It’s been quite a while since Disney teen star Miley Cyrus shed her good-girl, role model image and embraced the ‘dark side’. But while most people wrote her off as yet another Disney wash-up after her VMAs performance in 2013, Miley has emerged once again, this time as a more relevant and edgy figure.
In a photoshoot for Paper Magazine, Miley Cyrus is naked as the day she was born, covered in nothing but mud and glitter, with a pig by her side. The rest of the photos from the shoot also feature a completely nude Miley, with neon strips covering the bare minimum. It makes for a powerful statement – it is unabashed and is centred towards Miley herself. It is decidedly non-sexy and definitely not intended for male titillation.
Miley comes across as bold and wonderfully candid in her latest interview for the magazine’s June issue, in which she revealed that she is gender-fluid and identifies as neither a woman nor a man. She said, “I don’t relate to being boy or girl, and I don’t have to have my partner relate to boy or girl.” (sic)
She explains that she is open to any kind of sexual relationship – “I am literally open to every single thing that is consenting and doesn’t involve an animal and everyone is of age. Everything that’s legal, I’m down with. Yo, I’m down with any adult – anyone over the age of 18 who is down to love me.” (sic) She says that she had told her ultra-conservative parents at the age of 14 that she loved girls as much as she loved boys.
“I remember telling her (her mother, Tish Cyrus) I admire women in a different way. And she asked me what that meant. And I said, I love them. I love them like I love boys,” Miley said to Paper Magazine. She claims that her parents found it difficult to accept at first, but have gradually come to peace with it and now support her unconditionally. Miley added that she has had sexual relationships with women in the past, but these have not been sensationalised and brought into the limelight as much as her relationships with men.
Miley’s ‘coming out’ is now being compared to Madonna’s bold admissions of being a supporter of the LGBTQ+ community. The pop icon has always been considered a champion of LGBT rights.
In another segment of the interview, Miley also confronted the topic of privilege and how she came to found the Happy Hippie Foundation, her charity for the homeless. She was struck by the huge disparity between her life and those she saw elsewhere in the world, she says.
It’s very clear what the world thinks of her – most people still see her as teen pop sensation Hannah Montana. But what people don’t seem to understand is that individuals change, and music stars the most. As an adult, Miley has every right to do what she wants – she could stick her tongue out, lick hammers and ride naked on a wrecking ball, and she’d be perfectly justified in doing it. She might be remembered forever as ‘Hannah Montana’, but the show she starred in as a child does not define who she wants to be as a legal adult.
For me, it has always been a love-hate relationship with Miley Cyrus and her antics. At the onset of her ‘change’, I was very against it. I refused to see her as the person she had become and was critical of how much she had fallen since her Hannah Montana days. But as time went on, I came to admire the singer for her truthfulness and passion towards whatever she did – not to mention her impressive vocal range. Miley has always spoken out against whatever she deems as not right and has supported her fans in their endeavours.
And she is strong. When sleaze master and all-round shady character Robin Thicke laid the entire blame for their disastrous VMAs performance of 2013 (which was criticised by feminists everywhere) on her, Miley accepted it without paying much attention to what the media labelled her as.
The real Miley Cyrus is witty, smart, straightforward, and very, very relevant – and maybe has been since the very beginning. We’ve just been too blinded by the media’s portrayal of her to see it.
Good on you, Miley.
Image Source: The Viewspaper