church (and Christians in general) have outsourced these talks to the church (or worse) to schools. Most kids will *only* talk about this on the playground. Research has shown that when kids and parents have open and honest dialogue about sex and promiscuity, everyone benefits. Jim Burns has some great resources on this at his Web site http://www.homeword.com/.

  112. Melanie says:

    My daughter is 7, and her 1st grade class is very into HM. I didn’t feel comfortable with it, researched it, and ultimately decided that while it may be appropriate once she reaches upper elementary/middle school, I didn’t want my first grader watching a show about teenagers. As parents we have to really stand guard against a world that wants to sexualize our little girls and make them grow up too fast.
    That being said, I agree with a previous poster that thank God my parental mistakes are not broadcast for everyone to see! Hopefully this incident will make Miley’s parents more cautious in the future.

  113. Tara says:

    The report I heard said that her parents were there for the majority of the shoot. Then they left (WHY??) and left her there with her teacher and another person. She was originally asked to wear a flesh colored tank, but asked to remove that as well. Shame on the photographer. Just a shame.

  114. Lisa says:

    I hope, too, that our Church will address this and not skate by it with the excuse of “turning the kids off” to Church. My kids and I have talked about it. Sadly, in public school, it was seen as totally cool and evidence of how “mature” she is and, by implication, other tweens/teens “reallY” are in spite of what Mom says. As far as I’m concered Hannah Montana, That’s so Raven and [Please God!] the entire High School Musical franchise can be sent to video Siberria! No they are certainly not “that bad.” No dumber than the Batman and Giligan’s Island reruns we fried our brains on. But our kids are so passive and so brainwashed into thinking the only thing that matters is having sex any time you want to! I know, I’m ranting! Frothing at the mouth!! I have a 13 year old and a 12 year old!! Could you all tell?! Thanks for the soapbox!

  115. Corey says:

    I haven’t read all the comments and so I hope I am not repeating, but I saw the pictues and she is wearing a strapless yellow shirt. UNless is it only fabric wrapped around to look like a shirt… I don’t know.
    That being said, my first instinct was to shelter my 7 yo by not telling her anything, but now after reading many of the comments, I think I may talk to her.
    I am more concerned with the pictures that came out last week of her laying across some guy exposing her belly and pulling back her tack top!!!! Poor child needs help!

  116. sandy says:

    Hi Shannon, Yip, our son came home furious! Now our dtr. is disgusted.
    For some reason I thought of you when I heard this (isn’t that funny?) and I just came over for a visit – and sure enough – you wrote about it.
    I think you’ve talked about her before on your blog, so that must be where I got it.
    Always something NEW we have to explain to our kids, uh?
    Sandy

  117. SoWhat? says:

    Ooh…she has a shoulder…it’s shocking. Is this really the most important thing to cover with your children? Let’s focus on the war and how we let our government invade a sovereign nation.

  118. Beth/Mom2TwoVikings says:

    *sigh* Luckily, Flicka’s too young (4 yrs old) to be completely caught up in this and we don’t have cable so no Disney.
    But, Flicka’s 4, 5 and 6 year old friends DO know who she is. And, I’ve been so surprised by the way “Hannah Montana” has infiltrated her make-believe time with her dolls. *sigh*
    I’m completely disgusted by this new turn of events and proves to me even more that the ridicule and questioning DaHubby and I face with regards to our “sheltering” our kids “too much” is God’s plan for us regardless.

  119. Heather@mommymonk says:

    I think you summed it up well. She’s a little girl who needs good guidance and excuse me? Where was the guidance?
    My seven year old daughter and I talked about it already. I didn’t let her see the photos – I can’t believe they aired them on the news. Arg.
    But, her immediate reaction was, “How embarassing. Why would she take pictures in her underwear?” Kids get it. They don’t think that’s ok anymore than we do.
    So why don’t photographers get it?

  120. angela says:

    Ok, I went online yesterday and I seen the behind the scenes shots and the video on the set – the photo on set really didn’t seem that bad. She was going for an honest, artsy look and that is what it appeared to be on set. And she isn’t topless. She’s wearing – I don’t know if it’s a shirt or sheet, but it’s drapped around her well. She isn’t even showing side boob.
    But honestly, it showed her backless. Prom dresses are more revealing then that.
    And the picture of her showing her mid-drift, come on – go to the mall, you’ll see 9 year olds showing more.

