Hannah Montana was a bright spot in many of our childhoods — with the songs becoming our girl anthems, Miley and Jake being the first couple we ever stanned, and being enchanted by the glitz and the glam of pop stardom while also being able to relate to Miley Stewart’s problems as an “ordinary” teenage girl.
But it’s time to grow up. Looking back in retrospect, we uncover the nightmarish reality that was happening behind the scenes.
“I would have anxiety attacks. I’d get hot flashes, feel like I was about to pass up or throw up,” says Miley in an interview with Marie Claire.
Imagine spending your adolescence waking up at ungodly hours for your call time, getting your face plummeted with Disney pageant makeup, and then working on 16 hour sets, learning choreography, and dealing with press everyday. To add to the enormous pressure, the whole world is watching. This was the reality for Miley Cyrus, who reveals in an interview with CBS Sunday Morning the toll her job took on her physical and mental health.
“It’s a lot to put on a kid, to have them have to go get their makeup done, and also balance school, and also have me dress up in a wig as a kid is a little weird — it’s a little ‘Toddlers & Tiaras,’” says Miley.
In addition, part of her job was the upkeep of impossible beauty standards that affected her sense of body image.
“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 fuck am I?” says Miley.
Once someone achieves Disney stardom, they become a working machine – cranking out content to keep the masses entertained and in turn earn more profit for the franchise. With Disney executives having the rights to your career and the color of your hair, you exercise little control over your own life.
Since the Hannah Montana years, it’s no doubt that Miley has broken free from the shackles of Disney and has developed her own unique artistry. With the release of 2 studio albums and a fire mixtape, it’s so empowering to see Miley finally make the music that she wants to make, and on her own terms.
Since then, she’s also ventured into philanthropy and activism, starting her own Happy Hippie Foundation which focuses on homeless LGBTQ+ youth and campaigning on behalf of Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election.
“I’m probably never going to be the face of a traditional beauty company unless they want a weed-smoking, liberal-ass freak. But my dream was never to sell lip gloss. My dream is to save the world,” says Miley.
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