Media Furor over Teen Nude

The much debated Miley Cyrus Portrait by Annie Leibovitz

I don’t want to come across as a prude but surely creating this pedophile fantasy of a Disney star crosses the line.

We’ve had our Olympic swimmers pose nude in Black and White magazine, and the Matildas soccer team strip for a calendar that the word “tacky” barely describes.

And there’s a whole chorus line of young, beautiful actors ready to bare their breasts for a part in a TV show or movie.

These young women can talk all they like about how empowering it is, how it’s all “in context” and not “gratuitous”, but I doubt they’re even fooling themselves.

The reason women are asked to take their clothes off for the camera is as simple as sex – it’s because men like to look at naked women, and exposed breasts and bums will sell magazines, calendars and movies.

[From ‘Art’ crosses line | Herald Sun]

This article has made me so angry I could spit. The narrow mindedness and lack of understanding of art, particularly nude art is off the deep end. now, I am not necessarily condoning nude pictures of 15 year olds, however I maintain that it is wrong to imply that it isn’t art, and that it is purely sexual. I see in this piece a sense of mourning for the innocence of that age and the fact that it is completely gone in the child stars especially. look beyond the surface dammit!, this isn’t a sexy piece – it’s saying stop looking at me like a sex object! she is using the sheet as a shield. Everyone is acting like this is something new and some great taboo has been broken- underage models in art are nothing new, classically they were commonly used. even in contemporary Australian art there are examples in Brett Whiteley’s painting of his 14 year old daughter in the shower, Bill Henson’s beautiful nudes, all exploring innocence. because nudity can also be an expression of purity and of innocence.

I have had the misfortune to see hannah montana on a couple of occasions. I’m sure it’s very popular amongst the kids, I don’t get it personally, but have you seen what she wears? her clothing on stage is tasteless and crass, bold, splashy and certainly very sexualized. her clothing line is as well. her show encourage little girls to rely on looks, clothing and that they just aren’t anyone if they aren’t slim and in a short skirt. how is this better? why not get upset at the fact that little girls are dressing like hookers instead? I find that much more disturbing. when will people learn that clothing influences us and our peers much more than what’s underneath? (and I refer to what’s beneath the skin as well there). and that is not the way it should be.

The portrait under fire is by renowned artist Annie Leibovitz, taken for vanity fair of Miley Cyrus, Disney’s Hannah Montana. Her parents were present. her grandmother was present. They would have all seen and approved the proofs before it became public. I think the whole thing is a bit of a publicity stunt but I am appalled at the attitude of Sally Morrell and other reporters who don’t seem to have actually looked at the pic (or any art for that matter). I am deeply offended at the heavily implied notion that all nude photographs are sexual, that the only reason to pose is to titillate and arouse. I am also offended at the very heterogenic attitude in this article but that is another battle for another day.

3 thoughts on “Media Furor over Teen Nude

  1. Oh boy. This is a tough one. Been pondering this since you first posted it. Damn. I could easily envision this on some kiddie porn site, a self-satisfied Lolita sort of thing. Can also see it as you describe, a loss of innocence and ‘Why are you looking at me that way?’.

    Is it art or exploitation? Jennie, you quite rightly fiercly defend artistic freedom, and I applaud you for that. I’m just not sure about this one. Damn again. It sounds like I’m disagreeing with you, which I don’t.

    Maybe it’s the public response that’s so unreasonable and unthinking. Shallow.

    I really want to say something about this but I don’t quite understand what it is I want to say. Is confusion about that which the artist means to portray as much a part of art as understanding what the artist is trying to say?

    If that’s the case, then this sure the hell is art! I’m thoroughly confused.

  2. I think sadly it is the public response in all of this. the way others see works often influences how we see it. I think everyone needs to make their own opinions, rather than just trusting to others. the thing that gets me is people who decide, just because they don’t like a piece, that it isn’t art. I agree people can be so shallow.

  3. Pingback: Rudd thinks Children should be neither seen nor heard | Jennie's Palette

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