I’m not normally that familiar with Hollywood intrigue until it reaches the level of “unavoidable news,” and this bit I am about to mention is related to all of this “Twilight” junk, so I have ample reason to have no interest in it at all.
But I do find this interesting and would be happy to hear your thoughts, as well. Apparently, someone (read about it here if you feel so compelled) has pointed out that in promoting the new “Twilight” movie, pictures of a shirtless 17-year-old (male) Taylor Lautner are everywhere (not to presumed mention the scenes in the movie), yet no one raises a fuss.
The question being asked: Is this a double standard? 15-year-old female Miley Cyrus appears with bare back and the world is on fire (I commented on the matter myself here: “In the Miley Cyrus flap, where’s critique of Leibovitz?” — which, in turn, was cleaned up and made into a Living Church of God commentary.), but 17-year-old, also-a-minor male Taylor Lautner appears shirtless and no one bats an eyelash?
I admit, I do find the question interesting. The problem, of course, is deeper than these questions make it appear: the sexualization of childhood — including the teenage years — is wrong, period. And while there was a huge flap about Miley posing with her back exposed, the fact is that the teenage years (including age 15) have been sexualized at least as long as there have been movies about hormone-riddled high schoolers. Miley’s back and Taylor’s chest aren’t the problem, they’re the symptom.
I’m sure some will make excuses… “Taylor’s a boy, and boys swim shirtless all the time — what’s the big deal?” Indeed, they do. And while there’s more to say about that than I will say here, there is a difference between two boys playing in the sprinkler in the yard and what the “Twilight” movie is doing with young Taylor. Or here’s one: “Miley’s picture is a suggestive, sexual pose, while Taylor’s scenes serve a purpose in telling the story.” Indeed, they do. Those “steamy,” shirtless, shots of him do serve a purpose. Um, where’s the difference, again? Or, one more: “There’s a world of difference between 15- & 17-years-old.” Is there? Is it a world of difference, or just a hemisphere? Maybe a continent’s difference? Oooo — an isthmus’ difference! This avoids the real question, which is…
What has our society done to its image of teenagers such that sexualizing them is acceptible entertainment for the masses?
Christ will one day bring us a day when children can be children (cf. Zech. 8:5) and when adults will find better things to do than exploit teenagers for profit. May that day come soon.
If you want to read my Miley Cyrus commentary, please do — I’m actually not harsh with her so much as I am with certain others in that article. But I would also like your opinion on all of this. What do you think? Comment below (subject to my comment policy, of course)…