Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Parenting 101

Unless you live under a rock, you have probably seen reports of the recent brouhaha related to Miley Cyrus and her racy photos appearing in June's Vanity Fair magazine. When the news first broke, my husband was instantly outraged, since all three of our girls are big Hannah/Miley fans. His first complaints related to what drove her father, Billy Ray Cyrus, to allow those photos to be taken. Poor judgment? Greed? And did Disney have any input about their “brand” when these photos were approved? When I discovered that Annie Leibovitz was the photographer, it somehow seemed to soften the blow a little. But, really, why? Because she is one of the greatest photographers of our time? Probably... But at what point do you the cross line into the land of "this has gone too far"? Artistic or not, the sexy photos of Miley draped across her father’s lap are a tad creepy...

While my husband was bemoaning how Miley is headed in the same direction as Lindsay and Britney, it brought to mind questions I've had related to Spring Awakening. Loyal readers know how I feel about this Tony Award-winning production but I've often questioned how a mother could let her young daughter take on a
role such as Wendla. Years ago, when a then 14-year-old Lea Michele first got involved with Spring, what went through her parents' minds when they were told that the role would involve nudity and simulating sex acts on stage?

My oldest daughter is 8 - and in 6 years' time I honestly don't think I would allow her to do either. And I know for a fact that my husband wouldn't let her. She's got her whole life to be sexy and deal with adult issues, why do we need to accelerate the arrival of those milestones?

Have any of you thought about or been concerned by this? Parents or not, I'd be interested in hearing your opinions and insight. When it comes to mixing teenagers, sexuality and art where does that fine line between creative expression, censorship and good parenting exist?

1 comment:

Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Alicia, Very thought-provoking and compelling post.

Personally, I have a real problem with objectifying our youth as sexual before they've reach the age of majority. There's a reason why those under the age of 18 are considered minors: they lack the judgment necessary to make fully informed decisions that could have severe ramifications the rest of their lives.