Annie Leibovitz: The Controversial Miley Cyrus Vanity Fair Photographs

Vanity Fair Magazine: Miley Cyrus

Photography by: Annie Leibovitz

The Miley Cyrus Vanity Fair Magazine Photoshoot

Slide Show: The Miley Cyrus Photoshoot

(Please Click Image to View Slide Show)

You can read a roundup of reactions to the Miley Cyrus Vanity Fair photographs here.

And a commentary on the controversy from Germaine Greer in The Guardian here.

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41 Responses to “Annie Leibovitz: The Controversial Miley Cyrus Vanity Fair Photographs”

  1. WTF Are We Going To Do Now » Blog Archive » WTF Are We Going To Do Now Says:

    [...] Kids and Your Kids With all of the controversy over the Miley Cyrus’s bare back and shoulders being photographed I wonder if we ever stopped to think what we are [...]

  2. C.J. Gonzales Says:

    Has anyone questioned who is the creative artist that directed these photos? Do you honestly think it was Miley…or her family? Please…I am willing to bet NO ONE goes into a photo shoot and TELLS Annie L. how to do her job. Annie L. likes people undressed, without their onion layers. She keeps her subjects without accessories, even the hair is not dressed. Actually, her subjects end up looking a bit like Annie L. herself. Curious that.

  3. Top Posts « WordPress.com Says:

    [...] Annie Leibovitz: The Controversial Miley Cyrus Vanity Fair Photographs [image] Vanity Fair Magazine: Miley Cyrus Photography by: [...]

  4. Jason R. Johnston Says:

    You shoot what you know.

    I should know.

  5. webkinzrock10124 Says:

    omg what the heck??? thats kinda pervish 4 a 14-15 yr old! i hate her even more!

  6. Maureen Powers Says:

    As usual.. people are making a big deal about these new photos… why is it that most North Americans tend to freak out when they see a bare back? Have you all been to the beaches lately? you can see girls of all ages in tiny bikinis and thongs?? There is nothing wrong with Annie’s photographs.. people here tend to make a big deal out of nothing!! It’s a beautiful photo of a young Miley with her bareback.. that’s it! People need to stop getting so freaked out about stuff like this!

  7. Zoe Says:

    Its really not that bad its not like they were the only photos taken. Yes maybe Miley and her family should have thought a little longer before doing it, and honestly I dont think Miley needs to feel embarassed because they are more artostic than trying to make her look like a slut. She looks natural, and pretty. It is art. Miley is simply the model. Seriously compare these photographs to other scandals. C mon please people.

  8. Keli Says:

    I think that it is too much for her. She is a young woman and a roll model to younger girls. I think that the Cyrus family knew what they were doing when they agreed to do the shoot with Annie L. If they didnt want to be half nude then they should have stated before they posed. You should know what is allowed and what is not allowed before hand. Miley Cyrus said that her favorite tv. show is sex in the city. What does that in its self say? Also on one of the episodes you see a shot of her breasts on camera when a fish is put down her top. They knew what they were doing. After all the camera was placed just right and its not like they don’t rehearse the t.v. show. Its like the difference between when a woman who bends down in a blouse. She either holds the top in place to ensure that nothing is shown or lets it fall down to show the top of the breast. Which type of woman do you want your daughter to be? because after all look at their role model and tell me what type of the two would she be?

  9. Kerry Says:

    My three children love Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus. I showed them (my kids are 9, 8, and 6) this controversial picture and they all exclaimed it was art and my eight year old said it belonged in a museum. I asked them if they wanted their picture to be taken like Miley’s and they said, “No way!” But they didn’t see it as “sexy” but as art. I was glad. We still welcome Miley in our house!

  10. MileyHater Says:

    Miley Cyrus is a freakin SLUT! If she knows people are going to put photos of her being sutty why does she take them? She just wants all of the attention. Trust me she would do that. I used to go to school with her. She is a mean and snobby person. I strongly dislike her!

    • Normal person with own view Says:

      If she were a couple of years older these pictures would be no big deal, as she isn’t then the are controversial but she is not naked.

      I dislike them because they are provocative, and appear to make a child look sexual… and that is never anything other than wrong.

      If you take what was put into the original article as truth, she (MIley) herself said “who would say no to Anne”??? and that is the point isn’t it…. any other photographer with a moral conscience would not have asked a child to pose like that!!!!!!!

