Miley Cyrus’s new transition is ‘that I don’t give a f–k about being cool’


A few months ago, as Miley Cyrus began promoting her new album, several sites ran thinkpieces about whether it was fair to say things like “Miley Cyrus is white again.” I stopped myself from writing those exact words because I honestly didn’t want to offend people, but how about we say it this way: Miley Cyrus is no longer doing racial or cultural appropriation. She is no longer culture-vulturing. She’s back to being a sort of wholesome-looking blonde white woman. She’s even dressing in all-white, like she’s willing herself to be literally whitewashed. So, Miley covers the latest issue of Harper’s Bazaar, and the bulk of the interview is about Miley’s “transition” and how it’s a good thing that she’s totally over twerking. You can read the full piece here. Some highlights:

On her previous incarnation: “I feel really kind of far away from that person. I just want people to see that this is who I am right now. I’m not saying I’ve never been myself. Who I was on the last record was really who I am. It’s just myself has been a lot of different people because I change a lot…. I think I’m just figuring out who I am at such a rapid pace that it’s hard for me to keep up with myself. People get told that it’s a bad thing to change. Like, people will say, ‘You’ve changed.’ And that’s supposed to be derogatory. But you are supposed to change all the time. It’s really scary sometimes, someone saying, ‘This is who I am.’ People have known me since I was so young, they think they know me. I heard so many comments like, ‘We just want Miley back.’ But you can’t tell me who that is. I’m right here.”

The Twerking Period. “People were so shocked by some of the things that I did. It should be more shocking that when I was 11 or 12, I was put in full hair and makeup, a wig, and told what to wear by a group of mostly older men. I didn’t want to become any sort of man hater because I love all humans; I am a humanitarian. Beyoncé said, ‘Girls run the world,’ and that was an important thing to say because I think subconsciously we are beaten down to believe that it isn’t true our whole lives. It’s no wonder that a lot of people lose their way and lose who they really are because they always have people telling them who to be.”

She was “super distraught” after the election: “It took me, like, three days to stop crying.”

Her previous persona: “It became something that was expected of me. I didn’t want to show up to photo shoots and be the girl who would get my t-ts out and stick out my tongue. In the beginning, it was kind of like saying, ‘F–k you. Girls should be able to have this freedom or whatever.’ But it got to a point where I did feel sexualized.” Plus, everyone else is doing it. “Even at the Met Gala, everyone had their boobs out, everyone had their ass out, so what’s punk about that now? It’s more punk actually for me to not.”

On being a role model: “How can I f–king be the role model I’m supposed to be? Yeah, I just said f–king role model. Who gives a sh-t? Because I got my t-ts out before doesn’t make me less of a role model. I think I show people that they can be themselves. I also think something that has been important for me, in this next little, like, transition phase of my career is that I don’t give a f–k about being cool. I just want to be myself.”

[From Harper’s Bazaar]

Obviously, this is a gentle cover interview in a fashion magazine, but even then, Bazaar seems to gloss over certain things and go out of their way to make Miley seem sympathetic and/or not call her out on her bullsh-t. They reference the Nicki Minaj “WHAT’S GOOD?” moment from the VMAs and Bazaar notes that some people “felt sorry” for Miley. Really? Did they? Because it was an amazing moment where Miley had talked sh-t about Nicki and Nicki called her out publicly for being an idiot. The fact that Miley was standing there in her blonde dreads and her culture-vulture look was just priceless. Bazaar also claims that “Miley retreated” after the Minaj incident. I don’t remember it that way. Miley was still in our faces a lot after that, then she “retreated” and worked out her latest persona: countrified white blonde woman who sings twangy love songs about her movie star boyfriend and their life in Malibu.

Also: “I didn’t want to become any sort of man hater because I love all humans; I am a humanitarian.” She’s saying that in the context of why she chose to “wear” a heavily sexualized image. It’s not great. Time to retreat again, Miley.

miley cover

Photos courtesy of Camilla Akrans/Harper’s Bazaar.

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57 Responses to “Miley Cyrus’s new transition is ‘that I don’t give a f–k about being cool’”

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  1. Moxie Remon says:

    She’s out of touch. Nothing new, nothing edgy.

