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If you smell burning synthetic hair today, it’s probably a Hannah Montana novelty wig angrily set ablaze following the news that 15-year-old Miley Cyrus will appear in the June issue of Vanity Fair “topless,” which means, in this case, that if the photograph were one of those magic Harry Potter photographs where the people are alive inside the picture, and Miley were to turn around to face the camera and drop the sheet she has wrapped around herself, you could quite possibly see her breasts. Needless to say, this outrage leads to the conclusion that being a Disney Channel gazillionaire is no longer enough to make Cyrus someone your 10-year-old should look to as a role model and moral authority. Expect despair and heartache to set in as girls suddenly robbed of their heroine turn in desperation to astronauts, scientists, and even their own parents to find someone they can look up to who won’t appear hypothetically semi-topless in print.
Whether it’s a particularly good idea for Vanity Fair to run this particular shot of a 15-year-old is open for debate. (And who are we to talk? Vulture just ran a photo of a semi-nude underage caveman.) But maybe it’s all a tempest in a teapot anyway! People quotes a source close to Cyrus as insisting that while she seems to be naked under there, in fact, “beneath the sheet, she is clothed.” If this is true, then the chest you can’t see is secretly covered by clothes you can’t see, which means that according to the double-negative rule of celebrity nudity, it’s all perfectly okay.
Cyrus has now proclaimed herself “embarrassed” by the Annie Leibovitz shot, apparently surprised to learn that a picture of her in bed wrapped in a sheet might be interpreted by her many 10-year-old fans who read Vanity Fair as somehow sexually provocative. Live and learn, Miley Cyrus. Live and learn. —Linda Holmes
Related: On the Matter of Miley Cyrus’s Bedsheet [The Cut]Miley Cyrus Not-Topless Outrage!