Louise Crawford, aka "Smartmom," writing in the Brooklyn Paper and on her own blog, "Only The Blog Knows Brooklyn," courageously stands up for all teenagers, from Miley Cyrus, who posed topless in Vanity Fair, to Louise's own son, "Teen Spirit," who recently shaved his head. But Smartmom's standing up isn't of the usual false kind - i.e. - to "protect them" from the evils of sexuality and independence. No, this thoughtful parent accepts the challenging work of facing her own fears and wishes to control and instead seeks to understand the true needs of adolescents in our ever-vigilant, repressed, prudish culture overrun with sexually deprived parents.
Here's Louise in her own words:
"Both Teen Spirit and Miley Cyrus are adolescents. Both felt the need to reinvent themselves and show the world that they won’t be defined by their public personas (in Miley’s case, she’s not happy always being Hannah Montana; in Teen Spirit’s case, it was clearly time to throw off the look of the slacker dude who just doesn’t care).
"Who can blame either of them for wanting to reinvent themselves? Isn’t that what being an adolescent is all about?
"Smartmom was sorry that Miley chose the pages of Vanity Fair to do her growing up. But then again, teens in Park Slope have to become adults under the skeptical gaze of their Park Slope parents, their budinsky parents’ friends, and their neighbors (that’s like Vanity Fair, right?)
"Posing semi-nude for Annie Leibovitz, shaving your head on a whim. What’s the difference? It’s all part of growing up and trying to discover who you really are.
"Indeed, Cyrus has nothing to apologize about — except perhaps the half-baked apology she made this week. '[The] photo shoot was supposed to be ‘artistic,’ and now … I feel so embarrassed,' she said.
"Embarrassed? About what? She may not go to high school or live like a normal teen, but Miley Cyrus has every right to play with her inner and outer identity like every other kid.
"Change your hair. Change your clothes. Change your persona. Change your mind.
"It’s all part of the identity game."
Hooray for Smartmom!