The blogosphere and the press, even the former Grey Lady, are atwitter with pictures of Hannah Montana’s naked back on Vanity Fair. And references to her wearing a green bra that was visible under her shirt. Compare this to the ability for the public — anyone in the public — to see girls or women with backs naked but for a single strand of fabric for the back of a bikini top. This isn’t even about sexy — except in the way in which visual innuendo inflames minds.
I’m not sure what disturbs me more: parents that give their children up to be sexualized and prostituted by the mass media, or the corporations that pimp out underaged children and then, mortified by their sexualization, make even more money on the rebound.
The Spears’ clan? Multiple children.
Compare this to the way the Jackson Five were “exploited.” Or the Partridge Family. How did the child cast of “Sound of Music” work their teenage lives?
Sure, kids in the spotlight have been around since well before Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland. And child actors have self-destructed because of the glare of the limelight — or the demons lurking in the shadows. But the machinery and money around children, along with the dual fascination for sexy tweens and concurrent prurience around sex, make for a toxic environment for children with the lethal combination of talent and good — or at least well marketed — looks.