Miley Cyrus Reveals How 'Hannah Montana' Ruined Her Body Image

miley at amfarMiley Cyrus may have stepped into the spotlight as a child star, but -- surprise! -- playing Hannah Montana for the Disney Channel's blockbuster franchise wasn't all peachy for the now-22-year-old. In fact, the experience caused Miley to suffer from body dysmorphia, according to a new interview in the September issue of Marie Claire.

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She tells the magazine:

From the time I was 11, it was, 'You're a pop star! That means you have to be blonde, and you have to have long hair, and you have to put on some glittery tight thing.' Meanwhile, I'm this fragile little girl playing a 16-year-old in a wig and a ton of makeup. It was like Toddlers & Tiaras. I had f---ing flippers.

Sounds about right.

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Are we the least bit shocked that all the glittery, twisted trappings of child stardom took their toll? No, but it's still sad to hear Miley share:

I was told for so long what a girl is supposed to be from being on that show. I was made to look like someone that I wasn't, which probably caused some body dysmorphia, because I had been made pretty every day for so long, and then when I wasn't on that show, it was like, Who the f*** am I?

Ugh. It's freakin' aggravating to hear this in great part because Miley's experience echoes that of her peers (see: Demi Lovato, who has openly discussed her eating disorder and body image issues, and Raven-Symone, who has discussed being under a microscope while starring on That's So Raven) and other female stars who walked the Disney plank years before her (Britney Spears, for one). It's a toxic, vicious cycle for young women in the spotlight.

One that still haunts Miley to this day, as she notes:

When you look at retouched, perfect photos, you feel like shit. They lighten black girls' skin. They smooth out wrinkles. Even when I get stuck on Instagram wondering, Why don't I look like that? It's a total bummer. It's crazy what people have decided we're all supposed to be.

In spite of that, it sounds like these days, Miley knows who she IS, declaring:

I'm probably never going to be the face of a traditional beauty company unless they want a weed-smoking, liberal-ass freak. But my dream was never to sell lip gloss. My dream is to save the world.

Thank goodness for that.

Miley's honest talk is needed -- not just for former Disney stars but for any woman who has ever felt forced to pretend she needed to be someone else to be accepted. And there are far too many of us that fit that description, wouldn't you say?

 

Images via Splash; Marie Claire

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