The Miley Cyrus “Lookbook”

Off an ad on a CNN article, I found the the StyleBistro page, Miley Cyrus Style Lookbook. In an interactive screen display, the viewer can choose to look at images of Cyrus sorted by “Hair”, “Clothes”, “Shoes”, “Handbags”, “Jewelry”, and “More” (under which are the sub-tabs “Sunglasses”, Accessories”, “Hats”, “Beauty”, and “Body Art”).

For example, Image 77/351 is entitled “Miley Cyrus Little Black Dress” with the caption “Miley wore a risque LBD with an exposed bustier for the Australians in Film Awards. Brand: Zimmermann”.

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What bothers me about the structure of this page is that the viewer can choose which parts of Cyrus’s body to isolate and observe. The viewing module is, in fact, conducive to this sort of objectified observation. Here, again, is an instance in which women’s bodies are broken apart, disjointed, and selectively emphasized.

Under the “Beauty” tab, Cyrus’s choices in lipgloss, lipstick, nail polish, and even eyelash style are chronicled in an easy-to-search format. There exist subpages even further for “Red Lipstick”, “Pink Lipstick”, “Nude Lipstick”, “Lipgloss”, “Metallic Nail Polish”, “Bright Nail Polish”, “Dark Nail Polish”, “False Eyelashes”, “Neutral Eyeshadow”, “Cat Eyes”, “Smokey Eyes”… the list literally goes on and on.

What does it say about a culture that provides its people with women’s bodies that are not only so readily accessible, but are also so easily broken apart and removed from the whole person? The male gaze, here, reigns supreme.

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