Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 06/19/2010

Perez, Miley and Slut Shaming

Perez Hilton and Miley Cyrus

Miley Cyrus and Perez Hilton

Last Sunday, gossip blogger Perez Hilton made the controversial decision to post a photo of Miley Cyrus exiting a car on his twitter, implying that she was not wearing underwear. Now, the internet is firing back, with claims that Perez could go to jail under child pornography charges.

Initially, when I heard about this story, I was pretty disgusted. What an idiot Perez Hilton must be, I thought to myself, so obsessed with attacking people that he doesn’t know where to draw the line. I’m not a fan of Perez or Miley – they both annoy me in general – but seriously? Posting a photo of anybody in a sexual way without their permission is just wrong. But as commenters on the blogosphere, and even Perez himself, started firing back, another problem (you know, aside from possible child pornography and borderline sexual abuse) began to arise.

Yes, Perez, and a slew of blogosphere commenters, decided to turn the issue of a grown man exploiting an underage girl into a big Miley slut-shaming fest.

Perez’s defense for his actions? Implying that Miley has no class, and therefore posting the picture was meant to teach her some. “I thought she was exiting this car in a very un-ladylike fashion,” Perez commented, defending his decision to post the picture. So, therefore, he thought it was his place to teach her a lesson about being a slut (his pet name for Miley after all is “Slutty Cyrus”) by publicly embarrassing her for what was almost definitely an accident. Because, as we all know, sluts deserve punishment – no matter how much our society pressures teen pop-stars (and teens in general) to be sexually provocative, even if their career depends on it, they MUST RESIST and if they don’t, we need to teach them a lesson.

Miley wears a unitard, so therefore she deserves to be exploited. CLEARLY.

Miley wears a unitard and forgets her pants, so therefore she deserves to be exploited. CLEARLY.

Now, I’m not saying that since girls are pressured to be sluts it’s understandable that they give into it or that it’s inevitable. It would actually be great if we could find a happy medium between our teen stars dancing on a stripper pole and saving themselves for marriage, complete with a purity ring. Why can’t our culture accept that teens can be healthy about their sexuality without being “sluts”?

But, because she is no longer Hannah Montana – read, not an innocent child – well, then she must be a slut. Because there is just no other option in the music industry, or in our society in general. And because she chose slut over child, she deserved to be exploited by Perez Hilton. As one awesome commentor on Popcrunch.com wrote, “It’s ok for the little skank to act like a sexual horny adult but as soon as she’s treated like one it’s child porn? Get real.” Another added, “Miley brought this on herself!”

Bottom line? Perez Hilton is a creep who needs to stop exploiting people – especially underage people. People need to stop blaming Miley for this and realize in general that this virgin-whore dichotomy needs to end (although would it kill Miley to wear some jeans to a performance and maybe not crouch and spread her legs? Especially at a charity concert? Maybe?)

Really, everybody should just go read a book instead of gossip blogs. Like maybe this one.

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  • Christina @ at 11:09 am, June 19th, 2010

    I agree with this post wholeheartedly. That is all. :)

  • Amy CT @ at 11:53 am, June 19th, 2010

    As above :)

  • Jena @ at 12:20 pm, June 19th, 2010

    This is a really great article. I’m not a fan of Miley Cyrus (aside from the fact that she has questionable stage antics, I find her music incredibly unoriginal, uncreative, and stereotypical — she is NOT someone that young girls should be looking up to on any front, in my opinion) or Perez Hilton. He should not have posted the photo, and she should not flaunt her crotch for the entire world to see. It really pisses me off to see that Miley is revered and idolized by so many people. Parents let their children worship a girl who doesn’t wear pants on stage and basically sexually assaults the people on stage with her? And the fact that she is labeled as “safe” entertainment simply because she had a TV show on the “oh-so-harmless” Disney Channel?? It’s really sickening.
    I never really thought about the “medium” between slut and child – that’s really interesting and I completely agree.
    This is a video from a concert she did where she covered a series of Runaways/Joan Jett songs. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XiXfbzjBxm4&feature=player_embedded
    I found this so offensive and unpleasant. She is basically the antithesis of everything that The Runaways stood for (while Cherie Curie was very sexual in her stage mannerisms, she did it to poke fun at the female stereotype. In my opinion, Miley Cyrus is doing nothing of the sort.) and I strongly believe she should not have been playing these songs. In doing that, she turned them into something that they were not meant to be at all. It made me really sad.
    I’m SO glad to know that there are people out there who find Miley Cyrus (and people like Perez Hilton!) and other Disney stars unnatural and creepy and vapid.

  • O'Phylia @ at 12:22 pm, June 19th, 2010

    So true, Perez is a pric-I mean, annoying, arrogant person. And I’m sick of people saying that Miley “is a slut” because she wears revealing clothing (like pretty much any other female pop star) and for STANDING NEXT to a pole. She did not dance on it. She wears a top that shows cleavage and the world implodes on itself, but when Taylor Lautner goes half naked, it is approved. The fact that her nipples have the potential to feed an infant does not make them more dangerous than Taylor’s.