  121. fern says:

    I agree, but I also think there are some good lessons here that might not be as obvious.
    One is that, one might think they are doing one thing and it comes out looking like another. By this I mean that during the photo shoot it may have seemed not so sexy–lots of lights, lots of people, etc. And then the photo gets touched up and professionalized and published and it may look a lot different. The lesson here for teens is that they may goof around, taking digital pictures that seem harmless and all of the sudden someone takes their face and puts it on someone else’s body and it ends up on my space.
    The other is that she owned up to her mistake. It was a mistake. It was an error in judgement (though I think the real error is her parents) and she apologized to her fans. That shows she learned something and does not think that what she did was okay.

  122. amanda says:

    I think it’s silly for us to be suprised that this would happen. She is in an industry where very few children come out of it unscathed. As Christian parents – I think we should be the “filters” for our kids. She sings and dances on a stage in short skirts and skimpy tops and promotes herself. It’s not a role model I wanted for my children last week – or this week.

  123. Cristina Sixto says:

    Slow down…get the whole story…She’s 15. Not a smart decision on her part. Her parents were on the set for part of the shoot. There were pictures taken of father & daughter etc. Then they left and she stayed with her publicist (grandma) when said picture was taken. Shocking, I know. But put yourself in her shoes. I can totally see getting swept up in the moment. You are in the hands of one of the most famous photographers in the world, you trust. It’s an opportunity for parents to talk to their kids about pressure, not just peer pressure but outside influences. Quote her comment to your kids.. “You can’t say no to Annie”. Teach your kids that you can say no to Annie and Joey and anyone else. The only person that can make you do something is yourself. It could have been worse, in the long run take it as the blessing that it is to open a dialogue with your kids.

  124. Playful Professional says:

    Two thoughts from reading the article. First, Miley made a commment about how she was wrapped up in a blanket and thought the shot was very artistic. She may not have had a choice, but doesn’t sound like she was completely opposed to the topless shot. Second, I heard that Disney was getting really mad about the whole thing not promoting it. Maybe that’s just hearsay, but I heard Disney was really mad about the picture actually.

  125. Sally says:

    I hear you. Her parents screwed up. And she screwed up. (hey, haven’t we all at some point? maybe just not as publicly as these folks.)
    Let’s all hope & pray they learn from this. I agree w/ those who are using it as a “teaching moment” to stop & think about what & whom we want our kids to emulate.

  126. Lynne says:

    Has anyone seen the pictures yet?
    Annie Liebowitz (don’t know how to spell her last name) is a very famous and reputable photographer.
    Depending on how it was done, the girl may be completely covered up.
    I just don’t get the “why” behind doing this. This is someone with a soaring career, why do something this controversial and risk parents protesting by not buying her materials?

  127. Sally says:

    That photo of Miley in the sheet should never have been allowed by her parents. Bit you have you seen the photos of Miley with her father?? Although both are fully clothed, the poses seem inaapropriate for a father/daughter photo. I just don’t get it.
    It isn’t “art” to me. It’s exploitation.

  128. Chris says:

    Apparently her Mom and Dad had left the shoot before the riske photos were taken. It was her GRANDMA(?!?)and her teacher that were there.

  129. Melissa @ Breath of Life says:

    I haven’t read all of the comments, but has anyone mentioned that in the article (online at VF), she says Sex & the City is her FAVORITE show! And the character development on Hannah Montana is patterned after S&TC?! What is this child doing watching that vulgar show?!
    You would’ve thought that the first photos of her & her friend eating the candy would’ve been a lesson learned. Instead, she’s showing her bra in pictures last week, and now this.
    What’s next for Miley & her 8-year old sister? I hope they’re not going to be the next Spears sisters!

  130. La says:

    I too was shocked about this….why would her parents even allow her to do this at such a young age? Pics of an under-age child with barely there clothing (if any at all) come on…..there should be flags going up here. You just don’t do that! I don’t know why they would even allow her to be in such a position at that age.

  131. The Roost says:

    I would tell my kids that All people will disappoint us if we put them on a pedestal. Even godly people in the bible are not perfect. We must look to Jesus and model our lives after him. Why would we ever think Hollywood would be good role models….I have made that same error myself!

  132. Janet says:

    I was sad to have to discuss this with my children also. But it did make a good topic for discussing the choices we make and what might happen because of them and so many other things. I will still continue to allow my daughter to watch her show. Like someone else said, this woman should be charged with child porn!

  133. Beth says:

    I don’t approve of the photos at all, however I don’t understand your being mad at Disney. My understanding is that the photos were shot by Anne Leibovitz for Vanity Fair. Hannah Montana in on Disney channel, but I didn’t think Disney was involved in the photo shoot…

  134. Cinde says:

    I just had to post about this today – having had a similar experience albeit not a public one!
    The post is titled “A Fine Line”.