  2. Nicole says:

    Yea she’s done trying on her “black costume” so it’s time to be that wholesome country girl again! Must be nice to take off your blackness when you feel like it *rolls eyes*
    This is why I don’t f*ck with Miley ever. I wish she would retreat and take her no talent sister with her

    • diana says:

      I’ll admit, I sometimes roll my eyes when I read comments about cultural appropriation. But then I read an article about Miley and I go “oh yeah”..

    • I Choose Me says:

      Yup. I cancelled her a long time ago but I’m feeling a little masochistic today and so I clicked on this article. She doesn’t care about being cool? Uh huh. All the side-eye.

    • Otaku Fairy says:

      She really is a perfect example of why cultural appropriation doesn’t automatically equal any type of progress. And I don’t remember the Nicki Minaj thing being a ‘poor Miley’ moment either. Nicki was right.

  3. M.A.F. says:

    Oh, Miley. But you do care if you are seen as cool. If you didn’t, you wouldn’t have to say the words out loud.

  4. Marty says:

    Miley profited off of black people and music to separate herself from Hannah Montana, and it worked. Now she’s more than happy to whitewash herself again after treating blackness as a costume.

    This is what happens when you infantize white women. Their casual racism becomes insidious and therefore, exceptable.

  5. Lucy says:

    Yes, you do, Miley.

  6. Honey says:

    I actually don’t remember her ever being cool

  7. CityGirl says:

    I think she morphed into who she needed to be to get back together with Liam(?)
    I think it’s unfortunate that she has to do that (although to be fair when I was younger, I constantly became who I thought I needed to be to keep my ex husband happy).
    I think it’s even more unfortunate she doesn’t acknowledge her cultural appropriation and her hyper sexual, weed smoking period for what it was – the arrogance of youth; naivete, desperate need to not be perceived as a disney kid any longer; ignorance; offensive; racist, etc.

    • L says:

      I came to say that as well – I feel like Liam has a big part of this. She was a basic white girl when she was with him, then when she started the transition into basic white girl playing POC dress up is when they broke up, and now that they’re together again she’s going back to how she was before.

      But yeah I also believe 100% it all had to do with profiting from black culture / getting attention.

    • This – Miley is one of “those girls” who morph into whoever they happen to be dating at the time. “You like football? I LOVE football!” “You like rap music? Rap music is MY LIFE!” Then, a couple of years later when they date someone else, “You like soccer? I LOVE soccer!” “You listen to country music? Country music is EVERYTHING!” Ugh!

      I don’t buy this “People change all the time.” No, real people do not change all the time. They may learn and grow, but they do not go from wholesome Tennessee girl, to twerking, weed smoking, tit-baring attention seeker and then back to wholesome humanitarian beach girl who just loves her boyfriend.

      She wanted Liam back, so she changed back into the kind of girl he wanted. She wants attention, so she’s willing to morph/change into who she needs to be to get that attention.

      I am so sick of the Cyrus family, I wish they would all just go quietly away.

    • QueenB says:

      Its a bit harder to evaluate all of that when it comes to a public figure. Basically all pop stars have phases. Its all made up to sell records. And just like Taylor couldnt do the “greatest love story of all time” any longer and is no the most private person thats ever lived Miley couldnt go any more sexualized. While I do think Liam is controlling in that regard (while having to problem showing of his body on his social media) its also one of those marketing schemes they all take part in.

  8. greenmonster says:

    Not taking any responsibility. Instead of talking about her cultural appropriation she deflects and is talking about older men telling her how to dress when she was 11. She is trying to turn it into a conversation about sexism instead, too bad Bazaar didn’t call her out on it.

    Miley also felt her image was sexualized after a while? Really? I bet the photos by creep Terry Richardson had nothing to do with that. Again, own your shit Miley.

    • Aren says:

      I had completely forgotten about that, it was awful.
      The can, the dildo, who told her that was a good idea?!

  9. Lori says:

    I disagree that people are supposed to change the way she describes. We are supposed to grow, learn and improve. Not be one person one year and then a completely different one the next. And she was country girl some years ago before going all “cool”, and now she reverted back to country girl. I dont think that sounds normal at all.

    • Clare says:

      I think it is different for people, based on experience and context. I know she doesnt carry the weight of being a minority, or an immigrant, or from a disadvantaged social background – but in real life those things have a real impact on who we are in different places and at different stages in our lives.

