For Disney's reigning princess of pop Miley Cryus, the last few years have been a blur of "Hannah Montana" tapings, tours and, of course, tabloid covers—lots of them. It's hard not to cause a media stir when you're a teen trying to find your way, especially when that includes racy photo shoots and pole dancing. Miley talked about her past controversies and what it was like spending a summer as a "normal" girl in the pages of February's Harper's Bazaaar, which hits newsstands January 12.
In mid-2008, Vanity Fair featured photos of the then-15-year-old Miley draped in a bed sheet, exposing her bare back. The pictorial caused quite a stir, but looking back, Miley doesn't understand the fuss.
"Here my parents are thinking they're seeing a beautiful picture by a major photographer, and the people of America want to see something dirty in that?" Miley said of the Annie Leibovitz shoot . "It doesn't make sense to us because [my family] doesn't look for negativity. But people don't want to say 'What a great performance' or 'What a great shot.' No one wants to look at something like that and see the positive because it doesn't sell a magazine."
More recently, the teen set tongues wagging again at August's Teen Choice Awards when she executed a pole dip atop an ice cream cart, a move many likened to something a stripper would do. "My job is to be a role model, and that's what I want to do, but my job isn't to be a parent," the 17-year-old explained. "My job isn't to tell your kids how to act or how not to act, because I'm still figuring that out for myself. So to take that away from me is a bit selfish. Your kids are going to make mistakes whether I do or not. That's just life."
For her latest film project, the Nicholas Sparks project "The Last Song," (also starring her rumored BF Liam Hemsworth), Miley spent a summer filming on Tybee Island, Georgia, away from the prying lenses of the paparazzi, and finally got to experience what it was like to be a regular teen. "I went out every night with my friends. I did karaoke. I danced. All this stuff would've been such a big deal in Los Angeles: Who's she with? Why is she dancing? I felt alive and real. It's so much easier to know who you are when there aren't a thousand people telling you who they think you are. I felt like I was really figuring myself out. Usually I have someone whispering in my ear, but I was on my own."
As for the future, Miley plans to keep pumping out hits, though she says they'll likely have a more mature flavor. "I'm doing a record right now that's another pop record, and then I want to come out with an album that's really who I am," she said. "I don't know exactly who that is yet."
What do you think about Miley's interview in Harper's Bazaar?