My kids watch television and much of that is the Disney Channel. I will say right now that it is not the best model for how kids should live their lives, and my kids know I think this way. I see children who are deceitful, disrespectful, lovers of the world and generally bratty. I am not entertained by children who think they are adults and scheme to get their way.
Contrast what you see today with a show like “Leave it to Beaver.” Is it outdated? Perhaps. But, you know what, it is also more honest because children talk and act like children and there is more of a true sense that children recognize what a family should be like. It doesn’t feel as manipulative as practically every show on the Disney Channel (or Nickelodeon, for that matter) does.
So, long introduction aside, we are now hearing all this buzz about a photo shoot that Miley Cyrus, star of “Hannah Montana,” did for Vanity Fair magazine. It’s racy and she admits it and is now telling everyone who’ll hear her how embarrassed she is about the whole thing. Her parents are upset and saying that she was used by Vanity Fair and the photographer.
Miley’s dad is Billy Ray Cyrus, the guy who sang “Achy Breaky Heart” back in the early 1990s and is now playing her dad on the TV show. This is where it gets uncomfortable. It is so easy to sit here and criticize him for letting this happen, but the truth is that Billy and Miley didn’t get here by accident. They kept creeping closer and closer until what would seem like a leap was just a little step. Hopefully, the shock of all this will keep them from going farther.
Is it wrong for a girl to bare her back? Well, let me ask this: For what reason did the phrase “come hither glance” come into use? Is this modesty at all? Is the point of our faith in Jesus Christ to look as much like the world so that we would be totally indistinguishable to anyone looking on? You may disagree with me, but if so, chew on those questions first and then let me know how you’d answer. Perhaps Miley is “confessing” how much the world looks attractive to her right now. The good thing is that at least there is a part of her that recognizes that and is responding.
Update: Read this post for more about how our culture looks at our daughters before you just shrug off the above as prudishness.