Thursday, August 8, 2013

Protect The Skin You're In

I just found out that Miley Cyrus recently posed nude for a skin cancer charity. Marc Jacobs is offering for sale a t-shirt with the nude image of Miley Cyrus, accompanied by the slogan "Protect The Skin You're In", with all proceeds going to the NYU Skin Cancer Institute.

This is a double boon - we get to see Miley naked, and it supports a good cause! It's win-win! I am so excited by this news, and my respect for Miley so strong, that I wanted to do something special (aside from purchasing one of her tees) to show my support for her. Please enjoy this self-portrait tribute, inspired by the campaign Miley posed for:

To be clear, I think people should have the freedom to get naked without having to justify themselves. If you or me or Miley Cyrus wants to pose nude in a public forum, I consider that a positive thing, regardless of what it's for. But unfortunately, despite posing nude (tastefully, you'll notice) for charity - in a context where nudity is entirely appropriate and not gratuitous (it's skin cancer, people) - I am still seeing tons of criticism leveled against Miley by moral conservatives, and it makes me sick.

It's that kind of slut-shaming mentality (which is not targeted exclusively at people who actually behave promiscuously, but to anyone who chooses to dress or act in ways that contradict an unreasonably strict standard of modesty) that prevents other, less determined individuals from making decisions like the one that Miley recently made, because they can't (or don't want to) deal with the criticism. The result is a scarcity of healthy depictions of nudity in the media, and a lack of support for healthy attitudes about our bodies and towards sexuality in general, which contributes to the moral quagmire we are currently stuck in.

For that reason, I respect Miley Cyrus enormously, for the strength of will she demonstrates in making these decisions that support the authentic expression of her individuality - and yes, I think she's a great role model, even for children. The irony is that I respect her so much because she's the kind of person who doesn't need my support to be just who she is; but I want to show my support for her nonetheless. These are exactly the reasons I bought her album Can't Be Tamed when it came out just a few years ago, despite not being into the pop music scene. I'll be putting that disc on rotation today.

I heart you, Miley!

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