Miley Cyrus: ‘When I have evolved, I’ve then become shameful of who I was before’


I’ve been writing nicer stuff about Miley Cyrus over the past few months, almost against my will! Like, I’m not a fan of Miley-as-celebrity, but post-divorce, she actually did do some growing up and maturing. Does she still come across like a narcissistic brat sometimes? For sure. But this 2020 version of Miley is easily my favorite version. Miley is currently promoting her new album, Plastic Hearts, which is full of ‘80s-style rock and rock ballads. Post-divorce, she moved out to the suburbs, the same exclusive gated community where people like Drake, Kim Kardashian and Jessica Simpson live. But she’s aiming for CBGBs in 1987. She talks about rock, sobriety, all of the drugs she used to take, her divorce and a lot more in the new Rolling Stone cover story – you can read the full piece here. Some highlights:

She’s grounded now: “Someone said to me the other day, ‘I think of you as a free bird that can’t be held down.’ I don’t really feel that way. I feel very weighted and grounded. I’m free, but I feel responsibility. I take my mental and physical health a lot more seriously than I ever did before.”

She’s full of compliments for herself: “I remember comments saying, “Why the f–k do you distract everybody with getting naked and shaking your ass when you’re a f–king talented-ass singer?” But because I did grow up watching the Cher show religiously, I love show business. I love entertainment. I love pop culture. I love unforgettable moments. I think there was a balance of me just loving making big media moments but also a sadness in the fact that I would think, “Did anyone even hear my song?”

Constantly reinventing & burning it all down: “I discredited myself for what I had been almost every step of the way. During Dead Petz, discrediting Bangerz. During Bangerz, discrediting Hannah Montana. During “Malibu,” discrediting Bangerz. It’s almost like when I have evolved, I’ve then become shameful of who I was before. What makes you an adult, I think, is being OK with who you’ve been before.

Getting sober: “I guess me stepping into that, it’s pretty pivotal. . . .  Actually, one of the reasons I got sober was I had just turned 26, and I said, “I got to pull my sh-t together before I’m 27, because 27 is the time you cross over that threshold into living or dying a legend.” I didn’t want to not make it through being 27. I didn’t want to join that club. Probably about halfway into 26, I got sober. Then by 27, [November 2019] I was pretty much fully sober. Then, like a lot of people during the pandemic, I fell off. It was really a struggle. Mental health and anxiety and all that. I lost myself there, and now I’m back on five weeks… Drinking. Haven’t done drugs in years. Honestly, I never try to, again, be a fortune-teller. I try to not be naive. Things f–king happen. But from sitting here with you right now, I would say it would have to be a cold day in hell for me to relapse on drugs.

On slut-shaming: “In the past two years, I think, we’ve made some big progress, especially toward women and bodies. I don’t even know if you really can slut-shame now. Is that even a thing? The media hasn’t really slut-shamed me in a long time. At one point I was like, “Yo, when I’m 16 and you’re circling my boobs and sh-t like that . . . I’m the bad guy?” I think people are starting to go, “Wait, wait, wait. That was f–ked up.” They’re starting to know who the enemy and who the victim was there.

Life with Liam: “In early 2018, I was playing house, which felt really good at the time. Now I have this healthy perspective that I didn’t have before. I learned a lot about what I can and cannot be for someone else and what I can and cannot accept for myself…. A couple of years ago, it looked like I was living some fairy tale. It really wasn’t. At that time, my experimentation with drugs and booze and the circle of people around me was not fulfilling or sustainable or ever going to get me to my fullest potential and purpose.

Whether she’s an addict: “I’m really good at quitting things. I have a weed machine right there. I’ve never smoked out of it, and it’s full. [If] I had a cocaine machine, it might not be full. That’s the thing. I’m really not an addict. You can have that. You’re good. To me, fun is any time I feel like I really display or I really reach my full potential. When the glass ceiling breaks. That’s f–king fun for me.

