Miley Cyrus is an interesting specimen. Sometimes I read or watch interviews with her and think she’s actually an unlikely voice of reason and might have a pretty good head on her shoulders. Take, for instance, her spot-on advice to Justin Bieber or her mature response to breaking up with Liam Hemsworth. But then she’ll say or do something that will just make me roll my eyes like there’s no tomorrow. That is so the case in this new W magazine interview conducted by Ronan Farrow. Of course she appears half-naked on the cover and inside. At this point I’d be shocked if she wasn’t naked.
It’s an interesting read partly because Ronan, Twitter sensation and soon-to-be MSNBC host, isn’t afraid to admit that he’s a fish out of water in Miley’s world, calling her “a human text message.” He interviewed her at her home after her Jingle Ball performance in Los Angeles last December, and she did not skimp on the priceless quotes. The whole interview’s worth a read, but I’ve chosen nine of the best quotes and ranked them from “Okay, I see what you’re saying” to “Please stop talking.”
1. On what she’s learned from her godmother Dolly Parton:
“What I love about Dolly is she says hi to the person that’s doing the catering on set before she goes and says hi to the cast.”
The fact that this quality stands out to her is a good sign to me that Miley still has a grasp on reality and a connection to her roots, and if you just wade through all the twerking you’ll find it.
2. On why she loves staying home:
“I never leave the house,” Cyrus explains. “Why go to a movie? I’ve got a huge-ass TV. We’ve got a chef here that can make you great food. We don’t need to leave. I would just rather be here where I’m completely locked in.”
As someone who loves staying in so much I want to marry it, I approve of any statement like this, especially when it comes from someone rich and famous. It echoes her advice to Bieber. Of course, Miley isn’t a hermit, but I appreciate that she’ll acknowledge that her fame affords her certain luxuries, and she’ll take advantage of them. Wanting to stay home is certainly helpful in keeping her out of trouble.
3. On her parents’ flaws:
“My dad, like, he’s the most trusting human in the world,” she says. “He trusts everybody, basically, until they fuck him over. And my mom, too, holds no grudges. She’s really like it’s the—you know, shame on—” Cyrus pauses, a rare occurrence. She furrows her brow. “What is it? ‘Shame on me’?…or whatever.”
Aside from the fact that she doesn’t know the expression “fool me once,” and Ronan has to help her out, I think it’s probably a good sign that she can acknowledge her parents’ faults and learn from them herself. She should probably add “mullet” to that list, though.
4. On why she’s always naked:
“We never were inside, and we never wore shoes,” she recalls. “I think it’s why I like wearing no clothes so much and I’m always naked.”
This is Miley talking about her childhood. It might not be the best explanation for her constant nudity, but it’s a start.
5. On not caring if people buy her album:
“You know, I’ve made my money. If no one buys my album, cool. It’s fine. I’ve got a house, and I’ve got dogs that I love. I don’t need anything else.”
Okay, Miley. We’ll just smile and nod while you try to make us think you’re not all about selling albums. It’s a nice sentiment, but let’s be real. You wouldn’t be trying so hard to shock us if record sales weren’t important.
6. On her calculated self-image:
“I just don’t get what half the girls are wearing. Everyone to me seems like Vanna White. I’m trying to tell girls, like, ‘Fuck that. You don’t have to wear makeup. You don’t have to have long blonde hair and big titties. That’s not what it’s about. It’s, like, personal style.’ I like that I’m associated with sexuality and the kind of punk-rock shit where we just don’t care. Like Madonna or Blondie or Joan Jett—Jett’s the one that I still get a little shaky around. She did what I did in such a crazier way. I mean, girls then weren’t supposed to wear leather pants and, like, fucking rock out. And she did.”
While I’ve always appreciated Miley’s desire to deviate from standard beauty norms, and I admire her personal style — when she’s wearing clothes — I am a bit tired of her constantly comparing herself to icons of the past and acting like some kind of revolutionary.
7. In defense of her use of black dancers and little people in her performances:
“I don’t give a shit. I’m not Disney, where they have, like, an Asian girl, a black girl, and a white girl, to be politically correct, and, like, everyone has bright-colored T-shirts. You know, it’s like, I’m not making any kind of statement. Anyone that hates on you is always below you, because they’re just jealous of what you have.”
Ah, the classic “haters are jealous” concept. Is it possible for someone to defend themselves against criticism without jumping to the conclusion that everyone who has a problem with them is green with envy? Please?
8. On her love of marijuana:
“I love weed,” she tells me. “I just love getting stoned.” But she’s less interested in policy than in quality control. “I just want it to be back to where it’s, like, organic, good weed.”
Okay, that’s enough with the weed talk, Miley. We get it. You smoke it, you like it, you think it’s very important to get the good stuff. You can stop now.
9. On the importance of water:
“I think water’s, like, a really important thing.”
I mean, this one really speaks for itself.
(Photo: Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, W Magazine)