  135. Happy Mommy says:

    Thats child porn! Plain and simple, which is illegal! It makes me sick! I have a little girl, and It wouldn’t matter if she was 15 or 51 I will never be okay with my daughter exploiting her body!

  136. Lori says:

    I think, we as parents need to realize that the world will never live up to our expectations for good moral characters. We will always be disappointed.
    I don’t think that it is wrong to try to find wholesome things on TV for our children to watch. I think, though, that we should always use “wrongs” or other things against our own Christian views as a chance to take our children to scripture.
    Miley doesn’t show as much as some teenagers will this summer at the pool.

  137. Jane @ What About Mom? says:

    One thing about the handwringing bothers me. While I can only imagine how hard it is to have to explain to young sons about topless photos, I think we might miss a great teaching moment as parents if we approach it as Shannon seems to, angry that there’ll have to be an “unpleasant conversation in our house tonight, about modesty and decision-making and growing up too fast.”
    The conversation could be pleasant, I think. When we’ve talked about modesty with Sally and Susan, it’s been in the context of that other great Disney invention, the Disney Princess. We talk about how we can like Ariel and Belle and Jasmine even if we don’t like what they choose to wear. We can love the person and be happy for their good choices while recognizing that they might make some bad choices or choices that aren’t right for us. It makes viewing a Disney movie a little bit more complicated, but the lesson of the complexity of people — loving them, being happy for their good choices while choosing not to imitate their bad choices, translates well into real life.

  138. E Jayjo says:

    I totally think it was wrong on everyone’s part. The publication shouldn’t have wanted it, the photographer shouldn’t have even thought it appropriate to ask, and the parents shouldn’t have allowed it to happen under any circumstance at her age. Although nothing is showing but her back, the whole pose is provocative and suggestive…sexual exploitation of a child. Very disappointed!

  139. jessica @pianomomsicle says:

    i agree with most of you, but i wanted to put in my two cents about noting blaming Miley. i remember being 15 and wanting to look “older”. i would have been ecstatic if my mom had let me wear middriff baring shirts and “short shorts” which was what all my friends were wearing. The thing was, my mom didn’t let me wear that stuff. i don’t think Miley’s parents should have allowed her to be shot like that, but i just can’t blame Miley when i remember what i was like at 15.

  140. Cheryl Walker says:

    I actually went and looked at the photo’s online, at least the ones that were available.
    I guess my thoughts were a little different. I saw a beautiful young woman, who was posed in a very classic and traditional pose, and who looked really quite lovely. I thought what I saw was a very lovely portrait of a girl very much on the verge of becoming a woman.
    From my point of view, she was wearing more clothing than lot’s of young girls I see. (Some of them in my church!). But then, I don’t find bare backs to be shameful or offensive.
    I didn’t find it particularly offensive, but was sad that she either a) felt ashamed of pictures that were taken. or b) was required to feel ashamed of pictures to keep her fan base happy.

  141. lomagirl says:

    Initially I wasn’t too shocked by this. I admire Annie Leibovitz. I love the human body. And, I didn’t have the whole story. But reading your take on things and hearing Miley apologize for something she did- the inappropriateness of it all becomes more obvious. I think when you go to a famous photographer overawed by her and the publication she represents, it’s easy to make a mistake. I want to be the kind of photographer who works with my subjects to make a portrait together- not take a picture of them.
    Shameless plug here- I just did a piece on letting women present themselves as they want to be presented- with the identity they want- rather than the one society demands of them. You can find it at
    http://www.refocusing.loma3.com
    The level of trust in these portrait sessions was awesome. I wasn’t asking them to do anything they weren’t comfortable with, and I think it shows. My hope is that more women will demand to be shown for who they want to be, and not the sexy girl demanded by the media and society.

  142. Julie says:

    No, I can’t imagine a parent allowingtheir 15 year old daughter to undress for a photo shoot, either. But as I recall, Billy Ray was more interested in being his daughter’s best friend than being her parent.
    This morning’s news says that Billy Ray left Miley at the shoot with her grandmother & assistant publicist, and that the topless photos were taken then. I don’t think I believe it.
    And while we’re on the subject, I found the photo of Miley with her dad a little disturbing too. It looked more like a pose for a romantic couple than a father & daughter.

  143. franticallysimple says:

    I think it’s sad. When her parents look at her, what do they see? Based on this shoot, I’m guessing “$$$”.
    No 15 year old should look like that. Ever.
    I’ll be using it as a good way to reinforce what I’ve already taught my daughter about modesty.