[From Rolling Stone]

There was a surprising amount of drug talk in the piece, even though she insists that she quit drugs before she even quit drinking. I’m glad – she was smoking way too much pot, I remember her interviews from that era where she was just constantly baked. As for whether or not she’s an addict… while I respect her sober journey, I’m getting a little bit tired of Miley over-explaining substance abuse and playing word games to avoid saying she was an addict. I’ve said this before, I actually believe that it’s great that she’s being so open about all of this, and I’m sure she’s genuinely helping a lot of people by being so open, but I also think it would be great for her and for other people if she had some kind of structure to her sobriety. I’m not saying “throw her into rehab,” but some kind of sobriety structure or program is desperately needed here.

I’m also glad that she acknowledges – in her own eye-rolly way – that she was purposefully reinventing herself and burning down the old personas for no reason other than she was ashamed and kind of stupid.

Cover and IG courtesy of Rolling Stone.

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69 Responses to “Miley Cyrus: ‘When I have evolved, I’ve then become shameful of who I was before’”

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  1. Noki says:

    She is just one of those people whose whole life is ‘rinse and repeat’. No new evolution or revelation just a bunch of words everytime she pops up to satistfy her attention craving.

    • Eleonor says:

      I have the feeling she doesn’t know what to do: singer? Actress? Famous for being famous? She became famous really young, but doesn’t strike me as someone who has an idea of who she is, she repeats herself all the time.

      • HoofRat says:

        You wonder how much it screwed her up to be her family’s primary source of income when she was a minor. I’m guessing it meant nobody ever said no to her because they wanted to keep the cash coming.

    • Wiglet Watcher says:

      Agreed completely.

  2. Zen says:

    She reminds me of Robbie Williams, doing crazy shit, lots of drinks and drugs, revealing photos and interviews…then the bipolar diagnosis. I do think within 10 years we will be told she is bipolar and the drink and drugs were self medication.

    • CROOKSNNANNIES says:

      Bipolar disorder is a serious diagnosis, and it’s wrong to speculate like that. Yes, there are people who self-medicate that way. But there are also people who are reckless with substances who are NOT bipolar, and bipolar people who take prescribed medicine (or don’t) and go to therapy (or don’t). I think what you said was insensitive.

    • Andrea says:

      I do get Robbie Williams vibes from her too.

    • Catstan says:

      I do not think that it is right to diagnose people. That should be left to professionals who have worked with her in person, not just read about her in the media. We really have no idea who she is, we only see one side. Its fun to speculate but I think diagnosing people is too far.

  3. Tulipworthy says:

    I am not buying any of it. It doesn’t seem as if she is taking responsibility for anything she has done, it’s always someone else’s fault.

    • Sigmund says:

      Yeahhhh…honestly, she seems very wishy-washy, especially about the sobriety. I’m not convinced she is sober now. She’s pretty vague about a lot, saying it’s “been awhile” since she took drugs and probably won’t again. Most sober people who used to have a problem can say things like “I’m six months sober,” etc. They KNOW how long they’ve been sober, because it’s not easy.

      She doesn’t owe us anything, but I do wish she’d get some help. Leave the performing behind her for a bit, until she’s sober for real.

    • Kay says:

      Exactly!

  4. MadMangoMal says:

    Here’s to hoping her next evolution brings her the ability to be photographed with her mouth closed

    • Tiffany :) says:

      All of her “evolutions” are monotonous to me. She’s been doing the same shtick for her entire music career (stupid faces, grabbing body parts). I can’t believe she’s calling herself a legend. Eye roll.

  5. GreenBunny says:

    She thinks pretty highly of herself when she compared herself to the 27 club. She may be a legend in her own mind, but she’s not up there with Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, and Jim Morrison. That’s all I got

    • Naddie says:

      I saw that too. 27 years old legends? Really? She’s not even close.

    • Eleonor says:

      Amy Winehouse.
      She thinks really she can compare herself to Amy Winehouse?

    • February-Pisces says:

      There’s nothing glamorous about dying at 27, it’s absolutely tragic. Thinking about Amy winehouse still makes me so sad.

      I don’t hate Miley, I actually think she’s pretty talented, but she needs to stop trying to be cool. There’s a reason that Amy, Hendrix, Cobain etc are iconic and it’s mostly down to the body of work that they left behind. They all displayed brilliance in their short lives and even though they were know for having ‘wild’ reputations, it’s they body of work that stands the test of time. If miley wants to be ‘cool’ she should put that energy into her music, instead of trying to look rebellious.

