Miley Cyrus has a simple message for her fellow pop stars: Chill out, dude. In an enlightening year-end interview with The New York Times, Cyrus talked about the long-lasting echo effect of her twerktastic VMA performance, why she thinks her peers are too uptight, how Joe Jonas is wrong, and her desire to see Ariana Grande bust out of her shell.
Despite making headlines almost every week of 2013, including this one with her sexy "Adore You" video, the defining moment for Miley this year continues to be her twerk-heavy performance at the VMAs.
"I went from people just thinking I was, like, a baby to people thinking I'm this, like, sex freak that really just pops molly and does lines all day," she said of the reaction to her foam-finger-flaunting set with Robin Thicke. "It's like, 'Has anyone ever heard of rock 'n' roll?' There's a sex scene in pretty much every single movie, and they go, 'Well, that's a character.' Well, that's a character. I don't really dress as a teddy bear and, like, twerk on Robin Thicke, you know?"
Asked about the blowback from some who deemed the bump-and-grind routine racist or sexist, Miley said she continues to be surprised by that reaction. "I'm like: 'How do I win? If I have white dancers, then I'm racist. If I have black girl dancers, then I'm racist,' " she said. "We know we're not racist, and I know I'm not putting down women. People got a rise out of me saying that I was a feminist, but I am. I'm telling women be whoever you want to be."
After all the talk, though, Cyrus said she realizes that at some point "everything becomes irrelevant" and that her VMA performance will not just be the standard by which she is forever judged. "And then anytime I do anything else, they're like, 'Miley kept it tame tonight,' " she said.
Waiting For Ariana To Get Loose
Cyrus said that before releasing Bangerz, she obsessively watched what other pop singers were doing and wearing in their videos as she tried to mold her unique post-Disney personality. "But now I realize how much they're not being themselves either," she said.
Whether they're signed to Disney or not, she recounted that often she'll take a picture with other stars and they'll insist she delete it right away. "It's insane. I'll get someone to, like, flash me, and they'll be, like, 'You have to delete it!' " she said. "I had to do that when I was 14 or 15, but even then I didn't care. Like, if someone was videoing me ripping a bong, I didn't care, so it's just funny to me. I'm like: 'Dude, you're 30. Like, why can't someone see a picture of your [breasts]?' "
Miley talked about recently being backstage with Ariana Grande and encouraging the Nickelodeon star to walk out onstage with her in order to muss up her perfect teen pop image. "This will be the best thing that happens to you, because just associating with me makes you a little less sweet," she told Grande.
C'mon Joe Jonas
One thing she was not willing to let slide was the recent claim by Joe Jonas that she and Demi Lovato introduced him to drugs. "If you want to smoke weed, you're going to smoke weed," she said. "There's nothing that two little girls are going to get you to do that you don't want to do. I thought maybe he was saying that like it was going to make him look badass."
On To The Next One
From Elvis to Madonna, Kurt Cobain and Eminem, every generation has someone to push its buttons. Miley knows that's her job now, and she's proud of it. But she also knows that two years from now, it'll be someone else.
"Even when I hear that — that someone, two years from now, is going to be the next kind of provocateur — like, I can't wait to collab with whoever the hell that is, you know?" she said. "I'm like, whoever that is, I'm going to ride that wave."