  144. Beth at I Should Be Folding Laundry says:

    I wanted to pretend like it wasn’t that big of a deal, but the fact is, I have a 5 year old daughter that adores her – IF she saw those pictures, she would think it was okay for a teenager to appear topless. And that is not okay with me, it’s a very big deal.
    Of all of the designers out there and beautiful clothing – she (they, whoever) could have chosen something beautiful instead of choosing nothing at all.
    I am disappointed.

  145. Madkatmom says:

    My first thought was, “Whew, my daughter’s only 4 and barely knows who Hannah Montana is, so no worries for us. No need for any discussions regarding this issue just yet…” But maybe I’m being naive…She does attend preschool and plays with older girls in our neighborhood, so she might hear about this (though not likely)…What should I do?

  146. Headless Mom says:

    This is why Headless Dad wants to move to a mountain top in Montana. The things we have to deal with as parents these days are outrageous. I feel alternately sad and angry in these situations– but mostly helpless because I don’t know what I can do that would make a difference. OOOh, one lost ticket sale out of millions? Nope, no one is feeling that. *sigh*

  147. Aprel Dobson says:

    We love Hannah Montana in our house. I would even have to say that I (mom) is the biggest fan of all. We will continue to watch Hannah Montana until the show is no longer consistent with our conservative values. My daughter (almost 2) and I love to dance and sing with Hannah. I am fortunate that my daughter is at an age where we won’t have to discuss this. But even if we were, I feel this woud be an opportunity for us to discuss how we love people even when they make mistakes. I would not condone the behavior by no means. I would explain that this is not appropriate for anyone in my opinion. However, we don’t throw people away as trash for one or some mistakes. We need to extend the grace that God extends to us to others. We have all fallen short.
    Aprel

  148. cowboyw02 says:

    The problem as I see it is not just that Miley is being exploited (which IS horrible) but now that pedophiles will use the “Hannah Montana” image to exploit their victims.
    ex.—“Hannah Montana did this– will you do this for me?”
    As Christians Miley’s parents should not only be looking out for her, but be thinking about what kind of message (ideas) this sends to EVERYONE (creeps included) After all aren’t we suppose to look out for our fellow Christians (and human beings) and not only with our words but with our actions?
    Just my 2 pennies.

  149. Robin in New Jersey says:

    Really disappointed in Annie and Miley’s dad. I saw the photos today. It would have been so much nicer if there had been a photo of her with both her parents. My three girls(8,10,12) do not know about it yet. They aren’t big fans, but we will talk about it soon.

  150. Charlotte says:

    Love your blog! Now.. I am reminded of scripture- can’t quote it- but are enemy is not flesh and blood but the principalities- Satan and his workers. Now, of course, the parents are responsible to shelter their child- but we are all fooled by Satan. I believe they will answer to God for this inappropriate parenting- particularly the father. But what really gets me- this is child pornography- Miley has been exploited. She will not even get the ramifications of this exploitation until she is a woman. My prayer for her is that she will be able to remain pure for her future husband in spite of this. I don’t understand how this is LEGAL! Thanks for bringing up such a dificult subject.

  151. Meg says:

    I feel sad for Miley. But mostly I feel sad about how judgemental and self-righteous all these comments are. We are ALL human. We ALL screw up. Continuously. Thank goodness most people don’t read about the mistakes we make.

  152. Michelle says:

    Annie Lebowitz should lose her job and her cred.
    It won’t happen. But it should. The photo the Times shows is not pornographic, per se, but it is provocative. (It doesn’t matter if it was “artistic.” That means nothing. And I’m an artist.)
    Lebowitz took provocative photos of a minor. There should be no tolerance for this. I don’t care what magazine she works for. It’s things like this that make me wonder, Has everyone gone completely insane? What goes through a person’s head that makes them think this is okay?

  153. Donna says:

    I read through some of the comments and what I haven’t seen (maybe I looked over it) is that —-yeah, she showed her back, but she always shows off her legs.
    Folks, legs are far more, uh-hmm, appealing to some men than a back…..and every ‘kid’ show, with real kids, that I have ever seen, have little girls running around in tiny skirts!
    Let me show you something, kindly, if you please:
    Isa 47:2 Take the millstones, and grind meal: uncover thy locks, make bare the leg, uncover the thigh, pass over the rivers.
    Isa 47:3 Thy nakedness shall be uncovered,
    Exposing the thigh is nakedness according to God’s Word.
    Blessings!

  154. harper says:

    I don’t think this should be all that surprising. After all, Disney also produced Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, and Justin Timberlake. Why are we now horrified yet again that they are sending yet another teen down the same path.

  155. Heidi says:

    She has her own *wing* of the house?!?!? I’m missing some details, but that sounds a lot like she never has to see her parents if she doesn’t want to. Not good.