      For many of us (speaking as a bi-racial child of immigrants to the American South, who then moved to the UK and married a white aristo-type), embracing/forming almost a different identity/self is as much a means of survival as anything else. The American kid who at 14 used to go to bone thugs and harmony concerts and smoke weed, wouldn’t have a place where I am now – I view this as growth and evolution and there were many phases and ‘personas’ in between 14 and 30…but if you put Clare at 14 next to Clare at 33…those are two seriously different people.

      I’m not implying that Miley hasn’t exploited identity to make $$$ – just saying that sometimes what you’re describing as ‘growth’ appears in very different ways for different people.

  10. GrandJen says:

    So feeling empowered by owning her sexuality was “man-hating”, and covering up and acting demure is “catering” to men?!

    What the-?

    Translation: boyfriend didn’t approve so she edited herself for him. She’s not terribly self aware is she? I’ll bet once the sales drop off or/and she loses interest in the BF, the tits and tats and rapping and stuff will be right back on her agenda, along with another set of brainless statements about “change” in a clueless attempt to sound “deep”.

    honestly I didnt care; I worked out to her music mostly. But she sounds like such a twit I just can’t anymore. The new music probably sucks anyway. She’s as shallow as a puddle.

    • Aren says:

      I heard her latest single the other day, it really is bad.
      People attack Katy Perry, but Miley’s new stuff is much worse than that.

  11. ORIGINAL T.C. says:

    Hilarious. She took on the sexualized look to stand out and get attention, but now everyone is doing it. So in order to grab attention again, she went vanilla and wants to take on the mantle of “role-model”. Because both versions of her are about her realness??? Sure Jan.

    Well thank good she can take off her Black, LGBT, costume anytime and go back to being White and infantilized. Nice White privilege you got there Miley. Perfect example of the reasons non-White peoples HATE cultural appropriation.

  12. chaine says:

    *sigh* she is thisclose to declaring herself “revirginized,” isn’t she? I forsee a country gospel album containing duets with Dolly Parton and Blake Shelton in the near future.

    that being said, I truly do agree with what she is saying regarding being sexualized by television execs as a tween. She just hasn’t made the connection yet between that, which I feel is a form of child sexual abuse, and her later acting out.

    also, the cover image is creepy. i didn’t realize that was her knee at first. I thought it was a newborn baby’s head.

  13. African Sun says:

    So basically her ”black phase” with Mike Will was cool for the moment so she could get her record sales, street cred and so she could work with rappers.

    Now she doesn’t think that will sell — she is now a flower child running her mouth in Bazaar mag.

    I find her so offensive how they are like ‘her previous persona’. Twerking didn’t happen with Miley – it’s been around in hip hop culture for 20 freaking years.

    Her previous persona is someone’s life, soul, and blood. Cancel this chick today.

    • slowsnow says:

      Yes, she’s been cancelled for a while. She’s not doing anything different than Madonna has. With her constant superficial culture-drag and “black phase” and sexual affirmation seen as showing your boobs… Nothing new under the sun as still as problematic now as it was back in the day.

      • WTW says:

        @Slow, Madonna is a culture vulture, but I still think she is more authentic than Miley ever was. She has consistently pushed the envelope sexually and did so in a way that made many men uncomfortable rather than simply being a sex object. I appreciate Madonna for that. I also don’t feel Madonna, as a musician, made a mockery of any culture, like Miley did with hip-hop and twerkng. But, yes, Madonna is definitely guilty of cultural appropriation–from voguing to La Isla Bonita to Ray of Light.

      • slowsnow says:

        @WTW I think Madonna is everything except authentic! She promoted the pop-star -as-construct kind of thing! She went to every cliché under the sun and explored it to the top. Even now with her Rebel whatever she is tapping into the black lives matter movement and all the discontent with racism etc.
        I don’t think Miley made a mockery of any culture. She very sincerely – and with an incredible, insufferable white ease – was tapping into that audience and trying to make a buck. If anything, it shows the power black music has today and how if you’re not substantial you can’t handle it.
        Miley’s problem is not authenticity, it’s feebleness – and that’s where I agree with you: Madonna marked our culture in an artistic way. Like Copolla (other post) her art is strong enough to have a style and a stance even if we don’t agree with it or are shocked by its cultural stances.
        Yes, it was good to promote an in-your-face sexuality but she did not follow through with the implications that it has when you’re not a pop-star if you get what I mean. So I find it brave but a bit unsubstantial.

