On second thought, Miley Cyrus is not sorry. In fact, she's pretty proud of herself, 10 years after she made millions of Hannah Montana fans' parents clutch their pearls in shock over a photo in Vanity Fair magazine. That's what we gather from Cyrus’ tweet from Sunday night, in which she posted a New York Post front page announcing "Miley's Shame."
"IM NOT SORRY," she wrote on Sunday. "Fuck YOU #10yearsago."
Maybe there was less to cover in 2008, but the Annie Leibowitz photo of 15-year-old Cyrus clutching a blanket to her presumably bare chest was all anyone could talk about for at least a week. Cyrus was big news at the time already, mostly because parents were baffled by the popularity of Hannah Montana onscreen, on their radios, in concert. People were primed for a Disney star controversy. This was just months after Britney Spears' little sister and Nickelodeon star Jamie Lynn Spears announced her pregnancy at age 16. We were in-between Lindsay Lohan arrests. So, while the photo itself could have been seen as an innocent portrait of a girl who had just woken up — "This looks pretty, and really natural. I think it’s really artsy," Cyrus is quoted as saying in the caption — that wasn't going to happen in this context.
"Parents should be extremely concerned,” parenting blogger Lin Burress said in an interview, according to the New York Times. “Very young girls look up to Miley Cyrus as a role model.”
This was, mind you, about a professional photograph taken in the presence of her parents. Not about some paparazzi snap of the girl in flagrante. But the outcries and threat to her multimillion-dollar brand were enough to make her issue an official apology.
“I took part in a photo shoot that was supposed to be ‘artistic’ and now, seeing the photographs and reading the story, I feel so embarrassed," Cyrus said. "I never intended for any of this to happen and I apologise to my fans who I care so deeply about.”
Her Disney team really threw the whole Vanity Fair team under the bus, too. "Unfortunately, as the article suggests, a situation was created to deliberately manipulate a 15-year-old in order to sell magazines," a Disney spokeswoman said.
Looking back, it's hard to tell if Cyrus really was an innocent party who just wanted to be artistic. At 25, she has twerked through a few sexual revolutions in her adult life. It is likely that she didn't realise the full business implications of changing her brand with one photo, however, putting at risk not just Disney dollars but a lot of other people's jobs. We also remember that part about being 15.
Things turned out Okay for her, though. Hopefully everyone at Vanity Fair feels the same.