Capewell: Come on, she's just being Miley

Miley Cyrus has been on the minds of everyone lately - and this time, it's not just for her insanely catchy, so-bad-it's-fantastic single that's on near-constant rotation at the IB. Cyrus has been the center of attention for news outlets and blogs thanks to the release of "topless" photographs that are set to appear in Vanity Fair next month.

The photograph only shows Cyrus' bare back, as her long hair and a substantial bed sheet cover the rest of her. She was photographed by Annie Leibovitz, who has also shot intimate yet tasteful portraits of Demi Moore and John Lennon, among countless others.

Cyrus herself is quoted in the Vanity Fair article, offering her eloquent opinion: "Annie took, like, a beautiful shot." However, upon the photo's release, parents of young girls who idolize Cyrus and her nauseatingly popular "Hannah Montana" character reacted in outrage. While the photo is significantly more revealing than the average teenager's school portrait, it's relatively tame compared to the saucy MySpace pages of others her age or gossip Web sites where entirely nude pictures of other celebrities come a dime a dozen.

Given the scandals that have come to pass recently - paparazzi shots of Britney stepping out of a car sans underwear or the naked pictures of Vanessa Hudgens (another teenager idolized by the Disney channel-watching set) that surfaced on several celebrity blogs - shouldn't we be glad that this is the worst of it? Granted, maybe it would be easier to remove stars altogether from this constantly-connected society of bloggers and paparazzi that intrude upon every second of the most prominent stars' lives and post their findings on the Internet for everyone else to gawk at. However, I doubt they'll be leaving anytime soon. Though I don't think posing with only a bed sheet was the most logical thing to do when your fanbase consists of mostly elementary-to-middle-schoolers, in the grand scheme of things, showing a little back isn't so bad.

If you view the photograph, you will see that it was taken with high regards to taste and creates a mood that is distinctly more artistic than pornographic. Before recently issuing a public statement that she was "embarrassed" by the shoot, Cyrus even agreed, saying again in the Vanity Fair article that "I think it's really artsy. It wasn't in a skanky way." And additionally, hasn't Leibovitz achieved an artistic goal by creating discussion and calling upon viewers' preconceptions of others with this photograph? While the photographer definitely risked pushing the boundaries of how a 15-year-old starlet should be viewed by the public, I don't think the photograph warrants the backlash it has received.

Jill Capewell is a sophomore English major who thinks that Miley Cyrus should see a speech therapist about that stutter.