      1 last thing… for Miley-Hater who claims to have gone to school with her…. I read Miley had not been to school since 3rd grade… so i doubt she will have3 been snobby at that age…. sounds more like you are jealous of her…. she is a beautiful, famous, rich and grounded girl who made a mistake and was taken advantage of…. she is not the first, nor unfortunately, is she likely to be the last to have this happen to them.

  11. dan Says:

    nothing is wrong with it

  12. Donna Ridgway Says:

    As an artist, I can see the photos are beautiful. As a human being, something in me is repelled when I see children portrayed as sexual beings. I’m an old fuddy duddy.

  13. Laura Says:

    What a relief to read some of these posts from mothers who see the Miley Cyrus Vanity Fair photo as artistic. I love the comment from the woman who said her young daughters said the photo should be in a museum. The problem in this country is that we haven’t let go of our Puritanical roots. My own daughter is 11 and thinks the picture is beautiful. It’s a teenager on the brink of womanhood. Very soft and innocent. This poor girl is suffering from the backlash. I only hope this won’t affect her sexuality or cause her to have body issues. It disgusts me that some mothers are telling their daughtes that this photo is ‘dirty’ in some way or that Miley is not a good role model any longer. Don’t these ignorant mothers realize that only they are the best role models for their daughers? Is making assumptions about an innocent photo a message they want to send to their daughters? Amen to my fellow sisters/mothers who showed this picture to their daughters and discussed it in a mature and sensitive way. It is a portrait and it is artistic. Period.

  14. Bchira Arfaoui Says:

    I think the photo is a good one and I think that everyone is free.. for me art is freedom
    some people paint nudes and some people paint flowers

  15. pirategrrl Says:

    Ok, let me just say that the real issue here to me, is that a photographer can take beautiful, classic looking pictures of a girl, who is NOT nude or exposed in any suggestive way, yet all you people who look at that picture and see it that way… your the issue. You’re the perverts. You looked at that innocent picture and thought it was suggestive.
    When I looked at that picture, my first thought was what a great photo it was, and how it didn’t look like Miley Cyrus at all. I’m not a fan of hers, she’s not really my interest and I don’t know anyone who is interested in her. I’m looking at this from a photographer’s view point.
    So, people, pleas accept that we have skin. And that a back is not a “naughty” part of our body. At most, she looks like she just woke up from a nap.
    Grow up and get your heads out of the gutter.

  16. Randomthought Says:

    Ok, it would be one thing if more of her body was exposed, but it is just her back, you probably see that much on any other girl anywhere else, heck, you see it on awards shows all the time. That’s not the issue for me, in fact, I think it is a great photograph. I mean, really, we’re talking about Annie Leibovitz here, she does nudes all the time! And she does a really good job! Miley Cyrus and her parents should have known that already and should have talked to the art director and Annie to see what kind of shoot they were thinking of. If her parents were on the set (which they say they were) and were uncomfortable at all, they should have spoken out and said something about it. Miley shouldn’t be embarrased, I’ve seen worse photographs called “art” and Annie should not have to apologize because I don’t think she did anything wrong. I think a lot of the blame has to be put on the parents and not saying anything or talking with anyone beforehand.

  17. Liisa-Babii Says:

    Ummmm…. Well I Think These Stupid People That Have A Problem With This Shoot Should Shut Up Its Her Freakin Back!!! Seriously Its Not That Big A Thing. Yall Act Like She Is Naked Or Something….. Her Family Knew What They Were Doing When They Let Her Do This Shoot! They Are Not Retarted. Miley Said She Loves Her Fans && Wont Do Anything To Be A Bad Role Model To Them So Let Her Be A Role Model!!!! Dont Critisize Her For A Picture….It Is Art No Matter What Anybody Says She Could Get Self Consious About Her Body Because Of What Some Of These Mothers Are Sayin……. They Act Like People Dont Wear More Reveling Stuff At The Beach…. As Anyone Ever Heard Of Mardigra?!? Seriously I Think This Picture Is Straight Up Beautiful And I Hope Miley Dont Let Some Of The Stuff Said Effect Her!

  18. Canadian Freebies Guru Says:

    I don’t see what’s wrong with these photos. It’s sad that people are very easily offended nowadays. What’s even hypocritical is that most of the people who criticize her would have agreed to a similar photo shoot has they been in her place… simply for the money.

  19. Heather, UK Says:

    Can’t see what the fuss is about. Ok you can see her back. What about when she’s on the beach or wearing short skirts. Get real people there are worse things in this world than Miley Cyrus in a sheet! In three year’s time she could do a Playboy spread and it would be ‘Way to go Miley!’ Leave the girl and her family alone!