  156. Jen says:

    Aside from the inappropriateness of the pose, the picture itself is terrible. I don’t get the “it’s beautiful” comments from the media. She looks like a strung out, dirty, anorexic druggie. Annie L. has a way of making most of her subjects look like that, and, of course, Hollywood sings her praises because most everyone in Hollywood is either anorexic or a druggie…or both! Makes perfect sense why they would all love it while the rest of us are reacting so strongly in the opposite way.

  157. Ronnica says:

    I had only heard about this on the radio and hadn’t thought it was that big of a deal. When I clicked over to see the picture I saw that it IS a big deal. That is not the type of picture that should be taken of any 15yo.
    From what I understand her parents or handlers were on the set the whole time. Which one of them should of spoken up and told the photographer it is NOT okay to photograph a teenager in a bedsheet?

  158. sing4joy says:

    We ALL make poor choices in our lives. Does it mean that God’s mercies are new every day. What I am praying for now is where it goes from here. I pray that Miley will learn from this to respect and cherish her virtue and be able to discern between what the world thinks is appropriate and what God says is appropriate, and that her parents will see the error and protect their child better in the future. This is how I will be approaching the subject with my tweens and teens, and for now I will still be allowing them to watch Hannah Montana.

  159. Katie says:

    I seem to have read a different article than everyone else. The one I read said that Miley’s parents left before this photo was taken, but that her grandmother was still on the set. Still, Grandma could have stopped it, I’m guessing.

  160. Jennifer (Et Tu?) says:

    I found this so disturbing and disgusting.
    I’m sorry I haven’t had a chance to read all the comments to see if anyone else has posted this yet, but if you haven’t already seen it you have to check out this fantastic article on the subject (found via Danielle Bean):
    http://forums.parenting.com/blogs/parenting-post/posts/gateway-porn?
    It’s a perfect articulation of all the scattered (and angry) thoughts that were swirling around in my head when I first heard about this.
    Thank you for posting about this!

  161. PaulaW says:

    I dont think this particular picture (or any photo shoot for Vanity Fair) was a wise decision. But I’m not gonna condemn Miley or Billy or Tish for what happened when all I know is what I’ve read on the internet (yes, I saw the pic). I’ve met them all, we have mutual friends, and I know them to be good and kind and morally upstanding people.
    Was this an error in judgement? Probably. Have they learned from it? Hopefully.
    I think considering her age and the amount of time she has been in ’show business’, we ought to be thanking our lucky stars (and her family) that she is still pretty much a 15 year old – albeit a famous one.
    There are plenty of young girls out there trying to be ‘role models’ that could have us trying to talk to our daughters about far more serious topics than this one.
    I dont think the picture is in ‘bad taste’ so much as it is ‘out of character’ for ‘Hannah Montana’. Miley on the other hand, is a young girl in a grown-up world and I for one am pretty dang proud of the way she’s handled it so far.
    Also, for those of you who are upset about your precious little ones (5-9 yrs old) watching this show … duh … this show is about TEENAGERS. No matter how “wholesome” and “appropriate” it is, it will still raise questions and situations your child is not ready for.

  162. scattered mom says:

    ‘And you can’t say no to Annie. She’s so cute. She gets this puppy dog look and you’re like, ‘O.K.’
    That quote from Miley creeped me out. If anything, anything at all, saying “NO” is exactly what I’d want my child to learn how to do, no matter WHO it is.

  163. sarah says:

    We’ve long said “no” to Hannah Montana. We have close friends that have said “yes” and we’ve agreed to disagree. (Until now … they have decided against viewing the show further.) Having never watched an episode, I cannot say much about Miley but I found that most “wholesome” entertainment television for kids does very little to feed their hearts and minds in a healthy way. I’m not saying that all modern television is bad, but consider how it will affect the meditations of your heart. Will it inspire a young child to glorify the Lord? The early years are fleeting. It may be tough to be accused of sheltering your children but my kids will see enough of the world as we seek to reach out to lost family and friends. We don’t need help from Hollywood!
    That said, I find it interesting that even a liberal, non-Christian resource has denounced Hannah Montana. Slate magazine recognized, in a recent article, that the Vanity Fair pictures aren’t nearly as bad as what actually goes on-screen for the Hannah Montana show. The “world” recognizes that Miley Cyrus is being used and that her show does nothing to promote a wholesome life or a worthy role model. Why did the Christian population somehow find it wholesome?
    By the way, I am not a regular Slate reader, nor do I judge anyone that lets their children watch Hannah Montana! I just know that it is not the right choice for us, regardless of what she posed for in Vanity Fair.

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