Rod Dreher

Rod Dreher


Shocked, shocked: Miley Cyrus skankifies self

posted by Rod Dreher

Well, this was as inevitable as it is depressing:Smart, somewhat cynical analysis in the Atlantic. Excerpt:

2. Weird is the new sexy. And ugly is the new pretty. Dancing around, flipping your hair, and smiling at the camera flirtatiously is so 2003. Dancing, flipping your hair, and jerking your head around like you’re possessed by a demon, however, is so hot right now. Throw in some pseudo-lesbian scenes and almost make out with a girl, and you’re well on your way to “showing them.”

What is wrong with that poor girl’s parents?UPDATE: And, it should be mentioned, nothing is as inevitable as a Rod Dreher post tsk-tsking over a trashy Disney teen pot-tartlet video. It’s good to know that in a world of ceaseless change, some things stay the same.



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Richard

posted May 7, 2010 at 9:30 am


At the risk of being overly cynical myself, I can’t help but think her parents have ceased thinking of Miley as a ‘daughter’ and now think of her more as a ‘brand’. And when you’re managing a brand, you focus on what sells.
I wonder even more where all this will end: what will she be doing four years from now to make headlines?



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Youngfogey

posted May 7, 2010 at 9:31 am


Nothing is wrong with this girl’s parents. At least not from within the worldview of liberalism. This video simply represents the next step on the trajectory of what liberalism understands to be a spectacularly successful and, indeed, good life.
In short, I suppose the answer to the question of what is wrong with this girl’s parents is that they are liberals. Nothing more.



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John E - Agn Stoic

posted May 7, 2010 at 9:45 am


At the risk of being overly cynical myself, I can’t help but think her parents have ceased thinking of Miley as a ‘daughter’ and now think of her more as a ‘brand’. And when you’re managing a brand, you focus on what sells.
Your analysis is not cynical, rather it is a clear eyed view of the reality of the situation. Miley Cyrus comes from a family that works in the entertainment industry. She is simply following one of the well-worn career paths for a young woman who wants to make it big in show business.



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Rod Dreher

posted May 7, 2010 at 9:46 am


Are you sure that Billy Ray Cyrus identifies as a liberal? Really? Anyway, if you think that only liberals are stage parents from hell, you should observe Southern child beauty pageant culture. You’d be hard-pressed to find a liberal or a Democrat among that crowd. Seeing this phenomenon through a political lens is pointless. I have a very liberal friend who, for feminist reasons, would condemn this just as strongly as I.



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Peter Clark

posted May 7, 2010 at 9:50 am


What’s more interesting to me than the rebooting of these kinds of celebrity brands in terms of the “bad girl” ideal is their initial or preliminary “booting” in terms of the “good girl” ideal.
It’s almost as if a kind of Potemkin Village of good-girl “virtue” must first be built so that the staging of bad-girl “vice” will not appear as the absurd bombing of rubble — the absurd bombing of rubble already bombed long ago to *dust* — that it actually is.
One wonders why liberal culture doesn’t simply cut to the chase, and offer live pay-per-view streaming video of the 12-year-old Mileys of the world, at the first blush of puberty, having x-treme, hard-core sex with, say, the 50-Cents of the world.
And then maybe the subsequent abortions could also be streamed pay-per-view.
Just a thought …



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Mac S.

posted May 7, 2010 at 9:54 am


Ironically (or perhaps not) Billy Ray Cyrus is an active Republican. He openly supported the McCain/Palin ticket. He also performed at Sean Hannity’s (a conservative, a Catholic & a Republican) “Freedom Concerts.” His defense of Miss Miley’s much racier image over the past year or two has surprised me.
I think it is more along the line of values/labels matter little when the brand sells, sells, sells. But please blame “liberals” – its easier.