  6. Sean Corrigan says:

    I feel like the photos for the RS shoot tell a different story. The goofy faces, showing a lot of skin, etc. She’s still trying too hard to seem edgy and unique.

  7. Mindy_Dopple says:

    I begrudgingly like her new album but that’s the problem I’ve always had with Miley is that she never really knows who she is. And of course all the awful talk she said about Bangerz after it gave her all the success and attention she wanted. She seems like a user, she’ll use a persona until it no longer suits her. I hope she finds peace because she seems so lost sometimes.

    • Emily says:

      I like Plastic Hearts too (upbeat and catchy) but there’s nothing authentic about it. She’s performing being a 70-80s pop star. Other artists have been able to take inspiration from different eras and make something unique because they had a strong sense of who they are as artists.

  8. lassie says:

    Shoes on the bed!!

    *cringe*

    • Haapa says:

      It’s the dreamcatcher tattoo on a white girl that’s the biggest cringe for me. Girl loves to appropriate though.

    • Vera says:

      I agree, I hate it too even for photos or on TV. I was watching a Bones repeat the other day, no issues with dismembered corpses, but there was a scene with Booth sitting on a hotel bed with boots on and that was too much for me.

  9. Michael says:

    I think Miley is a mess but she is a talented mess. I also think that Rock&Rolll should be her focus from now on because she does live her life like a 1980s Rock Star. Suits her personality

  10. TIFFANY says:

    Naw, she wasn’t ashamed and stupid, her cultural appropriation was not paying enough. Racist gotta bills too.

  11. chimes@midnight says:

    She seems….so young, and that perspective makes me feel really old.

  12. Marni112 says:

    The worst thing is that millions of girls in an effort to be cool and emulate her , figure it is necessary to stick out their tongue in every photo….

  13. Lucy says:

    As per usual, she sounds (to me) full of sh*t.

  14. grabbyhands says:

    She wants to be edgy so bad!!

    As ever, she gives herself waaaaaay too much credit for having come up with concepts and advancing conversations about important topics. All she really is is a cautionary tale of someone with industry connections getting way too much attention and praise for what is a modest talent and using that to grossly outlive her 15 minutes of fame.

    So many artists could have been on the RS cover – why they picked her is beyond me.

  15. Kay says:

    When did she ever evolve?

  16. Wilma says:

    I don’t think she owes us all the details of her alcohol and drug use, but I also don’t think she has been completely honest with herself.

    • Myra says:

      I agree with you. It’s up to her to decide when and if she wants to talk about it with the world, but if she is in denial, it will probably only hurt her in the end. Angelina Jolie could be a good role for young celebrities like Miley. She was a heroin user/addict herself and walked away from that life. I wish Miley well in her journey – addiction is a b!

      • Wilma says:

        Taking full responsibility for yourself and your behaviour is very hard for anyone who has struggled with substance abuse, because you usually have hurt people and did shitty things. I think Miley still wants someone to blame. Was AJ that deep into substance abuse?

      • Myra says:

        You may be right about Miley wanting to shift the blame a bit. She probably also thinks that it’s ok to take these substances as long as you can control it – which is the worst kind of mindset for someone tackling addiction.

        I don’t recollect most of AJ’s past interviews on her drug use, but I recall her saying it was a dark period in her life and had she not stopped, she wouldn’t have survived.

        I have loved ones tackling substance abuse as well. It’s not pretty. Their recovery goes up and down, but it gives me hope to hear from those that made it out.

  17. Lemons says:

    This cover shoot shows that she hasn’t evolved and she’s just doing the same thing she has always done, but this time, we have a new “lifestyle” to promote with her new album.

  18. Mina_Esq says:

    I feel like Miley has an amazing therapist, and I’m really glad that she does. I think things could have been a lot worse for her had she not had access to help.

  19. Ariel says:

    It seems like she would be exhausting to be around. She just seems like a lot.

  20. Jules says:

    The only thing that’s changed is the rest of the world. A world that now has zero tolerance for any fake BS. Bye girl, your time is up.

  21. DS9 says:

    She really has a warped sense of self. She’s sober and enjoying sobriety but she’s not and never was an addict because she can quit anytime?

