Monday, April 28, 2008

Vanity, vanity, all is vanity

The air is thick with the cloying smell of exploding humbug around the pictures of Miley Cyrus in "Vanity Fair". A bunch of powerful adults put weeks of work into taking suggestive pictures of a pretty 15-year old girl and putting them into the most prestigious magazine on the planet and then feign puzzlement and injured innocence over the fact that pressure from the public to gawp at them crashed the Conde Nast server. Everybody retreats mouthing apologies and protesting that they never dreamed they would be interpreted that way.

But really. Is there anybody involved who isn't thrilled with the outcome?
Not Miley Cyrus who has just raised the price she can ask for her first grown-up film.
Not her dad Billy Ray, a washed-up one hit wonder who suddenly finds his calls are getting answered again.
Certainly not Vanity Fair, its editors or Annie Leibowitz, who took the pictures.
And definitely not the Disney Corporation who have handled enough child stars to know that they are all corrupted sooner or later.
Move over, Lindsay Lohan. Here's some new skin for the old ceremony.


  1. In a toy store the other day I saw a Hannah Montana board game called "Madness At The Mall" and the blurb on the back said something like: "Who cam load up with the most bling-bling and spend the most ka-ching without maxing out the credit card"

    On the front it said "For Ages 9+"

  2. Anonymous8:49 am

    And not the mid-market tabloids, who, as usual, printed stories about how shocking and disgusting the pictures are, accompanied by the pictures so that their readers can be shocked and disugusted at a time and place of their own choosing.

  3. Anonymous9:08 am

    How can you call Billy Ray Cyrus washed up?
    He was in Mulholland Drive!

  4. How about this drooling description of the photograph (which appeared at the top of piece and thus didn't actually need describing) from today's Guardian: "Leibovitz has her draped in a satin sheet, most of her back exposed, in a pose that gives the impression she is topless. The actor looks straight at the camera over her bare right shoulder, her hair across her face."

    I see that certain among moral guardians on the right in America are calling for Hannah Montana merchandising to be burned. That's not very good for the environment, is it?

  5. She looked all goosepimply in that picture. She ought to have been wearing a vest, that studio looks right parky.

  6. Not really up on this only recently worked out she was a she!

  7. Anonymous4:52 pm

    I hate the hypocrisy of it all. You are right on the button. And anyone who can't see the exploitation angle is an arse. IMHO.

    What is the foxy looking teen naked under a sheet supposed to be doing exactly?

    Her PR have been pushing her into the Paris Hilton thing for a few months now. (If you read that kind of rubbish, which I confess I do when its around).

    The Bullshit Barometer must be about to explode.

  8. This entirely artificial 'furore' only serves to strengthen my belief that virtually all celebrity snappers are well-publicized no-talents who have no discernible skill beyond persuading people to take their tops off

    I mean - I can work a camera, my 5 year old daughter can work a camera, you can work a camera: As long as we fire off enough exposures we're bound to take one usable shot and if the subject is a reasonably prepossessing young women with her kit off the strike rate is only going to go up