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John E - Agn Stoic

posted May 7, 2010 at 9:55 am


What a vivid imagination you have, Mr. Clark…



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Peter Clark

posted May 7, 2010 at 9:59 am


Rod,
Stop hyperventilating, man. Don’t get the vapors so darn quick. As your old blog used to acknowledge all the time, the word “liberalism” has connotations broader than the Democratic party. There’s no particular incompatibility — in fact there’s a very deep compatibility, a very deep affinity, nay evan an *identity* — between classical liberal economic laissez-faire and the moral laissez-faire of the contemporary cultural left. Maybe that’s what YoungFogey was getting at. That’s certainly what I was getting at above, when I referred to the “liberal culture” of which young Miley is a typical product, a typical celebrity brand. If your old movement-conservative or Republican or Roman Catholic friends deserve to be slapped on the wrist — as they are by you again and again — for their complicity in the very cultural conditions about which they complain, then should your new movement-liberal or Democratic or Secular-Progressive friends also get just as many slaps on the wrist? Or does “non-partisanship” require that your new friends receive a free pass every single solitary time? Just wondering …



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Peter Clark

posted May 7, 2010 at 10:04 am


John E.,
It doesn’t take much imagination — vivid or not — to follow the implication of a cultural trend through to the end of its trajectory.
It maybe takes a “constant struggle,” in the sense that George Orwell said it takes “a constant struggle” to see “what’s in front of one’s nose.”



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John E - Agn Stoic

posted May 7, 2010 at 10:13 am


It doesn’t take much imagination — vivid or not — to follow the implication of a cultural trend through to the end of its trajectory.
One of the things I’ve noticed in these past forty years or so is that the social pendulum generally swings back and forth.



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Arni Zachariassen

posted May 7, 2010 at 10:15 am


Well, I’ve now decided: My daughter is listening to indie rock only.



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Heather

posted May 7, 2010 at 10:15 am


Peter, I don’t think your expanded definitions of liberalism is what the previous posters had in mind. So you chill.
As a feminist minded progressive, I’m disgusted by this video. I remarked on a facebook posting yesterday that if Miley were my child I would hurt her. But that was too harsh. Its her parents that should be hurt.
I honestly don’t believe that some of these teens really fully understand the sexual persona their handlers are developing for them (of course, they figure it out pretty quickly). But in the beginning, I think these girls really do see it as just an expression of their independence and wanting to show they’re no longer a child, which is developmentally normal. But instead of the adults in their lives helping them to find a healthy path for transitioning from child to adult, they instead lead these girls onto a path of degredation. So sad.



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Rod Dreher

posted May 7, 2010 at 10:19 am


Peter Clark, you have gotten on my last nerve. What I’m trying to do here is to keep the conversation from quickly degenerating into a dull, pointless left-vs-right slapfest. Young Fogey coming by and blaming “liberalism” without any further elaboration is exactly the kind of remark that could derail this thread before it even gets started. Besides, even though I’m a cultural conservative, what’s going on here is not something that can be explained through the standard use of the terms “liberal” and “conservative” — labels that in this case obscure rather than clarify. As Heather has said on this thread, she is a liberal and she finds this Miley Cyrus thing appalling.
You plainly have a deep need to engage in old-fashioned culture-war fighting, and a related urge to insist that I’m some kind of sellout or fraud because I don’t like the way you try to turn nearly every thread on which you participate into trench warfare (a quality that some liberals who comment here do as well). I try to be as tolerant of this stuff as I can, but I’ve had it with being personally insulted by you, and invite you to leave this blog. It is plainly not the place for you. In fact, I would not be surprised to learn that you are Crustacean in a new guise.



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Scott Lahti

posted May 7, 2010 at 10:23 am


nothing is as inevitable as a Rod Dreher post tsk-tsking over a trashy Disney teen pot-tartlet video.
A classic case of spoiling the Rod in Spearing the child-pimps.
It’s good to know that in a world of ceaseless change, some things stay the same
[bites down on cheroot]Yahhhss – they’ve got your “conservatism” right there, after all, shee?
And to think – Great Jebus’s ghost – no sooner does Miley turn “legal” this fall than two days later, it’s literally Thanksgiving, the latter redundant by that point, no doubt, amid the expected ocean of Animal House “Thank you, G-ds” rippling in concentric heat waves from Nashville to Nashua.