  14. JC says:

    She’s tired and tiresome. Sort of a cartoon character with no new place to go. She exhausted the limits of her previous chameleon-like persona, which was always a superficial appropriation, and she doesn’t have anything fresh, that is internally generated, to offer.

  15. Justjj says:

    I took it a different way. I think what she was trying to say was that the weed smoking naked culture-vulture Miley was a rebellion against the people who told her who and what to be as a kid. And I can understand. That doesn’t make it okay and she obviously doesn’t understand appropriation still but I think I see what she’s saying. Women are told who to be from all different directions all the time from the time we are young, amplify that pressure times a million and you are probably close to how a child star feels nevermind the opportunists and inevitable creeps out there. I think she’s just trying to say it’s okay to change. You don’t have to continue doing something just because you’ve done it or people expect it if you. Miley’s not perfect but I don’t get the hate for her. If this is what makes her happy, okay. Why do people hate her so much? Edit: Okay, her cultural appropriation does suck and it I can understand a bit more from the comments. I didn’t realize the extent. Still. I think she’s just confused and if she wants to play a guitar in Malibu now until she figures out her life, whatever. (?)

  16. JA says:

    Holy Photoshop!!!

  17. slowsnow says:

    She is a product of people like Madonna who has had “phases”. Also of this new global and rich generation of stars who have access to everything, and every producer because everybody is chasing a buck.
    In the 90′s grundge wouldn’t have mixed with heavy metal or produced pop songs for Shania Twain. Now things are more fusional and every rising star, be it in hip-hop or rock will do anything to be in the pop-celeb context.
    Therefore for her it is quite normal to change, as she says: she is of a time where it became the modus operandi of big pop-stars. And she probably wants to be a stadium-concert-level star.
    Lorde is kind of negotiating the same problem. But she has an artistic vision and talent whereas Miley, not so much.

    • perplexed says:

      I feel like the transitions Madonna made weren’t quite as jarring. Like, you can see previous versions of her in all her incarnations. Every version of Madonna has always been kind of sexual, even the “soft” version.

      With Miley, however, the Wrecking Ball version of her is so completely different from the current version with the flower laurels on her head (though, she is way better looking in this current version. All I can figure is that maybe she got tired of looking ugly? I guess being a role model means you get to wear prettier clothes.)

      • Grand Jen says:

        I also do not recall Madonna being dismissive of her previous incarnations. She didn’t attempt to explain herself; she just went quiet for awhile, then presto-change-o. I really think Miley just needs to STFU about it. I’m not sure anybody really expected her to keep going with that obnoxious persona anyway…. She sounds like an ass trying to instruct people how to feel about her. All I’m getting from this is that she will blah blah our ears off about her “evolution” every time she changes her hair. Get over yourself Miley

      • slowsnow says:

        @perplexed @Grand Jen, Agree and agree. I didn’t say she was Madonna but someone who inherited a certain MO. Madonna invented it, Miley is replicating it but not for the same reasons ( think it’s a mix of the boyfriend not liking it and wanting to pump up sales).
        I was a child in the Like a Virgin era but I do remember Madonna’s “phases” as a more complex construction of a persona. Nevertheless, I see Madonna as a producer of cultural chewing gum clichés of certain cultures and types of women. Not such an advanced advocate of women’s lib.
        True, she was sexually challenging, strong but it started being really demeaning when you could see that she had the MO of powerful men with her toy boys. Empowering perhaps but quite empty.
        Anyhoo, much more interesting than Miley, K. Perry, Taylor Swift etc for sure, if not for inventing the tradition everyone’s copying now. They all dig into Madonna’s constructs.

  18. Svea says:

    Now her act seems to be the little earthy flower. Her man’s woman. Anti feminist. Won’t watch the Voice anyway. She screwed her contestants with her narcissistic song choices last time.

  19. Neelyo says:

    ‘It should be more shocking that when I was 11 or 12, I was put in full hair and makeup, a wig, and told what to wear by a group of mostly older men.’

    Yeah, including one Billy Ray Cyrus.

