Do you realize how alt Miley Cyrus is now? She's so alt, you don't even know what to do about it. You're all like, "Oh, Party in the USA!" And she's all like, "Look at my mohawk, I'm wearing crazy underpants, f*ck you Disney!" She's so alt, in fact, she's probably giving herself a stick-and-poke tattoo right now.
Anyways, we kind of love it. She's clearly been re-booting her image — a venture that, as far as we can tell, stems as much from PR overhaul as it does from personal growth — for a while now, but it's become official and exceptionally well-publicized just in the last month. Her recent appearance in Elle was one thing, but she's really pulling out the big guns in V magazine. And though she's definitely showing more skin than we're used to, it doesn't feel attention-grabby or inorganic. This really looks like a fashion editorial — albeit a tongue-in-cheek one that somehow glorifies her new punk-ish phase, and acknowledges the fact that yes, this is salacious, and yes, she's ultimately a major celebrity guaranteed to sell copies on the newsstand.
Whether or not this aesthetic will extend to her music in any kind of long-term way remains to be seen. Showing your butt and wearing some studs is one thing, but is she really looking to explore her music more deeply, turning her millions of fans onto a slightly less sweet genre of pop? Well, for one thing, she says Tyler, The Creator is hanging around the studio these days — and the ongoing mentorship of Pharrell Williams doesn't hurt, either. Williams was, she says, the first person who really let her explore a new direction and depart from her happy-go-lucky roots. "I can never say that I don’t love “Party in the U.S.A” and that I’m not appreciative of it," she explains, but "that’s not who I am, that’s not where I want to sing, that’s not what I want to sing, and that’s not what I want my voice to sound like, because you can’t hear me through there. I like that Rihanna has a tone of her own. Beyoncé has a tone of her own. I have a tone of my own. Everything else is just blending into one club mix — but we keep our 808s in there because I love them."