  20. littleredddd Says:

    My question is if everybody didn’t make a big deal of this picture would the kids who Miley would have to be a role model for even know she did it? Another question to think about if the BAD things that have been said hadn’t and the kids had seen this picture Why not let the kids say if its art or a bad thing to do instead of deciding for them. Kids should know if something is right or wrong, Right??? But now the kids are tainted to their own opinion.Does that mean they have to automaticly say this is bad because their parents do? I think that is the unfair part of all of this. Hannah Montana is done in good taste who at the age of 10 or so reads or even looks at a vanity fair magazine anyway.

  21. Sarah Says:

    I am thirteen and i don’t think those pictures are Bad there Just photos my sis is five and she read all of the peoples comments she Cried thinking everyone wanted to hurt Miley its her FREAKIN BACK!!!!! nothing s wrong with that

  22. Cheska Says:

    MileyHater! I sure want to be in your shoes right now. Going to school when big Disney star Miley Cyrus is your school/class/seat mate? WOW!!! I’d sure die of happiness. I’m not telling you to stop hating Miley Cyrus because people have their own opinions and my opinion is I’m a big fan of Miley. But if she is being a bad person and snobby but a good one when she’s at a concert, I’d surely hate her and switch to Selena Gomez.

  23. kilegha Says:

    I still am a big fan of miley and whoever dosen’t like miley is really weird so what if she made a mistake everyone does just like her song nobody’s perfect says

  24. Jim Says:

    Yea, I dunno..

  25. Sarah Says:

    This is really upsetting. While it IS art, it’s a really advanced form of art for a 15 year old girl. She’s fifteen. Not 23, not 30, she’s 15. She isn’t even finished with puberty yet. She is a beautiful young girl who is making stupid decisions to get more famous and it’s ruining her chances of avoiding ending up like Britney Spears, for example. Her only fans are all between the ages of 3 and 13, and she obviously knows it. She needs to grow up and clean up her act. Before it’s too late. And maybe get some singing lessons in the process.

  26. tina Says:

    She is a freakin fifteen years old.Get some dame cloths in the picture.I love Miely, and her shows,and her music.But can she atleast were a bra.She is my favorite teen pop sensation.Please.

  27. liz Says:

    okay heres the thing… im not really big on whats goin on in the celebrety world- i dont even care about any of this except for i have a little sister who absolutely loves Hanah Montana

    its not as bad as it could be, after all its only her back, but it disappoints me. if this is what shes doing at the age of 15 then how much further will she go in 5 years? the sheet along with the bare back also implies something more sexual and i dont like that my 9 year old sis might see that and want to imitate it

    this is the same miley cyrus that my christian magazine (Brio) once commended for her modesty and her faith- this month the same magazine doubted how seriously she was taking all of that

  28. norman Says:

    HAHA- As someone Miley’s age, with a little seven year old sister, I think the parents who thinks this is bad are stupid! Sure shes a role model, but it’s her back. It’s her freaking back. Way back when people didn’t even have clothes. This picture isn’t even hot or sexy at all- it looks bad -but thats how most vanity fair pictures are anyway. I don’t know why shes even that famous any average kid could act better than her. She is only in showbuisness because of her dad.

  29. norman lol not my name but anyway Says:

    By the way Tina, you must be like 5… learn to spell stay in school!
    Sarah nice burn! :) good one.
    Kilegha- where are u from?Anyone with that name is weird. Miley isn’t that great.
    Cheska… that miley hater prson was lying theres noway a kid who happens to go to school with miley would be on this site commenting.
    mileyhater- god your a liar if not srry but prove it… (i hate miley too (: … )
    LIttlerredddd– your the smartest person on this site good thinking.

    Heather– true but we shouldn’t leave her alone.

    Danta plaz? or something Who are u thanking??? god ?? your replying not thanking

    Random thought- those thoughts were not ramdon lol

    piratgrrl- woot nice one blame the pervs!!!!

    i want to comment on all of them because this is fun but i’m bored and no one is going to actually read this!

  30. Cyrus Fan Says:

    Not as controversial as some have made these out to be; in fact, somewhat mild by today’s standards. What makes them uncomfortable for me personally is the fact that she’s a minor. I hope that she avoids these Britney-style tactics in the future and instead focuses on her music and stage performances, and keeps to the cleaner Disney mold.

