What Does Miley's New, All-White Wardrobe Mean?

Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images.
We've seen Miley Cyrus wear a range of unconventional outfits, including many, many sequined leotards, some unicorn onesies, a blow-up latex dress, and an all-denim glitter suit. Her creativity knows no bounds, and the girl can truly make a broad range of get-ups work. At this point, she could walk down the street in just about anything, and we wouldn't be all that surprised.
But, in typical Miley fashion, she did the one thing that could shock us in 2017 — she started wearing all white. She stuck to a cream and white palette in her recent video for "Malibu," at the Billboard Music Awards this past weekend, at a Wango Tango performance on May 13, and also on The Voice earlier this week. To really send the message home, she's been pairing her looks with barely-there makeup, cueing up a subdued, lit-from-within glow. A far cry from, say, her 2015 VMAs look.
Miley looks beautiful in flowing off-white dresses, white jean shorts, and beige tops, but it strikes us as too much of a drastic change to simply be a coincidental or seasonal wardrobe decision. On one hand, white is a pure, virginal color. It's associated with wedding dresses and baptisms, often evoking purity and newness. With her recent re-engagement to longtime partner Liam Hemsworth, her newfound sobriety, and a return to her country music roots, does this new wardrobe signify her rebirth?
The way Cyrus has gone about this transformation is quite refreshing — she's open about her past transgressions, and is the first to call herself out for wacky things she did in the past (like, say, flailing around naked on a wrecking ball). At any age, let alone the ripe age of 24, her self-awareness is pretty impressive.
But Miley's new look isn't a total 180: She's still rocking a bare midriff, sparkly belly button ring, messy pigtails, and frilly, funky dresses. She's just pivoted her color palette, pressing the refresh button on her career, and signaling a shift towards the more natural, neutral, and relatable. Unexpected? Yes. But unwelcome? Nah. After all, she's just being Miley.

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