Seeing Much “More” of Miley

Miley is regretting her decision big time.

Haven’t we all regretted decisions at one time or another? That’s why this is a great opportunity to discuss decision making with our kids. (Note: I’ve included discussion questions with a scripture passage below)

Here’s the skinny: Last week I was surprised by an email from a blog subscriber telling me that Miley had just taken some shots of herself in her underwear and one shot of herself pulling her shirt down exposing her green bra. I didn’t post anything because there was some debate as to whether it was truly Miley or not. No statement was issued.

Well… this morning a new set of photos have emerged… and it’s no secret. Associated Press spells it out:

Miley Cyrus is taking issue with a photo of herself that’s going around, and it’s not another amateur, truth-or-dare Internet snapshot — it’s the handiwork of Annie Leibovitz.

“I took part in a photo shoot that was supposed to be ‘artistic’ and now, seeing the photographs and reading the story, I feel so embarrassed,” Cyrus said Sunday in a statement through her publicist. “I never intended for any of this to happen and I apologize to my fans who I care so deeply about.”

The photos, appearing in the upcoming issue of Vanity Fair, were taken by Leibovitz, a renowned celebrity photographer whose edgy, silver-toned portraits have included subjects such as Angelina Jolie, Scarlett Johansson and a naked, pregnant Demi Moore.

The picture doesn’t show any nudity, but it shows the shirtless Miley covering her front with a blanket and showing her bare back to the camera. Even though this picture isn’t pornographic, it disturbed Disney and Miley enough that they both issued statements. And most people agree that Miley had been duped so Vanity Fair can just sell magazines.

Obviously this makes me sad. Miley is one of the few superstars that I’ve felt pretty good about my kids watching and listening to. She seems to have a faith (I’ve blogged on that before), although I’ve never heard her talk too specifically about it (Remember people, just because she said “I want to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” at the recent awards, that doesn’t mean anything. Don’t ask me to list the people who have said those exact words receiving awards).  But, as I’ve mentioned in a previous blog about Miley, her parents are once again proving to demonstrate questionable judgment.

THOUGHT FOR DISCUSSION WITH OUR KIDS:
So what can we as youth workers and parents do about this? I think that this issue like many issues is a jumpstarter to dialogues with our kids about decision making. I’d use this statement from Cyrus in the Associated Press article:

“I think it’s really artsy,” she told the magazine at the time. “It wasn’t in a skanky way. Annie took, like, a beautiful shot, and I thought that was really cool. That’s what she wanted me to do, and you can’t say no to Annie.”

CNN expands on this:

And you can’t say no to Annie. She’s so cute. She gets this puppy dog look and you’re like, ‘O.K.’”

then this…

“I took part in a photo shoot that was supposed to be ‘artistic’ and now, seeing the photographs and reading the story, I feel so embarrassed,” Cyrus said Sunday in a statement through her publicist. “I never intended for any of this to happen and I apologize to my fans who I care so deeply about.”

Then I’d ask our kids:

1. Why do you think Miley changed her mind after she saw the pictures?

2. Have you ever made a decision and regretted it later?

3. When we make decisions based on “what feels right at the moment,” are those decisions always right?

4. What guideline should we use for making decisions?

5. The world sometimes puts on a lot of pressure to do wrong. Miley said that it was hard to say no to Annie… with her puppy dog look she was very convincing. Is there someone it’s hard for you to say no to?

6. How can we equip ourselves to make good decisions even when “the pressure is on” to make bad ones?

What the Bible Says:
The world can be pretty convincing in their lies, so much so that their lies sound like the truth at the moment. The Bible talks about escaping this kind of thinking and letting Christ influence us instead of the world. Check it out:

 “Then we will no longer be like children, forever changing our minds about what we believe because someone has told us something different or because someone has cleverly lied to us and made the lie sound like the truth. [15] Instead, we will hold to the truth in love, becoming more and more in every way like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.” (Ephes. 4:14-15, NLT) 

7. According to the beginning of the verses, what will be no longer be like?  What does that mean?

8. According to the end of the verse, what should we be like?  How can we do that?

9. What is one way that you could try to be more like Christ this week?

INSERT from 12/2/08: Miley now comments about “not regretting” the pictures in this article

About Jonathan McKee

president of The Source for Youth Ministry, is the author of over a dozen books including the new Get Your Teenager Talking, The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket, The Zombie Apocalypse Survival Guide for Teenager, and youth ministry books like Ministry By Teenagers, Connect: Real Relationships in a World of Isolation, and the 10-Minute Talks series. Jonathan speaks and trains at conferences, churches and events across North America, all while providing free resources for youth workers and parents on his websites, TheSource4YM.com and TheSource4Parents.com. You can follow Jonathan on his blog, getting a regular dose of youth culture and parenting help. Jonathan and his wife Lori, and their three teenagers Alec, Alyssa and Ashley live in California.
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One Response to Seeing Much “More” of Miley

  1. Pastor Barnz says:

    I think these questions are somewhat empty, this questions only give me text book answers… i.e. read the bible, pray, go to church…. are there any more in depth questions?