The Hidden Symbols In Miley Cyrus’ Mournful “Slide Away” Video

Photo: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images.
If you thought “Wrecking Ball” was Miley Cyrus’ most emotional music video, wait until you see her video for “Slide Away,” a mournful track that acts as a follow-up to her Liam Hemsworth love song “Malibu.” 
Cyrus and Hemsworth dated on and off for 10 years before marrying in December of 2018. Earlier this summer, however, the couple announced their split. Just over a week after the breakup news hit, Hemsworth reportedly filed for divorce. Since the end of her relationship with Hemsworth was announced, Cyrus has been spotted out with (and kissing) Kaitlynn Carter, ex of Brody Jenner. Reports claim the two are happy and living together. 
Because Cyrus seemingly moved on quickly from her marriage, rumors swirled that she got together with Carter before her breakup with Hemsworth. Cyrus refuted infidelity claims on Twitter, insisting that there were “no secrets to uncover” about the end of her relationship with Hemsworth and that when they reconciled years earlier, she was “committed” to him. As she rattled off past mistakes, she reminded fans she’s not that person anymore. 
“I’ve grown up in front of you, but the bottom line is, I HAVE GROWN UP,” Cyrus wrote on Twitter. 
In “Slide Away,” Cyrus sings: “Move on, we’re not 17 / I’m not who I used to be.” It’s this message that Cyrus drives home in the video — which includes plenty of allusions to her past self, and to her relationship with Hemsworth. 
The video features Cyrus hanging out in the pool in the aftermath of a raging party in which she seemingly has no interest in participating. In the pool with Cyrus is a shot of a floating card. It’s the 10 of hearts, which could be a reference to the 10 years she spent with Hemsworth. 
There is more than her past with Hemsworth in the reference. It’s easy to see the similarities between Cyrus’ “Slide Away” video and her 2013 video for “We Can’t Stop,” the video that proved the Cyrus we knew from Disney Channel was no more, and instead replaced by a hard-partying, carefree version of the star. Both videos for “We Can’t Stop” and “Slide Away” are set at house parties (in very similar looking houses), and both feature Cyrus in a pool. The “Slide Away” video even features a person in a panda bear costume, possibly a reference to the giant teddy bears in “We Can’t Stop.” In both videos, partygoers are seen making out, crashing in random bedrooms (draped over random people), and drinking.
The difference between "Slide Away" and "We Can't Stop" is that in the latter, Cyrus loves all of it. When she escapes to the pool, it's to hang out with friends and continue the debauchery. In "Slide Away," Cyrus is doing the opposite. She doesn't want to be here — hence why she finds herself floating in the pool, alone, in her dress. 
How much "Slide Away" has to do with her relationship with Hemsworth and with becoming an adult is unclear. However, whether she's mourning a past relationship or her past self, this is one music video that may make you teary-eyed for Cyrus' pain. 
Check out the video below.

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