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Hector

posted May 7, 2010 at 10:25 am


I really hope that this post gets deluged by 200 outraged teenage illiterates, as happened the last time Rod raised some mild criticism of Miss Cyrus’ latest video. That was freakin’ hilarious.
And yes, what her parents are doing to this poor girl is contemptible.



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Sid

posted May 7, 2010 at 10:38 am


This has little to do with Miley Cyrus and more to do with our collective love/hate relationship with sexual marketing. Had Cyrus not been a child star, we would have little reaction to this–it’s the package we expect from pretty young stars. What Cyrus makes us confront is the fact that we’ve been teased with this Lolita-esque package for years. (I am cynical enough about these “kids” shows to say that the marketers are going for the “dad who like to look at pretty teenager audience.) Yet, we are stunned when the “big reveal” finally takes place. Miley Cyrus has been a sexual marketing tool for years, it’s just legal now to admit it.



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Michael C

posted May 7, 2010 at 10:45 am


The last great American Musical was made in 1958, It was called “Gigi”, I remember it well…..:-).
The premise is that in turn of the century Paris, I young girl is being schooled in her future role as a courtesan.
One of the memorable songs is sung by Maurice Chevalier. It is called “Thank Heaven for Little Girls”
The more things change, the more they stay the same.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xSGM3ZTP2nw&feature



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CatherineNY

posted May 7, 2010 at 10:56 am


There is nothing political about this. The careers of Miss Cyrus and other teen idols are all about dollars — nothing else. The big entertainment companies groom young people like Cyrus and Lindsay Lohan in such a way as to draw their young fans along with them as they grow older and begin to make the transition from relatively wholesome music and films to the kind of “adult” entertainment we see in this video (by the way, Cyrus is only 17 years old). My daughter is only seven, and most of her friends are already watching Hannah Montana and High School Musical. I won’t let her watch them, nor will I buy the merchandise, because I believe I would be putting her on a slippery slope. I have very conservative, religious friends who let their young children watch things that stand my hair on end. I attended a rehearsal for my daughter’s dance school’s annual recital earlier this week, and was appalled at the very sexual music and dancing that the youngest hip hop class was doing. Thank goodness my little one only wants to do ballet. I think that the culture is now so toxic that even parents who should know better don’t realize that they are allowing their children to be corrupted.



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Franklin Evans

posted May 7, 2010 at 10:58 am


Anyone who has raised a child from birth to 18 has seen the transition from child to adult. There is no point in time for it, no age, no measurement. It builds slowly over time, subtly, and while the moment of realization is usually (and falsely) pointed to, any parent using honest hindsight will see that it was coming.
If you really want an iconic example of how such things can transpire, take a close look at the career of Jodie Foster. The test is that if you look at any phase of it in isolation, you will get a completely false impression of her work.



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Maria

posted May 7, 2010 at 11:05 am


It’s another marker in the relentless pornification of our culture.
We were watching Results Night on American Idol with our older kids the other night. The talent is wonderful. And then along comes Lady Gaga singing whatever stupid lyrics LAdy Gaga sings. Worse was her gyrations and costumes. I left the room and made our 15 year old son leave with me. Unfortunately our adult daughter and my husband sat passively in front of the screen. Sad. It’s everywhere (the porn) but too many souls are happy to sit in the pot and boil away. Even the ones who should know better.



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David J. White

posted May 7, 2010 at 11:06 am


And when you’re managing a brand, you focus on what sells.
And yes, what her parents are doing to this poor girl is contemptible.
After Jessica Biel’s parents signed a waiver for her to appear topless (more or less) in Gear magazine at the age of 17, nothing like that surprises me anymore.



