The latest stunt by teen star Miley Cyrus has added fuel to debates that have raged since Vanity Fair published a risqué feature earlier this year depicting the teen wrapped in nothing but a sheet.
Miley – who has positioned herself as a parent-friendly, good-girl role model – gave paparazzi something to snap at this week when she turned up to the MTV Music Video Awards together with "I Kissed A Girl" singer Katy Perry, whose hit song even drew criticism from her own parents – both evangelical preachers.
In a couple of their poses, 15-year-old Miley and 23-year-old Perry puckered up their lips – alluding either to Perry's popular 2008 sing or the recently-cleared rough patch that the two hit when Perry revealed she would love to recreate the on-stage kiss made famous by Madonna and Britney Spears at the 2003 MTV Video Music awards.
Though the most graphic photo from Sunday was merely a playful kiss on the cheek, and Miley previously had rejected flatly Perry's idea to recreate the Madonna-Spears moment with her, it was enough to get some critics going again.
Since rising to stardom, Miley has been vocal that she wants to follow friend and fellow actress Hilary Duff's lead rather than go down the Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears track.
"[Hilary Duff] kind of set the way for all of us, not only just in a business sense, but [by] saying that it is OK to be a good girl," Miley told MTV in January.
Duff, however, noted in April that she would not have posed the way that Miley had for Vanity Fair.
"People are pushing you to do something, and if you want to do it, that's your choice, you know?" Duff told People Magazine. "It's not what I would choose to do, but if she did then that's fine. That's her choice."
Duff did, however, say she could relate to the culture in which she, Miley and other young celebrities reside.
"Everyone goes through things and takes their own path," Duff said. "Who am I to judge decisions that she made?"
Though Miley later apologized to her fans for the Vanity Fair photos, which show her posing topless under a blanket, and claimed she was duped into the shots, not long after, provocative photos of the teen celebrity were released on the Internet, allegedly acquired through the hacking of her phone, e-mail, or MySpace account.
While Miley's latest antics are nowhere near the boundaries crossed by fellow actress Lindsay Lohan, they have been enough to lead some to think twice before fully promoting her as the role model she set out to be.
"[A]t this point, between all of Miley's racy photo scandals, we have a feeling that there are a whole lot of parents that wouldn't consider Miley an appropriate role model ..." expressed UGO Network's Actress Archives website, which reports on entertainment news involving actresses and female performers.
"Looks like it's the responsibility of the Jonas Brothers to maintain their reputations as our only pop stars not to tarnish their spotless reputations," it added, referring to the three-brother pop-rock band.
This year, Miley was listed among artists and entertainers as one of Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People in The World, and in December 2007, she was ranked No. 17 in the list of Forbes Top 20 earners under the age of 25 with an annual earning of $3.5 million. Miley is best known for starring as Miley Stewart/"Hannah Montana" in the television series "Hannah Montana" on the Disney Channel.