At only 22, Miley Cyrus has been the Disney icon, the MTV Artist of the Year, the party girl, and now, it seems like she just wants to be herself. In her September cover interview with Marie Claire, Cyrus shared some of the body positivity struggles she’s faced since her time as Hannah Montana.
“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 fucking flippers.”
“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 fuck am I?”
The definition of “pretty” here, as decided by Disney–ABC Television Group, is white with long blonde hair and bright clothes. How basic of them! Eventually, Cyrus realized the pawn look wasn’t for her and started being herself – and talking openly about her gender and sexuality fluidity. After spending her preteen years working 12 hour days on set, Miley now spends her days in an “unpretentious, low-tech” studio with a working five-foot bong. Of course, she still wears the occasional wig. But only when she feels like it.