To paraphrase Dr. Hook, “She keeps getting richer, and now she’s got her picture, on the cover of the Rolling Stone”. Once again Miley Cyrus is the focus of heaps of media attention; perhaps it’s more accurate to say she’s still the focus as it never seems to stop. Now the palaver is over her topless photo on the cover of Rolling Stone. Before you abandon this insightful post in search of Ms. Cyrus’ bits and pieces, keep in mind that Rolling Stone, being a reputable publication, has her positioned such that nothing untoward is visible. The strategic placing of her arms and, Viola! all is covered. This brings up the old adage of a tree falling in the forest making noise or not if no one is there to hear it – if a young performer appears topless on a magazine cover but hides the essentials is she topless?
The only bad controversy is the one you’re not at the heart of.
I congratulate Ms. Cyrus and her management team – let’s call it Miley Inc. – on discovering yet again that sex sells. This coupled with another truth – controversy sells, leads to a phenomenon that could be called sexy controversy sells like mad. Think back to Marilyn Monroe’s famous photo with her dress being blown up as she stood on a New York subway vent in the sidewalk. Certainly a classic but let’s not fool ourselves into thinking it was in any way not calculated. Not that Miley is in Marilyn’s league, but it’s the same principle applied to another, more accepting generation – remember it was not all that long ago that the sight of a woman’s ankle raised hackles and, I dare say, other things.
… if a young performer appears topless on a magazine cover but hides the essentials is she topless?
Don’t those who find this offensive understand, no doubt after careful consideration of the evidence, maybe several times to be absolutely certain, that the worst thing they can do is make a fuss about it? Rolling Stone’s recent cover of Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev proved that. It came under fire and was pulled from many stores but still sold more than usual. The only bad controversy is the one you’re not at the heart of.