Ten years ago, five years before she rode into the public consciousness nude on a wrecking ball, Miley Cyrus was still known to most as Hannah Montana, the ultimate all-American wholesome teen. But when famed celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz photographed her topless, her puritanical fanbase was shocked. In the photos (which are pretty chaste by today’s standards), Cyrus was wrapped in a blanket, showing only her naked back, but nevertheless, her fans felt it was inappropriate and demanded an apology. She complied. “I feel so embarrassed,” she wrote in a statement. “I never intended for any of this to happen and I apologize to my fans who I care so deeply about.”
Now, a decade later, she has retracted the apology, in as few words as possible.
“I’M NOT SORRY. F*ck YOU,” she wrote on Twitter, alongside a photo of an old New York Post headline reading “Miley’s Shame.”
IM NOT SORRY
— Miley Ray Cyrus (@MileyCyrus) April 29, 2018
Cyrus later went onto Jimmy Kimmel Live to explain what had prompted the tweet.
“It popped up on my little Instagram feed, and I thought, ‘Hey, telling them to go f–k themselves seems fun right now.’”
Cyrus went on to say that while people may have disagreed with the photoshoot, it was wrong of them to try to make her feel ashamed. “That’s not a nice thing to tell someone they should be ashamed of themselves—besides Donald Trump,” she joked.
When asked about making the apology she said, “I’m sure somebody told me to. But you know what? That’s why I don’t do what people tell me to anymore, because that idea sucked!”
Since 2008, a lot has happened to Cyrus. She moved away from her morally upright Hannah Montana image to become a weed-smoking, twerking, tongue-protruding party girl, often receiving criticism for her antics and for appropriating black culture.
She then entered her “psychedelic phase,” releasing a Dead Petz, a glitter-spattered stoner-ish record produced by the Flaming Lips’ Wayne Coyne that went relatively unnoticed by the general public.
But these days, she seems to have found a happy medium. As her reverse apology shows, she’s still got an edge and an anti-authoritarian streak, but she’s also stopped coming across as “out-of-control girl at the party.” She’s even quit smoking marijuana (which she called her “first and true love”), choosing to focus instead on her music.
— Marijuana News (@WeedFeed) May 3, 2018
And, as if to prove she’s ready to put the music is front and centre once again, Cyrus has just released a sentimental new single, the breezy “Malibu.” The video shows her on the beach and next to a waterfall, moderately clothed, and walking on her own two feet, no wrecking ball required.