The Miley Cyrus Ad That Was Nearly Banned

September 24th 2015

Laura Donovan

Singer Miley Cyrus's new ad campaign for cosmetics manufacturer MAC was nearly banned in the UK after the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) received complaints that the photos were too sexual and inappropriate for the eyes of children. According to the Guardian, the ads were placed on subway platforms and in a large shopping area, and they show the artist lying on her back with her legs in the air.

As Jezebel points out, there are "no shots of her genitalia, all is covered, and the only thing that could be racy is just a bit of cleavage squeezed from her suit."

Miley Cyrus MAC ad

After reviewing the grievances, the ASA told the Guardian in a statement that it did not find Cyrus's image inappropriate.

"While we considered that the images in all three posters were sexually suggestive, we concluded however, that they were not overtly sexual and unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence," the ASA said.

MAC is standing by the ads, which are in support of the brand's AIDS charity campaign, Viva Glam. The company also said Cyrus' "confident pose" is intended to direct consumers to her "defiant stare."

Miley Cyrus and the policing of women's bodies.

Cyrus is no stranger to controversy about her apparel. She is known for wearing whatever she wants and for making quite a few statements about how society polices women's bodies. Earlier this summer, Cyrus called out the hypocrisy of praising Taylor Swift's ultra violent "Bad Blood" music video while condemning her for wearing revealing clothing.

"I don't get the violence revenge thing," Cyrus told Marie Claire in an interview. "That's supposed to be a good example? And I'm a bad role model because I'm running around with my titties out? I'm not sure how titties are worse than guns."

This summer, following Cyrus' turn at hosting the MTV Video Music Awards, Huffington Post's Lauren Duca wrote the following, in a piece trying to tease out Cyrus' racial appropriation and her feminist tendencies:

"That's the other thing the Internet is talking about this morning: Miley Cyrus' tits. To be fair, she talked about them, too. She thought it was hilarious when she wore pants mid-way through the evening. One of her outfits was made of just Mentos and Saran wrap. We were threatened with a 'nip slip' before the show even started.

"There's a sense—a perhaps not entirely wrong sense—that Cyrus does all this to be shocking. Although, she has made some valid statements about the way we police women's bodies: 'America's actually fine with tits,' she told Jimmy Kimmel matter-of-factly last Wednesday. 'It's nipples they don't like.'

"As I told 'So POPular' host Janet Mock, Miley's 7-year-old, lost-at-a-rave aesthetic diminishes her overall impact, but she has a point. The stigmatization of the nipple is one of the clearest ways we control female sexuality. Show us your boobs, but God forbid we catch sight of that devil's paw print of an areola."

Duca is referring to Cyrus' support of the "Free the Nipple" campaign. Last year, Cyrus posted a topless photo on Instagram to highlight the company's hypocrisy in removing photos of female nipples but not male ones. As she expected, the platform removed the photo, but she went on to post other subtle photos of her nipple on Instagram later on down the road:


A photo posted by Miley Cyrus (@mileycyrus) on


A photo posted by Miley Cyrus (@mileycyrus) on


Where Do You Stand on the Free the Nipple Controversy?

Where do you stand on the Free The Nipple controversy?http://bit.ly/1TMmUcF

Posted by ATTN: on Sunday, August 16, 2015


Though Cyrus has yet to comment publicly about the MAC campaign controversy, she doesn't seem to be too broken up about it. Following news of the MAC controversy, Cyrus posted the following humorous Instagram video:


A video posted by Miley Cyrus (@mileycyrus) on