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kenneth

posted May 7, 2010 at 11:06 am


I don’t know that it’s worth getting upset about. She’s doing nothing more than playing the game to the hilt by the rules our society sets. If you take on some sort of socially important work in our society, like teaching, you might make $50,000 after a number of years, if you’re hardworking and lucky. Or you can do what Cyrus is doing and make several decimal places more than that. What her parents have taught her is the depressing truth that most of us are idiots in this society and that there’s a surefire way to harvest our money.
Entertainers are always re-inventing themselves. You can’t trade on the clean-cut 15 year old girl thing forever. Many of these reinventions are extremely …unfortunate, but if she’s got any real talent, she’ll grow out of it and produce a lifetime of good stuff. If not, her remains will turn up at some ex-child star’s crash pad and some shady script doc will be in conference with his attorneys. It’s sad, but it’s the cycle of life in that industry.



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pagansister

posted May 7, 2010 at 11:09 am


It is called making money…she is “hot” right now, and has outgrown the little girl image…that inage can only last so long. She (and Daddy) are going to use whatever they can to keep her in the spotlight…because…fame (and the money it generates) doesn’t last forever. Where will she be in 20 years? Few make it for a lifetime in that business. Actually, who are we to judge? It’s her life…she may or may not regret this some day. Cher hasn’t done badly, and some thought she was “outrageous” at one time. Others who have done simular videos have done fine. No one forces anyont to watch Miley or any other “star”. Don’t like it, don’t watch it.



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Heather

posted May 7, 2010 at 11:43 am


Peter…still, its safe to assume oldfogey was using the more common meaning of the word “liberal”….but thats not the point of this blog anyway.
And yes its true MichealC that older men leering at girls right on the cusp is as old as the species (thats what Brittany’s catholic school girl video was stoking)
The problem with Miley’s new video and other similar videos, is that the adults involved are injecting minor aged girls into these “adult fantasy themed” videos (even if they’re ostensibly for teens). The girls may think its all about showing their independence and freedom without realizing the jokes on them…they’re being used, degraded, and reduced to a sex object, instead of elevated into something healthy and whole that will serve them well into adulthood.



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Max Schadenfreude

posted May 7, 2010 at 11:47 am


The last word on skankification from O.N.N. (some bad language):
http://www.theonion.com/video/in-the-know-are-reality-shows-setting-unrealistic,14308/



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Dan86401

posted May 7, 2010 at 11:54 am


I think that this is what is wrong with our youth today when parents think that it is ok for their daughter to dress and act like a prostitute and dont see anything wrog with this,just goes to show you how far are society has degenerated. And what is even worse is having her seen as a role model to young girls. It is very troubling to me.



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Richard

posted May 7, 2010 at 11:59 am


pagansister, I do not think anyone here on this blog disputes that Miley Cyrus (and Company – I mean family) has every right to do whatever she wants.
By the same token, I have every right to judge her choices as ill-conceived and poorly made. I have every right to judge her ‘performances’ and her family seemingly pimping her out for cash as not just despicable but dehumanizing.
People used to wonder where Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan would be in ten or twenty years – it didn’t take but two or three before they were relegated to tragic footnote status on entertainment blogs. It matters to us because as immortal souls, they are important. Seeing young people head down the road to Gomorrah – blithely – makes us queasy.



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Max Schadenfreude

posted May 7, 2010 at 12:05 pm


Quite aside from all of the observations of the sexualized cult of youth celebrity, the music, dancing, and general production design of the video is hackneyed and banal. IOW, epic fail.



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Brett R.

posted May 7, 2010 at 1:01 pm


Max, I think you’ve hit the nail right on the head here. I was expecting to be shocked and horrified and, while I agree it is inappropriate for a young girl like her to make such a video, I was also pretty bored by it. I think she’s trying to compete with Lady Gaga but, as appalling as some of the things in her videos can be, they’re d**ned riveting performances. This is a snoozer.



