Miley Cyrus Says She Experienced “Trauma” From “Feeling So Criticized” as a Teen

"I’m 16 and you’re circling my boobs...I’m the bad guy?"

In her December 4th feature article for Rolling Stone, Miley Cyrus recounts the events that led to her recording her latest rock album Plastic Hearts—her long relationship yet brief marriage, her exploration of her sexuality, and her coming to terms with the trauma she experienced as a teen growing up under a burning spotlight. Cyrus says that people within media are starting to realize she may have not been the “bad guy” during her angsty Bangerz days, despite what the headlines were saying at the time.

In the past two years, I think, we’ve made some big progress, especially toward women and bodies, she told Rolling Stone. I don’t even know if you really can slut-shame now…The media hasn’t really slut-shamed me in a long time.

She said that at one point during the days where she was being slut-shamed, she said to herself, “‘Yo, when I’m 16 and you’re circling my boobs and shit like that…I’m the bad guy?'” Cyrus continued, “I think people are starting to go, ‘Wait, wait, wait. That was fucked up.’ They’re starting to know who the enemy and who the victim was there.”

When asked if she thought she may be dealing with a “long-term effect” from the intense scrutiny she was put through at such a young age, Cyrus said, “I can’t remember if it hurt my feelings or not,” adding that she believes she knew who she was meant to be, so that helped her keep on course.

But I’m sure there’s something in there, she told Rolling Stone. Some trauma of feeling so criticized, I think, for what I felt was pretty average teenage, early [20s] exploration.

Coming out on the other side of nasty rumors, negative critique, and being dragged through the mud of social media seemingly unscathed is proof that Cyrus has always known who she is supposed to be. And though it’s taken her some time to get comfortable with that person, she’s fully embracing the self she has always been.

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