comScore Miley Cyrus Controversy

Elle’s Creepy Miley Cyrus Photo Shoot

picture-92Had Law and Order’s Olivia Benson and Eliot Stabler picked up the August issue of Elle magazine, they would have known from the first paragraph of the Miley Cyrus feature that something wasn’t right:

“There are giant oatmeal cookies, thick, chewy brownies, and milk chocolate bonbons galore; sugar sweet cereals, buckets of Twizzlers, hot buttered popcorn, and more; strawberry shortcake with baseball-size berries and homemade whipped cream to explore…”

Seriously, a poem?

At first glance, this reads as innocent enough opening copy. But when placed in the context of the super hot vixen photo shoot of the 16 year-old star of Hannah Montana, it feels weird. Creepy even. On Special Victims Unit they call it the “lure.”

What follows is an article that promises to show a more mature Miley – one that has grown up from her days of glitter hair spray and flavored lip gloss.  But judging from the photos and the styling of an otherwise flawless fashion icon, Joe Zee, it seems that Ms. Miley has not only traded her Lip Smackers for a Chanel stick, but also a blockbuster career in film and music for getting roles in late night Cinemax programming. Oh yeah – she’s 16 years-old.

Elle may be striving to reach a younger audience by putting Miley on the cover. And the newsstand image is far more toned down that that used for the subscriber issue (a photo that some in the office described as “Miley’s first orgasm.”)  The article notes Cyrus’ requirement for a chaperone “…until she turns 18, she can’t do anything work related without an adult.” – I wonder which adult was there watching over Miley as she arched over backwards on the floor, hair a mess, stomach exposed.

One might recall last year’s Miley Cyrus scandal in which Annie Liebowitz shot her topless from behind for Vanity Fair. A controversy erupted and VF got loads of attention (and an increased newsstand sales.) There is a big difference here, however. The VF shoot was almost entirely wholesome (depending on how you feel about that picture of Cyrus and her father) and both Cyrus and Liebowitz apologized that the controversial pic was “misinterpreted.” There can be no misinterpretation of the Elle shoot. It’s meant to be sexy, in an S & M sort of way.

The leather and lace-clad Cyrus did not have a “grown up makeover” as the intro anticipates.  We don’t see Cyrus wearing a chic Chanel suit or classy Zac Posen cocktail dress.  She is not playing with her age, but dismissing it.  Makeover – not so much.

And Elle, there is NOTHING “chic” about a 16-year old in “leathers and studs.”

For more cogent analysis on the Miley Elle shoot check out the ShePop blog at EW.com.

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