Why is Miley Cyrus Hanging Out on a Bed in Lingerie?
Hey, look! Miley Cyrus did something unintentionally sexy again!… or did she?
Miley. Hon. We need to talk. See, I found this picture of you:
Miley, where are you? Why does that bed have satin sheets? The last time I checked, satin sheets weren’t most people’s sheet set of choice. What’s with the lingerie? And the bright red shoes? And the jewelry, and the makeup? Who’s on the other end of whatever phone exchange you’re having? And perhaps most importantly, who took the picture and how did it get out onto the Internet?
Miley, I get that you’re 18 now. You’re legally an adult. And yes, I understand the desire to shed Hannah Montana and the Disney star image. You can’t be a child star forever, and you want to transition your career into the adult sphere. That’s perfectly understandable. But here’s the thing: Remember that debacle with the naked-but-artsy Vanity Fair photos that happened when you were 15?
Whoops! It was an accident! You didn’t know how inappropriately those pictures were, did you?
And remember the ice cream cart stripper pole incident at the Teen Choice Awards a year later?
Whoops! It was another accident! How were you to know that an ice cream cart would be so easily mistaken for a stripper pole?
And now there’s this picture with the satin sheets and the sexy lingerie. Whoops! It’s yet ANOTHER accident! But, you know… maybe it isn’t. True, this image could very well have been leaked by the same type of person who leaked, say, Scarlet Johansson’s nude photos; but maybe it wasn’t. Maybe it was leaked by you—or, if not you specifically, then at least someone else in your camp. Because from what I can see, none of these “accidents” are really accidents at all. When you gave the inevitable apologies for them, they were written off as accidents, because, hey, backlash is a bitch. But to be honest, mostly they look like carefully calculated moves to help facilitate your transition from kid star to grown-up professional.
And again, it’s not that there’s a problem with you wanting to make this transition. We don’t expect you to stay a child star forever; kids grow up, and when they do, the nature of their careers change. But Miley, there IS still a little bit of a problem here, and that problem lies in the insistence that you’re still the same goody-goody two-shoes you were at the start of Hannah Montana. There’s no way you CAN still be the same goody-goody two-shoes you were then, because you’re not 12 anymore. So if you’re going to go for the sexy thing—which you have every right to do—a word of advice: Don’t claim that it’s happening by accident.
In the grand scheme of sexy, there are three types: Accidentally sexy, on-purpose sexy, and accidentally-on-purpose sexy. Accidentally sexy? Great. These are the people who are sexy but don’t know that they are, which really just makes them even sexier. On-purpose sexy? Also great. Own it! Own your sexy! But then there’s accidentally-on-purpose sexy, and this is why people are having a problem with you and your various incidents. You’re CALLING them accidents, but they don’t really SEEM like accidents. They seem like they’re done on purpose, then CLAIMED to be accidents. That’s accidentally-on-purpose sexy, and that’s a dangerous thing to be going for. And if there’s one thing Britney Spears taught us, it’s that being accidentally-on-purpose sexy is a good way to turn the public against you.
Miley. You’re 18. If you’re going to go consciously for the sexy thing, don’t try to pretend that it’s an accident. Take a leaf out of the on-purpose sexy book and own it. You CAN be a “good girl” and be sexy at the same time. In fact, when “good girls” grow up, they become what we call “the girl next door.” And that’s sexy. Sex is part of being an adult, and it’s healthy and fun as long as you’re smart and safe about it. And really, every woman is sexy, so you can be sexy, too.
You look like you’re having fun in that most recent picture, so please don’t try to say that it was just an accident. Because to be honest, no one’s going to buy that you were just lounging around in sexy underwear and loaded up with jewelry and makeup, much less that someone just wandered by and managed to catch it on film in a perfectly composed shot, totally by chance. Figure out who you want to be—then be it. It’s really that simple.
Though I’d stay away from the satin sheets. Those things aren’t actually that comfortable. Trust me.
Lucia Peters is BettyConfidential’s associate editor.