  31. aussie_photographer Says:

    I think these photos are beautiful, yes, maybe a bit weary that it is an underage girl, but, no, i dont think it’s anything sexually provocative. although that is totally in the eye of the beholder.
    i think these pictures are no worse than pictures that people actually pay to have taken of them in photography studios so that they have nice professional family shoots. (example, anything taken by australian startshots is quite similar in nature to these).
    furthermore, i think the images of miley and her father, are absolutely beautiful. i grew up with my father when i was in my teens and i would have loved it if he had been affectionate to me like it is clear her father is to her.
    i think people need to do a bit more researching (as i have done) before they go blabbing that its indecent.

    have they bothered to look at the disney photos that leibowitz has taken of scarlett johanson? mr. beckam? oliver platt and co? my goodness, they’re all acting as if annie only shoots nudity…. well to be honest, this is the only thing near nude i’ve seen of annie’s work. and i love her photography.
    so think before you speak and research to get a fuller story before you say anything based on just one article or a cropped image on the news.

  32. mel Says:

    I just read that Annie Leibovitz’s new book “Annie Leibovits at Work” has been released. Can’t wait to read it.

    Wonder if she mentions these photos…

  33. weeteeäääf Says:

    god bless america and media too, how the hell can photos like those make all that hullabaloo, i really dont care how old she is, look at the pics, very hardcore “nude” pics.
    Really sad if her career become stained because of these SUPER-revealing and indecent photos… so ridiculous.

  34. Darlin Says:

    Annie Leibovitz is not only one of the best documentary and fashion photographers that has ever worked for the rollingstones vogue bazaar time and many other well known magazines but she is a very reserved and respectable woman. her work is absolutly remarkable and to be very honest Miley Cyrus should consider herself lucky to have been given the chance to work with someone so amazing as Leibovitz. there is a huge difference between nude photography erotic photography and this which is simply a glamor shot of the young girl I strongly believe that this image is not something that should be frowned upon for look at photographers like Sally Mann and her work. to have the audacity to call Leibovitz perverse truly proves that our nation is rather ignorant to what is art.

  35. Darlin Says:

    If people honestly believe that photographs like these should be censored then what about hollister or abercrombie and fitch ads… are those not completely implying sexual activities between the models? or Victoria secret? i really am just baffled that so many people would be so negatively opinionated about this photograph… ignorant people that have probably never even opened a book on art history and can not tell the difference between nude photographs and porn. It is just so astonishing that so many people are so ignorant…

  36. Bob Says:

    I think people are missing the point here, and not understanding what is going on in the photo. Admittedly to a young person they may not understand it, but to anyone who claims to be a “photographer” or someone who works in the media industry it should be obvious.
    The flesh that is being shown is not a lot, but it is the suggestion that is made by the rest of the photo.
    I would not describe it as natural as others have suggested. The pose could best be described as sultry. Even the use of colour in the photo suggests more than “innocence”. The main bit of colour the eye is drawn to is the red of her lips. The connotations of the colour red are often danger, shame, sexual impulses and urges. The structure of this photo is far from innocent to anyone who knows what they are looking at.
    The fact that she is only wrapped in a sheet, once again is implying she may be in bed, this combined with the colour red in her lips, and the rough and ready look of the hair does not suggest innocence.
    To clarify, I am not bothered about what she does with her life, or where this goes. I just wanted to clarify what this photo is actually suggesting in the way it is constructed.

    Darlin: Yes, the adverts you have referenced do suggest sexual activities, that’s the whole point of them. By the sounds of it, you are one of these people you have mentioned, who have never opened a book, or do not understand the way adverts/photo’s are constructed. Do you know the rule of thirds? Understand the connotations of different colours, and placement of objects/people?

  37. kadmgkadg Says:

    she looks horrible in this picture forget her wearing a towel looking thing which serious is nothing. shes showing as much as she would in a tube top, which I’ve seen her wear. She looks dead and her face isn’t that fat. BAD photo.

  38. arthritisremedy Says:

    Miley Cyrus is a charming and talented girl. i think Hanna Montana is the best show for teenage girls.

  39. argh Says:

    These photos are gorgeous. The photographer is a genius. I don’t know how she captures that something other… just amazing. Folks who are disturbed by this… have personal issues. I don’t know that there is any way to help them at this poing. This could be a photo of a 4 year old, or 14, or 40 year old, male or female – the age is not a factor. It’s simply beautiful.


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