Miley Cyrus: a bad role model, says headteacher

Image change from wholesome to sexy 'confuses' teenage girls

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Miley Cyrus’ headline-grabbing change of image from clean-cut to ‘twerking’ raunch is making pre-teen and teen girls feel “manipulated and confused”, says a top headteacher.

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“Hannah Montana, played by petite and pretty Miley Cyrus, was the archetypal all-American teenager – a girl to look up to and for parents probably not to be too concerned about,” says Jo Heywood, head of Heathfield girls’ school in Ascot.

“But now we find Cyrus giving a controversial performance at the MTV Video Music Awards. And, worryingly, Miley has apparently said she does not know what all the fuss is about.

“I think there is plenty to be concerned about, especially when these once clean-cut role models steer another course so publicly.”

Miley, 20, has come under attack lately from all angles: she had a public spat with Sinead O’Connor last month, and a few days ago, Jim Gamble, former head of the government’s Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre said that images of a “sexualised” Miley were more of a threat to children on the internet than pornography.

The Association of Teachers and Lecturers has also raised concerns. “This constant bombardment of images in the media demonises those who do not conform to the unrealistic and narrow depictions of the female body,” says general secretary Mary Bousted.

What’s your opinion? How do you think young girls will be affected by Miley’s change of image? Please do post a comment and join the discussion.

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