Thursday, May 29, 2008

She's Just Being Miley

Greetings fellow blog participants. For this assignment, I have chosen Miley Cyrus as my subject. For those of you who are not in the know, Miley Cyrus is a 15-yr-old Disney star with her own television show entitled "Hannah Montana." She is also the daughter of Billy Ray Cyrus (Achy Breaky Heart, anyone?)

Miley recently participated in 
a Vanity Fair photoshoot that caused a lot of controversy because of a particular photograph in which Miley appears topless and covers herself with a sheet. Since the photograph has gotten so much coverage, I've considered actually working with the famous pose for my final illustration, but I'm not sold on it. Here are some initial sketches, mostly posted to appease the worries of Michael Costelloe (see I really am working on it!). 

It's been difficult for me to get a likeness down, I think mostly because she is so young, but the make-up she has on in photographs makes her look very old, which can be confusing. Im pretty sure I can work out these types of aesthetic problems on my own, but my real problem has been with the concept. Right now I'm consider ing showing Miley in the same pose as the Vanity Fair photo, only pregnant, smoking a cigarette, with tattooes, etc., or I'm thinking of making Miley into a puppet, possibly controlled by paparazzi, business executives, and family... but I am not thrilled with either of these and I have been having trouble generating lots of ideas.

I attempted to use the same brainstorming process we used for John Hendrix's editorial illustration project earlier in the year. First, I thought of a couple things I wanted to say in response to the Vanity Fair shoot, or "thesis statements": 1) Miley Cyrus is being exploited for money and 2) Miley Cyrus is becoming corrupted at a young age like many child stars before her. When I started to break down the sentences and come up with metaphors and symbols, I got confused. I posted one of my brainstorming pages. 

Does anyone have any improvements on the ideas I already have or new ideas all together? The reason I hesitate with both of the ideas I have now is that they seem so literal. Yes, a puppet is a metaphor, but it seems too obvious. Also, I'm having trouble showing Miley as following in the footsteps of other child stars; I don't know how to depict that. Finally, an illustration showing Miley pregnant and boozing seems hilarious in theory, but isn't it kind of a cheap shot?I'm starting to think maybe the larger problem is that I need to step back and re-think my statements about the issue. Overall, I am confused. Help!



Sam said...

it sounds like you might be trying to make a general point about how female pop singers keep getting younger and sexualized by the media. Most of your ideas fit this idea. It might help to show her something an adult would do, with a crowd watching? than it would work as a metaphor for what she's actually doing. like if she was performing a dangerous stunt, something a kid shoulnt be doing, and getting rewarded for it.

Rachel Newborn said...

I guess it also depends whether you're trying to say that her "sexy" photos were really scandalous or not. If you're saying that they really weren't a big deal you could show her in relation to other sexualized images of child stars--not literally--...or if you're trying to say that she really is too young for that type of photo then maybe you could youngify her...give her a pacifier or pigtails.