Miley Cyrus Gave Up Her Wild Style Because She Felt Oversexualized

Miley Cyrus
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Just as we associated teen Miley Cyrus with all things Disney and squeaky-clean, early 20-something Miley was synonymous with twerking, sticking her tongue out, and wearing minimal clothing. But in typical pop star fashion, the now 24-year-old entertainer's public persona is always evolving. In Harper's Bazaar's August cover story, Miley explains her toned-down image.

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Although we're all currently singing her mellow, romantic radio hit "Malibu," Bazaar points out that the last official album Miley released was Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz, a collaboration with the Flaming Lips that she released online and promoted with a tour in which she regularly wore a unicorn horn and a prosthetic penis.

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"I feel really kind of far away from that person," Miley told the magazine. "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."

Harper's Bazaar Miley Cyrus August 2017
harpersbazaarus/Instagram; Camilla Akrans 

Fair. Constantly changing and trying to figure out who you are is basically a hallmark of being in your 20s. But because Miley's grown up right before our eyes, the public has gotten attached to -- or perhaps, turned off by -- some of the "different people" the singer has cycled through "being." Even her latest, "toned down" persona has been the target of backlash (consider the recent New Yorker piece, "Miley Cyrus's Creepy Return to Wholesomeness"). 

Not that Miley's letting it get to her. "People get told that it's a bad thing to change," she noted. "Like, people will say, 'You've changed.' And that's supposed to be derogatory. But you are supposed to change all the time." 

Yet, every time her image has shifted, she's faced criticism. "People were so shocked by some of the things that I did," she observed, referring to her previous, half-naked and twerking incarnation. "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." Also fair! 

Harpers Bazaar cover august 2017
harpersbazaarus/Instagram

But the rebellious, "in-your-face" era soon wore thin for the former child. "It became something that was expected of me," Miley explained to Bazaar. "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. In the beginning, it was kind of like saying, 'F*ck you. Girls should be able to have this freedom or whatever.' But it got to a point where I did feel sexualized."

At the same time, she realized the once jaw-drop-inducing shtick has jumped the shark. "Even at the Met Gala, everyone had their boobs out, everyone had their ass out, so what's punk about that now?" she asked. "It's more punk actually for me to not."

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Pretty damn insightful points all around.

While she's always going to be subject to tongue-wagging, it sounds like the entertainer's sense of self is only getting more solid. As she concluded in her interview:

"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-ck about being cool. I just want to be myself."

Yes, Miley. You do you!

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