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John E - Agn Stoic

posted May 7, 2010 at 1:11 pm


After Max and Brett’s comments, I watched the video.
All that fuss over something so lame and un-erotic?



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parentoo

posted May 7, 2010 at 1:29 pm


I would just like to add to the mix this thought… Billy Ray and his wife may not support this at all. What do you say to a millionairess at 17 who has decided to go out there and “not be tamed!” I hear a message in the lyrics to her young fans and more to her parents. She obviously has forgotten her roots and thinks there is “more” out there she hasn’t experienced. It is very normal sadly, since the “prodigal son” in the Bible. I have heard her mom read her the stories of Brittany and LIndsay and remind her to stay grounded in the things that matter and are eternal… faith and family. When Miley is over-marketed everywhere it becomes hard to remain the voice of truth in your child’s life. That is the mistake they may have made, sadly with such far reaching consequences. I am with Peter in sadness at this moment. But, I would take it a step further and say those that are Christ follower’s should be praying hard for this young lady and her folks. “I have loved you with and everlasting love”



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MH

posted May 7, 2010 at 3:24 pm


Typical lame music video.
However, reCaptcha is “flaunts it” so I’m really wondering what kind of AI is creating these things.



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Abelard Lindsey

posted May 7, 2010 at 4:26 pm


Here’s one for you, Rod.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2dc6u92boyw&feature=player_embedded
I admit they are pretty good at dancing. But is this really what we want to push our littler girls into?
BTW, I got this from Roissy’s website.



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Scott Lahti

posted May 7, 2010 at 6:53 pm


Re YouTube @ 4:26:
Can those li’l girls dance, or what? Set your calendars for 2020 – or is that 2025 (and no fair before then, bait-crashers!)
Roissy has some interesting thoughts:
“When you are saturated in a femicentric culture that places no obligation on women, removes all slut shaming, and releases them from dependence on men’s resources, then the natural result is a race to the base that exalts women’s good-to-go sexuality far above all other values, as that is the last standing value that has any currency left in a wide open, marriage-averse mating market. And what better way to make sure your little angel knows the right moves to get more attention from the boys than the other whorelets than by decking her out in bra and panties onstage and teaching her the fine art of suctioning her privates to the floor. I bet single moms are more prone to doing this sort of experimentation with their bastard spawn.
“…Where have all the good men gone?, cry women.
“Ladies, you get the men you deserve.
“The time has come to institute a parenting test for all would-be mothers. If you fail the test, you get sterilized, or your child gets sent to an orphanage at birth. At the very least, we should be removing any and all welfare statist safety nets from the bottom of burgeoning wombs.”



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DW

posted May 7, 2010 at 8:57 pm


‘parentoo’ is missing somthing on this from two years ago.
From Rod’s ‘old blog’ Crunchy Con. Titled ‘Achy breaky weirdo’
This brief comment says a lot:
It’s creepy to see her father, Billy Ray Cyrus, posing like this with his daughter.
One of the shots is rather risque (and mind you, she was 15 at the time).
Click on the link above, see it for yourself.
Then ask yourself ”would I sign the model release for that pic of MY daughter?”
Note that if a model is a minor at least one parent has to sign on the child’s behalf.
So Billy (and maybe Mom too) did the OK this. Would you?



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Indy

posted May 7, 2010 at 9:05 pm


Rod, you definitely are braver than most dudes. Lots and lots.