    Her voice is enough to dislike her, people. You don’t have to make stuff up.

  • Kelpie @ at 2:21 pm, June 19th, 2010

    I have no love for Miley, but this is sickening.

  • Giorgia @ at 2:41 pm, June 19th, 2010

    Coudldn’t agree more!
    Well said!

  • bullshiht @ at 3:02 pm, June 19th, 2010

    “It’s ok for the little skank to act like a sexual horny adult but as soon as she’s treated like one it’s child porn? Get real.”

    I think this says it all. She’s a product of an industry, when they are done with her, they will move on to the next best thing, SAVE YOUR MONEY MILEY.

    And if you’re dumb enough to let your children idolize someone on tv rather than someone you know personally, then you should not be allowed to breed, let alone feed the obsession.

  • Samuel W. @ at 4:14 pm, June 19th, 2010

    Isn’t this typical? It’s another case of the virgin/whore dichotomy that brings up images of the Victorian era with the sheer outdatedness of it. We should have grown out of that notion decades, if not centuries ago now. I don’t really think this little photo is quite child pornography, based on how it’s strictly defined in the law especially, but I do think it was far from a classy gesture on Perez’ part to draw attention to the latest ‘wardrobe malfunction’ pic that I have to hear about seemingly EVERY DAY for god’s sake…seriously, this is just the umpteenth example of this thing happening. I’d rather just forget about Perez Hilton, Hannah Montana/Miley, all of that crap personally.

  • Jenny DeMilo @ at 4:20 pm, June 19th, 2010

    “would it kill Miley to wear some jeans to a performance and maybe not crouch and spread her legs?”

    And you finish out your scolding of slut shamers by slut shamming yourself.

  • Julie Z @ at 4:59 pm, June 19th, 2010

    @Jenny

    My intention with that comment was mostly to point out that while the slut-shaming of Miley is out of control I think there is a line that needs to be drawn – as in the happy medium i mentioned before. While Miley shouldn’t be blamed for this scandal because of the clothes she wears, she is also a role model to young girls out there and I feel that moves such as that one cross the line. I was in no way trying to “shame” her. I recognize that she should have the choice to dance and dress any way that she wants, but it is my personal opinion that she can express her sexuality without exploiting it.

  • Kelsey @ at 11:07 am, June 21st, 2010

    I agree wholeheartedly with Jenny!

  • Meagan @ at 1:05 pm, June 21st, 2010

    @Julie Z
    Dress it up any way you want, your comment was no different to the ‘slut-shaming’ that you talked about in your article.

  • Annie @ at 3:58 pm, June 21st, 2010

    i can see why @Jenny @Kelsey and @Meagan think what julie said was “slut shaming” but i saw it as her saying slut shaming as a way of defending somebody else’s actions, especially when they could be called child porn, is wrong but there is still a line. like if miley went out there in a bra and panties and pretended to have sex would we say that that’s fine we just shouldn’t slut shame her ergo accept any crap she puts out there? that’s stupid. maybe older feminists are okay with being sexually explicit and that stuff and call it “empowerment” but I know that my little sister still watches everything miley does and I don’t want her exposed to that shit.

    rock on Julie Z

  • kate @ at 3:23 pm, June 22nd, 2010

    I think people saying that the author is slut-shaming Miley need to read the article another time. I mean she even directly said she was talking about a “happy medium”… that would be BETWEEN slut shaming and you know saying dancing in underwear is okay.

    and I think @annie has a really good point…it seems like either feminists are saying go do whatever the hell you want go out there naked its empowering or they’re lamenting how girls today are so slutty and that’s because we’re insecure. it makes no sense which is why I like Julie’s point about just having a healthy sexuality.

  • Emily @ at 4:48 pm, June 23rd, 2010

    My roommate, being interested in the latest celebrity gossip, tried to find the photo in question, but didn’t. However, she came across various photos of Miley in her underwear in various provocative poses, like any teenage girl might take and post to her Myspace or whatever in a moment of bad judgement. What we thought was that the issue was that Miley is just being a “normal” teenage girl who listens to what the media tells her about sexuality and then acts on it.

    As far as getting out of the car, apparently she was wearing underwear (and Perez simply pixelated it to imply that she was not) and everyone who’s worn a skirt while exiting a car has screwed up on doing it gracefully at one point or another, we just don’t have paprazzi following us everywhere or sleazy bloggers altering it to make it appear like we were sans undergarments.

  • Danielle @ at 9:11 pm, July 12th, 2010

    How are the pictures of her crouching down sexual at all though? She’s moving around on stage, big freakin deal.

    And some of these comments are unacceptable. She sexually assaults people on stage with her? Are you kidding me? You think they haven’t rehearsed? Get out.

  • Song Sortland @ at 12:50 am, October 6th, 2010

    I’ve never seen anything like this

  • stlaw fair @ at 3:49 pm, July 13th, 2011

    Great website! Love the pictures! :)

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