Girls, 15, Call Miley Cyrus A Slut

It seems America's teenaged girls, their normative instincts honed to razor sharpness in high school hallways, have distilled the Miley Cyrus scandal to this: the Hannah Montana star acted like a "whore" and is probably a "slut." The Times interviewed several 15-year-old girls outside the Beacon School on the Upper West Side, and their comments neatly capture the essence of the judgements levied at large against Cyrus and Vanity Fair, fueled as they were by a conflicted Puritan hysteria about sex and self-interested image control masquerading as morality:

"My friend loves her," said one 15-year-old sophomore who wouldn't have class for another hour. Eye shadow and blush with a hint of glitter were brushed across her perfect face, giving her the look that Barbie gets when some young girl decides she could have even prettier pink cheeks. "Well, she love-hates her," she corrected herself. Once her friend saw the pictures in Vanity Fair, "She called her a slut."



It stung to hear the word; another version of it came up a moment later. Looking quickly at the image - Ms. Cyrus with her hair damp, her back bare, a sheet draped over her front - another Beacon sophomore looked not so much shocked as disturbed. "Is this who we're supposed to be growing up to be?" asked the young woman. She wore sunglasses, a tight baby-T and short shorts over black leggings. "I don't want to be that," she said. "It's sending a message that girls are supposed to be whores."



Dressing sexy, as she and so many of her classmates do, was one thing. Dressing in bedding, seemingly otherwise unclothed, was apparently quite another: contemptible, an actual evocation of sex itself. It's a paradigm about this generation of teenage girls that's perplexing to anyone who's aged out of it: They exude sexuality, even as they've internalized a language of shame and anger around it, a language that makes anyone who crosses some ever finer line of appropriate behavior a slut or a whore.

[Times]