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Indy

posted May 7, 2010 at 9:31 pm


Rod, I enjoy reading your blog, although I don’t always agree with you, because you show that’s it’s ok for a dude to think things through and to grapple with tough issues. Dudeness so often requires hiding in public, I mean really hiding, because the conditioning is so strong, one often one doesn’t even realize that’s what’s going on. Look at a lot of message boards and you see that. Everybody’s stuck in high school, man. You don’t do that. And for the most part your blog draws people who don’t do that, although there is the occasional poster who really, really falters. (Man, it really stands out here, in other comboxes, it would be “join the crowd.”) How’d you learn to move beyond the constraint in public speaking that sometimes cripple dudes? Are there models in your life for manliness of public expression – working through issues instead of pretending you know everything and are better than every other man or woman because you’re stuck at level 3 — that you can point to? Not a political question, just a blogging question. Sully is the only other person I read who matches that level. Some of your posters come close, others don’t. But mostly it’s a good blog to read coz it reassures the reader, it’s ok to think through complicated stuff and even not to have the answers. It’s liberating to see someone show that you don’t have to be Mr. Know It All, “Look at Me, I’m Better Than Them,” (however them is defined), performing on the big stage of dudedom all the damn time.



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Indy

posted May 8, 2010 at 12:22 am


Ok, having praised you for “don’t be afraid, man,” I’m going to give this a try. I don’t know much about Miley. I saw her tv show a couple of times when I was home with the flu and aimlessly channel grazing. Stopped for a few minutes, took a look because I recognized her from seeing her picture in newspapers and on the web. Not the target audience, didn’t see anything very special in it. Lots of kid type putdown humor, easy yuks, whatever. Appeal? I don’t know. I’ve never quizzed the little girls who were the target audience, so no data.
But your line about predictability in your response caught my eye. The kid movies I remember from my childhood were, in retrospect, pretty formulaic. Escapist entertainment, not intended to teach you how to cope with the angst of being a kid in any particular way. Watch ‘em, enjoy some parts, depending on the movie, but overall forget ‘em, mostly, once you grow up. At least I have. How did they seem to the young performers who played in them? The same way? Did they view the experience of making films as way to make money? A path to fame, for what, ultimately? Did they buy into the mystique or realize how detached from reality the whole making a movie or tv show thing was? The formulaic scripts, the manipulated images. I don’t know.
What’s it do to a kid, anyway, to go out there and pretend to be something you’re not? Beyond the ordinary struggles with the mask of conformity, wanting to fit in with the group, that lots of kids try on. On top of that stuff which we all struggle with as kids, you’ve got the playing a character and living up to a crafted image thing going on. You know people see you one way and you might have all kinds of stuff going on that makes you want to scream, “there’s a real me here, somewhere. Does anybody care?” And then there’s the fact that the entertainment world isn’t always a healthy environment. Remember the Corey dude who died recently? The stories of abuse when he was a kid, how he later said there wasn’t anyone to protect him from it, or something like that?
Who’s there helping these kids work through the stuff? Can they do it and still carry out their assigned roles as breadwinners, kid idols, whatever? The whole entertainment thing forces various degrees of artificiality on you, kid or adult. Even some of the adults fall apart. Maybe it’s a wonder any of the kids make it through it.



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Jon

posted May 8, 2010 at 7:46 am


Re: His defense of Miss Miley’s much racier image over the past year or two has surprised me.
Um, it makes money. What do you think conservatism is all about these days? And the “liberalism” in this stuation is the real old-fashioned 19th century liberalism of free markets uber alles.



