May 01, 2009

So now we’ve had Jamie Foxx recommending, nay, insisting, that Miley Cyrus should make a sex tape. This might sound like a strange career move (and the career advice coming from a strange source) but such is the pomp and circumstance of modern day celebrity.

Just to set the scene for you. Miley Cyrus is the daughter of Billy Ray Cyrus, perhaps the least important of her current attributes. It’s been very important to her in her climb to her current status, this is true. Billy was the man who gave us the ditty “My Achey Breaky Heart” which briefly troubled the airwaves some time ago. He is thus, as the phrase goes, “connected”, and was as such, along with his daughter, inducted into a program called “Hannah Montana.” No, I don’t know either, apparently it’s something of a hit with the pre-pubescent: and there was I just thinking that Disney had taken pity on us and found Billy something other to do than reprise his greatest and only hit on the oldies circuit.

But success is success and the daughter, Miley, is now emblazoned upon the lunch boxes of young girls across the land. And good luck to her say I: if I understood how these things happened I would of course be pushing any and every young female relation of mine (I actually have a red haired, pretty, niece who can both sing and dance … any offers?) in Disney’s direction but as I don’t I just get to write about such things.

Excellent, super, as the hip kids of an earlier generation might have said, but now we come to the behavior of Jamie Foxx, a DJ on one of the satellite programs. He was recorded as saying that our young Miley should “make a sex tape and grow up.” This of a 17 year old. There are a few little logistical problems with this plan, to be sure. Given the age of consent in these here United States any and everyone who watched such a tape immediately being a sex criminal being only one of them. Roll up to register as a sex offender folks!

But over and above these tiresome details there are some celebrity style problems. Sex tapes are not made by women , girls, who are already famous. They are made by women, girls, who would like to become famous. Say, Kim Kardashian, who found that her limited skills as an actress were fully stretched by the genre but was able to parlay truly having bared all into a minor career. Or, perhaps, by those who once were famous but who would like to boost a flagging career (examples too numerous to mention).

Miley, as Hannah, being already famous and also young does not of course need to do such a thing. I refuse, of course, to speculate upon whether she is indulging in the activities which might be taped: there are some parts of a young woman’s life which even I am not willing to muse about. But there is one part of this Jamie Foxx thought, that there should indeed be a Miley Cyrus sex tape, which slightly puzzles me. It’s this growing up part.

Now yes, clearly and obviously, there is a part in any daughter’s life that strikes fear into the heart of any father of a teenage daughter. When she begins to be sexually active: there is the old joke of course about having daughters, they are God’s revenge for how you (or I, or we) treated teenage girls when we were teenage but not girls. Certainly my own experience has included the thought that how on earth could she be attracted to that spotty youth and then finding myself caught by the fact that (yes, fact) that I was indeed that spotty youth favored by the teenage daughters of an earlier generation. The species does reproduce, after all, whatever the horrors of the teenage male.

So I get absolutely, even if I am horrified in part, by a young woman exploring her sex, her sexuality, by indulging in one of the greatest human pleasures, those pleasures of carnal knowledge. And I also get the point about having sex as being part of growing up. I’m not one of those who think that the carnal pleasures must be restricted to after the marriage ceremony: but I’m willing to bet that those who are would agree that you’re not fully adult until you have indulged in them, marriage or not. A virgin, of either sex, hasn’t fully understood the driving forces of life.

Which brings me to my mystification about the Jamie Fox comment. Until Miley Cyrus is a matron (to use the old word) she is not fully an adult, yes, I agree. But I don’t understand why she might have to film the process,

Remember, the advice was that Miley Cyrus should make a sex tape. I think all of us would agree that, at some point, Miley should indulge in one of God’s great gifts to his creation, sex, as we all have, our only possible disagreement being before or after a marriage ceremony. And I think we would all agree that after such our singing sensation would be more adult more grown up, than she was before.

The part I don’t get is this idea that it must be taped, that there must be a record of this.

That celebrities have sex, sure, that teenagers grow up and become women, wondrous, but I cannot see that the film evidence of their doing so is necessary.

Or, if you prefer, Miley Cyrus will grow up, become a woman and do what women do. There are parts of that process which, whatever Jamie Foxx insists, we can assume to happen without being presented with the photographic evidence.

Or then again, there is my entirely personal view. That it’s entirely possible to grow up without making a tape of it.


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