Miley Cyrus has reflected on the deep-seated body issues she’s experienced over her lifetime as a by-product of experiencing near-constant scrutiny from the media. 

Cyrus recently sat down for an extensive cover feature with Rolling Stone in a vulnerable interview that saw her open up about the ramifications living under a microscope has had on her mental health and her self-perception.

During the interview, author Brittany Spanos asked about how after half a lifetime in the public eye, Cyrus believes she is perceived today. Referencing the ‘Angels Like You’ lyric “I’m everything they said I would be.”

“Today is very different. I think since ‘Midnight Sky’ a lot has changed. I think I’ve always had a level of respect, but the c-word, “crazy,” was labeled on me a lot,” mused Miley.

“It was that I was crazy, that I was, even at some points, cold or unable to settle down. And that’s what “Angels Like You” was about. I’m the stereotype,” she explains.

“I’m what you thought I’d be, I’m everything they said I would be. I had some guilt or shame with that song in the way that it’s written, but now that I listen to it, it is actually apologetic. It is saying, ‘It’s not your fault I ruin everything, and it’s not your fault that I can’t be what you need.’ My independence and, I guess, my survivalist instincts make it where I can seem selfish.”

Check out ‘Midnight Sky’ by Miley Cyrus:

Miley recognises that she has witnessed palpable societal progress in the way that women’s bodies are perceived and talked about in comparison to her experience with the media during her formative years.

“In the past two years, I think, we’ve made some big progress, especially toward women and bodies,” she admits. “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 shit like that . . . I’m the bad guy? ‘I think people are starting to go, ‘Wait, wait, wait. That was fucked up.’ They’re starting to know who the enemy and who the victim was there.”

When asked whether the long-term scrutiny of her body and sexuality has had lasting ramifications, Cyrus admits: “I can’t remember if it hurt my feelings or not.”

She continued, “I don’t remember it really penetrating. I think I knew who I was meant to be, but I’m sure there’s something in there. Some trauma of feeling so criticized, I think, for what I felt was pretty average teenage, early [twenties] exploration.”

Check out ‘Prisoner’ by Miley Cyrus featuring Dua Lipa:

Miley Cyrus released her seventh studio album, Plastic Hearts, on November 27th. Check out our track-by-track breakdown here.

Get unlimited access to the coverage that shapes our culture.
to Rolling Stone magazine
to Rolling Stone magazine