    Also, she quit this time because she was worried she would die as part of the 27 club because she’s that f-ing talented, yo…

    Ma’am…

    She’s really lucky she has people in her life who have kept her from blowing the gobs of money she’s made on being far more famous than she is talented. And fwiw, I do think she has some talent but she’s lying to herself if she thinks she’s where is she solely because of her average talent.

    I do hope her voice coach is more talented than her therapist. She’s going to blow her voice out if she keeps digging deep like she’s Ann Wilson.

    • Kate says:

      I’ve noticed with this interview and with some people I’ve known personally this reluctance to admit to drug or alcohol addiction even while being committed to being sober. I’m curious what that is about. Like are there different types of addiction where in one kind you just are magnetically drawn to some substance and can’t moderate and in the other kind you have some mental health issues and use the substance to numb out? I guess I always assumed any substance abuse had mental issues behind it, but perhaps there are people who are otherwise the picture of mental health who simply cannot partake in some substance without abusing it? I’m not being shady here I’m genuinely curious.

  22. Jaded says:

    She’s a walking case of histrionic personality disorder.

  23. Mrs. Peel says:

    That cover pic is atrocious.

  24. LightPurple says:

    Wow, Miley! A topless or nude cover on Rolling Stone! Like nobody has ever done THAT before. Well, except for Janet Jackson, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jennifer Aniston, Lady Gaga, Madonna, Demi Moore, Brooke Shields, Tori Spelling, Cristina Aquilera, Brittney Spears, Lauren Hutton, Anna Paquin, and Miley herself.

    Miley really needs to get over herself.

  25. Otaku fairy says:

    She’s WAY wrong about not being able to slut-shame people anymore, or victim-blame them. It’s just that there’s a little more criticism for it now than there would have been decades ago. The trauma it has caused and the way it’s used to rationalize other abuses is being looked at more carefully. The tactics used to coerce women and girls into silent acceptance of it all are getting more attention too, and being seen through.
    We still have a long, long ass way to go with all of it though. Men and boys are still seen as more worth that kind of effort. Even in the lgbtq community it sometimes looks like lesbians and bisexual women have what we have mainly because of the vulnerability of boys and men. Girls and women were always just as worth it though, and will always be just as worth it. Always. 😸

  26. jenn12 says:

    And yet her taking responsibility never includes the photos of her and her friends pulling their eyes to look “Asian” while the one Asian guy sits uncomfortably among them, nor does it include her using POC and women of different abilities as props, nor does it include her apology free posing for Terry Richardson, who openly harasses and assaults women. But keep pretending your butt shaking is controversial and upsetting, you basic, privileged white girl.

    • jenn12 says:

      Oh, I forgot: shaming and taunting Sinead O’Connor for her mental health issues, knowing full well that O’Connor has attempted to take her own life before.

  27. Mette says:

    She’s gotten by this far on nepotism and has profited on her many fake personas. She needs to go.

  28. lili says:

    Hmmm but the pics are another story.
    Also they say you’re an addict for life. Her boasting about being great at avoiding sounds fishy.

  29. Christine says:

    She tries so hard to reinvent herself and then goes overboard and has to do it all over again. How many “this is who I really am” interviews do we have to read about her?

  30. Amando says:

    She has a lot of growing and maturing to do and I wish she would stop talking about addiction because she has no idea what she is talking about. Take a year off, stay single, lay low, grow as a person and get some counseling.

  31. NotSoSocialButterfly says:

    And when does that stop? 🙄

  32. Blerg says:

    All the messed up Disney girls. They were minors. Their parents should take more of the heat for not protecting them. Childhood exploitation is not good for the psyche, and fame is not soul food.

  33. Blerg says:

    All the messed up Disney girls. They were minors. Their parents should take more of the heat for not protecting them. Childhood exploitation is not good for the psyche, and fame is not soul food.

  34. Cali says:

    She’s so exhaustingly try hard, all the time. Her only grounding thing has divorced her.

  35. Implicit says:

    Her shirt is fucking problematic and ruined everything she said #NoThanksI’llPassMiley

    • Valerie says:

      The shirt is a replica (?) of an “iconic” punk shirt (a McLaren/Westwood design, that a few famous people wore back in the day).

      Of course I don’t know if Miley’s intention is to make an actual statement about sexuality (what Westwood meant), or to be “oh so edgy and retro” ;-)