  20. Maya says:

    I dislike Miley strongly, but I actually think this is a pretty good point:

    “People were so shocked by some of the things that I did. It should be more shocking that when I was 11 or 12, I was put in full hair and makeup, a wig, and told what to wear by a group of mostly older men.”

  21. Fiorucci says:

    Aesthetically these are lovely. I like her with her (supposedly) natural light brown hair colour

  22. Tyrant Destroyed says:

    What I would be more curious to know is why she had to go through to 3 phases of her life that were so different from each other? And more particularly, is this current persona the real Miley Cyrus or she is only pretending again for commercial purposes?
    All theses former child stars make me sad.

    • Steph says:

      No, she’s the version Liam wants her to be. Until Liam gets tired of her, she’ll go back to her wild persona or something.

  23. Aren says:

    So she was all about feminism when she clearly has no idea what it is about.
    I can’t wait to see what personality she comes up with after her new image doesn’t sell as good.

  24. Cleo says:

    It always bugged me how what she did at the VMAs was called “twerking.” Seriously, where? It looked more like whining than anything else, but only because she couldn’t twerk correctly. *sighs* Culture-vulture…

  25. Jaded says:

    ORLY Miley? You thought you were “cool”? You were a cringingly obvious famewh*re who would stoop to any level of salaciousness without being pushed into it by dirty old men. If that phase was the emancipation of Miley, then shame on you. You actually shamed all women by presenting yourself in an overly and overtly sexualized fashion and called it feminism. You probably set the course of feminism back 60 years for the young and impressionable girls who aped your every move. There was no need to pose nude for Terry Richardson, take selfies peeing in the woods, fake m*sterbation on stage along with dry-humping every guy you performed with.

    I think you owe the female world a big apology for what you created.

    • Tyrant Destroyed says:

      A big slow clap for you. You couldn’t have said it better

    • Otaku Fairy says:

      Under NO circumstances does ANY woman EVER owe you, womankind, or anyone else an apology for sexual immodesty because none of us owe it to you to perform feminine modesty, full stop. If there are certain things you do or don’t want to do with your own body as an individual, by all means, do it your way. Set, own, and live by your personal standards and comfort zones. But demanding that other women live by the same rules you’ve set for yourself about sex, clothing, or your body is not feminism- it’s patriarchal entitlement. THAT sets feminism back. Your right to abstain from something doesn’t put another woman under any obligation to copy your choice, and vice versa. That’s true about sexual activity, clothing choice, abortion, pregnancy, or any other decision that feminists defend women’s right to make or reject without being dehumanized. And spare me the whole ‘unchaste women hurt impressionable young girls ‘ card- as if women are killing and raping children by not keeping their legs closed and dressing conservatively or as if ‘virginity’ is some sort of protective amulet for anybody. The only females ‘shamed’ by female immodesty are the ones who, sadly, still buy into the myth that their worth, respectability, and safety are dependent on feminine modesty in the first place.

      • Bunnylover says:

        Yes Otaku Fairy! Are you from NZ by any chance? I like to think the women in our little country have a pretty good handle on feminism. Let’s reserve our judgment for men all over the world who commit serious crimes against women, they are the true perpetrators of anti-feminism. Our daughters should not live in fear that if they choose to express their artistic freedom by wearing certain clothes or act a certain way they will be judged as anti-feminist. Feminism is about women’s FREEDOM!

      • Jaded says:

        Settle down and stop with the caps…what I said was Miley’s brand of shamelessly sexual self-promotion under the guise of empowerment and “feminism” gives impressionable young girls the idea that they have to become overly sexualized in order to be considered acceptable. That is just plain wrong. At an age when they still have one foot in childhood and the other in womanhood it sends the wrong message that they have to rely on sexualized behaviour to be considered attractive and popular. How on earth did you misinterpret that I’m demanding all young women behave like nuns? How did you turn it into me being anti-abortion or that I’m overlooking men raping and killing? Please don’t polarize this as me clutching my pearls and decrying sexuality as bad and evil, it’s a wonderful aspect of being human but I don’t like to see it cheapened and vulgarized by some showbiz kid who doesn’t have a clue what true feminism means.

  26. sunshine gold says:

    I don’t think she knows what the word humanitarian means.

  27. Cate says:

    ^last comment by fairy is liiife. Had to screen shot for inspo later on, gf. Love from pittsburgh to you!