miley cyrus stock photo on seventeen magazine

Welcome to 2014, when the women on magazine covers are not only Photoshopped to all hell, but sometimes they’re not even agreeing to having their picture used at all. Miley Cyrus appears on two major covers for May, but she only posed for one.

Yep. Basically, Miley turned down Seventeen‘s offer to appear on the front of their new issue, choosing to work with Elle instead… and rather than finding another big star to fill the gap, Seventeen made the super weird decision to use a stock photo of Miley’s face from the Grammys. The issue will also feature a profile of her without a new interview. I’m wondering when Seventeen decided to throw in the towel and become a more expensive version of Tiger Beat.

A spokesperson for the magazine made this statement, according to Women’s Wear Daily:

Seventeen readers love Miley Cyrus and they’ve been begging for her to be on our cover. She ranked high on the March issue’s Girl Power List– her independence and conficdence make her an icon for this generation. Miley’s currently on tour promoting Bangerz, so what better time than now to celebrate her and give our readers what they want.

Huh. I guess there’s nothing technically wrong with using a stock photo on a magazine cover, since that picture of Miley is fair game for any publication that pays to license it, but it still makes me cringe. It’s a really strange message to send to an audience of teen girls– that famous women’s faces and bodies belong to the public, whether they like it or not. Plenty of tabloids and trashy magazines do stuff like this, but Seventeen has always acted like they hold themselves to a higher standard, and part of their schtick is refusing to condescend to their readers– they never treat their magazine like it matters less than women’s glossies. This display is oddly objectifying, and even though it’s kind of funny, it weirds me out.

Via Fashionista / Photo: Seventeen