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What 'Hannah Montana' Taught Miley Cyrus About Beauty Standards Will Break Your Heart

Unless you've been living under a rock for the past decade, you're well-aware that we were first introduced to Miley Cyrus via The Disney Channel's hit show "Hannah Montana." Since its premiere in 2006, Billy Ray's little girl has completely evolved into one of the biggest pop stars in the world, a vocal humanitarian, and our 2015 VMA host. In her interview with Marie Claire, she talks about her experience on the show through older, wiser eyes, and her perspective on that time in her life might surprise you.

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"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.'" Miley told Marie Claire. "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--king flippers."

Miley alludes that this sort of framing impressed upon her—though perhaps, indirectly—this idea that a pop star has to be and look a certain way, and sadly, it may have also led to serious body-images issues. "I was told for so long what a girl is supposed to be from being on that show," she reveals. "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--k am I?'"

Reading those words in the context of the strong, beautiful, and powerful woman Miley continues to grow into every day is shocking, for sure. Fortunately for the rest of us, instead of breaking her down, Miley has built herself up out of those experiences and is using her fame for good, counting among her many causes a crusade against the fallacy of perfection. "When you look at retouched, perfect photos, you feel like s--t," she adds. "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."

You can read the rest of the moving interview on marieclaire.com.