That Didn’t Take Long

ABC News reports Miley Cyrus, Disney’s most recent pre-pubescent cash cow, is officially “embarrassed” by photographs set to appear in an upcoming issue of Vanity Fair, in which the 15 year-old star of Disney’s hit TV show “Hannah Montana” appears clutching a satin sheet to her naked breast.

Framed in festive graphics with bubblegum hues of pink and purple, Miss Cyrus currently adorns the bedroom walls, backpacks, lunchboxes and projected star-fantasies of millions of young girls across the globe. She has headlined sellout concerts of 10,000-seat plus arenas for much of the past two years and sold several million records of saccharine flavored countrypoppyrock music.

But having the whole world in her hand is never enough and a girl’s got to grow, right?

Miss Cyrus now claims that her VF photo-shoot with acclaimed celebrity photographer Annie Liebovitz was “supposed to be artistic,” not “skanky,” and claimed, “you can’t say no to Annie.”

The reality is far more likely that her parents (she is the daughter of one-hit-wonder Billy Ray Cyrus) can’t say no to any opportunity to exploit their daughter or goose her earning potential in the wake of all the prurient publicity and wagging tongues sure to erupt from such a career move.

The question, or one of them, anyway, is whether Miss Cyrus will go the route of Brooke Shields, whose screen debut as a child prostitute in the 1978 movie Pretty Baby raised many an eyebrow, then followed not long after as a titillating shill for Calvin Klein jeans, proclaiming that “nothing” came between her and her “Calvins.”

Ms. Shields overcame her provocative early exposure and a relative lack of actual talent to become a generally well-regarded celebrity spokesperson, and has lately raised awareness of both post-partum depression and the Church of Scientology through her book on the former and her very public feud about it with Tom Cruise, celebrity point man for the latter.

Or will Miss Cyrus follow the tawdry path of Britney Spears, the former Disney Mouseketeer who enjoyed worldwide acclaim as a bouncy teen singer before morphing her way through high-energy dance vixen to platinum-selling Pop Star to Tabloid Victim to Mentally Suspect Court Conservatee.

The sad thing is that for all the positive role modeling Miss Cyrus may have created, giving millions of young girls the idea they, too, might achieve fame, fortune and school-age acclaim through writing, singing and performing their own music (as unlikely a route to success as that might in fact be), she’s now helped perpetuate the stereotypical expectation that success as a young woman inevitably involves disrobing in front of a camera.

Remembering all the while, of course, the difference between artistic and skanky.

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