Miley Cyrus knows exactly who she is—and who she is, is “a lot of different people.”
That’s what Cyrus tells Harper’s Bazaar in their cover story for their upcoming August issue.
Some have seen Cyrus’ recent makeover from the unicorn horn-wearing days promoting her last album as proof that her public persona is nothing more than a front. Cyrus disagrees.
“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,” Cyrus says, “it’s just myself has been a lot of different people because I change a lot.”
One of those “different people” is a strong supporter of LGBTQ rights. Cyrus herself identifies as pansexual, though at the moment her relationship appears as straight as one could imagine: she is once against engaged to beau Liam Hemsworth, with whom she got back together in 2015. But she’s also immersed herself in the world of trans rights.
“When I started speaking up on trans rights, I spent hours on the phone every day talking to experts, so I was able to speak about it from a knowledgeable place,” Cyrus says. “I think my connection with trans people is: You should be able to change and be who you are at any time. Like, you should not be glued to gender, to age, to race; those things should not define you. We are born as a blank canvas, and your job on this planet is to take the time to paint it the way you want, and you can fucking scrape it off and start over again as many times as you want.”
It’s clear Cyrus sees herself in the trans rights cause through the lens of changing who you are, given her shifting public persona. She says she now does her own minimal makeup for photoshoots, for example, in a shift away from her previous over-the-top bad girl 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 tits out and stick out my tongue,” Cyrus explains. “In the beginning, it was kind of like saying, ‘F*** you. Girls should be able to have this freedom or whatever.’ But it got to a point where I did feel sexualized.”
“Even at the Met Gala, everyone had their boobs out, everyone had their ass out, so what’s punk about that now?” Cyrus adds. “It’s more punk actually for me to not.”
Cyrus says that period promoting her albums “Bangerz” and “Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz” led her to do some reflecting, and how working so hard since being a child had affected her. “It’s like anything when you are in it. I didn’t realize how much pressure I was under and how that shaped me until, like, this year.”
“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 fuck about being cool. I just want to be myself.” — @MileyCyrus opens up in our August 2017 cover story, link in bio. Interview by #jessicapressler Photography by @studioakrans Styling by @tom_van_dorpe Cyrus wears @chloe
That reflection led to some of her recent changes, but she doesn’t regret her previous behaviour, saying perhaps people should have been more outraged at her treatment as a child entertainer. “People were so shocked by some of the things that I did,” Cyrus 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.”
All that change has made Cyrus think, “How can I f***ing be the role model I’m supposed to be? Yeah, I just said f***ing role model. Who gives a sh!t? Because I got my tits out before doesn’t make me less of a role model.”
“I think I show people that they can be themselves,” Cyrus says. “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.”