There was the [article id="1640765"]faux girl-on-girl kiss[/article], the sudden fascination with hot pants and micro shorts and the $25,000 corset and low-cut top from [article id="1638439"]her "Can't Be Tamed" video[/article].
Miley Cyrus, 17, is clearly going through some changes as she emerges from her gilded "Hannah Montana" cage and tries to assert her womanhood while making sure not to leave her legion of adoring teenage fans in her feather-and-lace wake. Her recent way grown-up sartorial choices have raised some eyebrows, though, and in an interview with The Associated Press, the singer made it clear that she doesn't think she's gone too far.
"I'm not trying to be 'slutty,' " Cyrus said while promoting the release of Can't Be Tamed, which hit stores Tuesday (June 15). "I'm not trying to be like, go to the club and get a bunch of guys. ... What I'm trying to do is to make a point with my record and look consistent, in the way my record sounds and the way I dress."
Like Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera before her, Cyrus is finding that navigating the transition from squeaky-clean singer/actress to more mature pop star is not always seamless, and criticism and questions are par for the course.
Cyrus, who is dating Australian actor Liam Hemsworth, admitted to having a predilection for short shorts and hot pants but said she doesn't think there's anything wrong with showing off her legs. "I'm really comfortable with my body, I work really hard to be fit and to know that I can wear whatever makes me most comfortable," she said. "I feel more comfortable dressing with a little less, which is just how I've always been. ... Now I'm able to do that a little more freely and, also, I've just grown up to be this way too. It's not like this was me five years ago. It's me now, presently."
Cyrus is likely to make even bolder moves later this year when she [article id="1629314"]hangs up the "Montana" blond wig for good[/article], and she's looking forward to ending that chapter of her career.
"When you're 11, the word you would use to describe someone is definitely not sexy, and as you get older I think you grow into that," she said of the role she took on as a preteen. "And I think I've done that, but that's not my shtick. That's not what I'm trying to do to sell records. I want people to buy my record because of my music."
In describing the concept of the avian-themed "Can't Be Tamed" video last month, Cyrus said her friends and fans have been waiting for her to move on to the next incarnation of her public persona, and she thinks they'll be proud of what she's come up with. "It's not a new Miley; it's just a new part of me," Cyrus said about the video, which she called the first step toward "growing up" for the fellow tween girls who have grown up with her "Montana" character.
What do you think of Miley's new image? Let us know in the comments!