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Franklin Evans

posted May 8, 2010 at 11:11 am


Scott, thanks for bringing this to the light of day.
Roissy: When you are saturated in a femicentric culture that places no obligation on women, removes all slut shaming, and releases them from dependence on men’s resources, then the natural result is a race to the base that exalts women’s good-to-go sexuality far above all other values, as that is the last standing value that has any currency left in a wide open, marriage-averse mating market. And what better way to make sure your little angel knows the right moves to get more attention from the boys than the other whorelets than by decking her out in bra and panties onstage and teaching her the fine art of suctioning her privates to the floor. I bet single moms are more prone to doing this sort of experimentation with their bastard spawn.
Roissy gets it right, except for one teeny, tiny missing piece of the total context: The part I bolded is precisely how women have been seen in the patriarchal culture that has dominated until (historically) recently. A girls value is defined by maintaining an angelic veneer while being prepared to be a slut in private for the man her father chooses for her.
In short, feminism has failed completely in its primary goal: Getting men to see them as sexual equals instead of being afraid* of their sexuality.
For those who think I sound like our Sigaliris, that’s because the principle involved is accurate and insidious.
* Women reading this should know that some few, rare men would like to see them as they are, not as the fashion and cosmetics industries tell them to seem. It is that fear that drives the feminine stereotype being imposed upon you by those industries, and the test is simple: When was the last time you bought an article of clothing because you liked it, not because you expected it to be liked by those who will see you wearing it? My guess, my bet, is that you either bought it at a discount outlet or it was a knock-off brand and not some mainstream, high-end fashion label. I get that you are under pressures I cannot imagine, I get that you find yourselves forced to compromise, but what I don’t get is that you surrender to them even while decrying the sexual objectification you suffer.



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Youngfogey

posted May 8, 2010 at 12:21 pm


For the record, I did indeed mean “liberal” in the largest, most philosophical sense of the term. Who cares if Billy Ray votes Democrat?
Whether he does or not he and his family have still clearly accepted the tenets of liberalism and based their daughter’s career upon them.



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Brett R.

posted May 8, 2010 at 1:21 pm


*Yawn* How utterly banal, youngfogey. But thanks for playing.



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Michael C

posted May 8, 2010 at 2:49 pm


Rod
I believe a post of mine disappeared into the ether on this thread



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Broken Yogi

posted May 8, 2010 at 3:03 pm


I find these responses rather odd. I’m no fan of Miley Cyrus, but she actually seems like a pretty grounded and intelligent young woman who knows what she’s doing, and isn’t being manipulated. She’s merely got a healthy rebellious streak and the usual teenage fascination with her own sexuality. Why moralistic Christians feel the need to condemn ordinary healthy interest in sex among teenagers is rather strange to me. Fame and celebrity can certainly take their toll, and there’s examples of those who fall into the narcissism trap and abuse drugs and alcohol, but I don’t see why we ought to assume that any girl who dresses up and dances in a sexy manner is doomed to a life of misery and depraved exploitation. Seventeen year olds may not be adults yet, but they are sexual beings already, and one can’t expect them not to be. Miley seems to understand quite well what she’s doing, and she seems to be doing it because she enjoys it, and is pretty good at it, and doesn’t see it as doing anyone any harm. The video is pretty mild as far as such things go. People here are hugely overreacting and displaying their own sexual fears and simply indulging in one of the worst aspects of Christian moralism – titillated condemnation. As for Miley’s parents, I think they’ve done a pretty good job of raising her in the family business and letting her be herself. It’s just that she happens to be a very sexual character and that offends some people who don’t know how to deal with sexuality except by control and repression. That hasn’t worked for the modern world, if it ever did, and it’s been basically rejected for a lot of good reasons. I don’t see any reason to condemn this healthy young woman’s sexual persona, except sheer resentment and fear.



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posted 10:00:56pm Jul. 21, 2010 | read full post »

Why I became Orthodox
Wrapping up my four Beliefnet years, I was thinking about the posts that attracted the most attention and comment in that time. Without a doubt the most popular (in terms of attracting attention, not all of it admiring, to be sure) was the October 12, 2006, entry in which I revealed and explained wh

posted 9:46:58pm Jul. 21, 2010 | read full post »

Modern Calvinists
Wow, they don't make Presbyterians like they used to!

posted 8:47:01pm Jul. 21, 2010 | read full post »

'Rape by deception'? Huh?
The BBC this morning reported on a bizarre case in Israel of an Arab man convicted of "rape by deception," because he'd led the Jewish woman with whom he'd had consensual sex to believe he was Jewish. Ha'aretz has the story here. Plainly it's a racist verdict, and a bizarre one -- but there's more t

posted 7:51:28pm Jul. 21, 2010 | read full post »




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