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.
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.