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Published:April 28th, 2008 07:21 EST
Miley Cyrus Poses Topless?! (No, Not Really)

Miley Cyrus Poses Topless?! (No, Not Really)

By Sean Stubblefield


15 year old celebrity Miley Cyrus, aka-Hannah Montana, has recently done a photo shoot for Vanity Fair magazine that apparently has many people outraged by an allegedly topless " photo. What is truly outrageous is that anyone would be offended by the beautifully artistic image in question. I`ve seen the pic, and it is very tastefully--and chastefully-- composed. And totally not topless. Not even close!

Well, not in the usual sense being indicated by the over-reactionary uproar.

Her expression is not in any way sexually seductive or perverted.

Indeed, it is actually quite modest-- both Miley`s demeanor in the photo, and in how much skin is exposed.

Her chest and abdomen are completely covered by a sheet, revealing not even a hint of her breasts, nor so much as a belly button. Although there is a mild Geisha " impression suggested in the coloring, there is nothing overtly or gratuitously sexual about the disputed photo. This is no more risqué than if she were wearing a beach towel.

It is an ironic paradox that America has a culture so preoccupied by sex, and yet is so puritanical, provincial and easily uncomfortable with it. It`s ok for us to publicly talk and innuendo about sex, but not to show it in public?

The provocative " pose was photographer Annie Leibovitz`s idea. And Miley`s father "country music star Billy Ray "was on the set during the shoot, and even in some photographs with his daughter.
Both he and Miley saw and approved all photos before they were released "including the offensively topless " shot.

Was Miley anxious or concerned about this picture?

In the Vanity Fair article, she replies, No, I mean I had a big blanket on. And I thought: This looks pretty, and really natural. I think it`s really artsy " It wasn`t in a skanky way. "

But to appease and placate the public, Miley is now apologizing for the allegedly disturbing photo " even though she has absolutely nothing to apologize for, nor be ashamed of.

The real shame here is the public making her feel embarrassed, as if she had done something wrong or inappropriate. Shame on a disgusting public for making wholesome and innocent nudity seem p**nographic and obscene, and for making Miley Cyrus feel ashamed.

If she apologizes for anything regarding the photo, it should only be for the unintended negative reaction it inspired. But certainly not for the photo itself.

Nudity is not inherently synonymous with sex, and we are fools to make that mistake.

Why is a photo of a nude 8 month old in the bath harmless and cute, but a nude 8 year old suddenly p**nographic? It is not the picture that is sexualized, but the particular viewer.

Even if Miley was topless, so what? Even if she is 15, what`s the big deal? It still would not have been a sexual image, in and of itself.

It is the audience which imbues the sexual tones, transforming innocence into prurience. It is the audience which has gone to an "impure" place. It is the audience which has made the photo wrong ".