The controversy surrounding the photographing of teenagers in provocative poses has raised its ugly head again in relation to pictures of Miley Cyrus of Hannah Montana fame. By all accounts the shots in question are part of a shoot conducted by Annie Liebowitz and involved the whole Cyrus family. The head of the Cyrus family being one Billy Ray, the once famous Achy Breaky Heart guy!
By all accounts the whole process was warm and fuzzy and presumably nothing out of the ordinary occurred. The fact that the photos are to be (or already have been) published in Vanity Fair suggests that the Cyrus family is happy with the shots and happy for them to be published. Any one who knows anything about Vanity Fair knows that it is no stranger to controversy or provocative covers and photos.
The photo above is from the series of shots taken by Liebowitz. My personal opinion is that it is not provocative and knowing that she is 15 does not change my mind on that. I really do not like the photo because of the composition of it. Let's face it most people would look at this photo and their first thoughts before any consideration of provocativeness is that the subject of the photo looks a little washed out, an almost deathly paleness about her.
Yet, my take is that if her parents are happy for her to be portrayed in this way then so be it. The photograph is not pornographic and it is not sexually explicit! Is it exploitative? Perhaps it is but perhaps this was a conscious decision on the part of the Cyrus family and was about "growing up" her image. Whether this is the right image to portray is a different debate.
Nevertheless, the images have proven to be provocative as they have provoked much debate about the pros and cons of such photographs.