Twerking away from Hannah Montana turned Miley Cyrus into a superstar. But it looks like she’ll never be able to transform herself like that again.
Everyone was talking about Cyrus during her Bangerz days in 2013. She sold over one million copies, had chart-topping hits and became a fashion icon. But she was also called out for culturally appropriating black culture and ripping off hip-hop.
Four years later, Cyrus returned to her country roots for Younger Now and floundered. None of the album’s singles topped the charts. It followed the now-forgotten 2015 album Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz, an experimental collection produced by The Flaming Lips’ Wayne Coyne derided as a self-indulgent vanity album.
Now, Miley Cyrus is back with the part one release of her three-part EP She Is Coming and critics are pulling it apart.
Cyrus can’t even engage in politics without controversy. Cyrus protested Alabama’s restrictive HB314 abortion law with an Instagram post where she licked a cake reading “abortion is healthcare.” The pro-choice message was obscured when Instagram-famous baker Becca Rea-Holloway accused her of stealing her cake design.
Cyrus apologized and offered to give Rea-Holloway credit, but, as fans pointed out, she didn’t offer to pay Rea-Holloway for the design and was simply apologizing for not getting away with it.
Her attempts to get back into acting haven’t ended up any better. When she starred in Woody Allen’s 2016 Amazon show, critics roasted the show and Cyrus had to defend collaborating with a man accused of sexually assaulting his underage daughter.
This month, she starred in a new episode of Black Mirror and boy, did that bomb. Indie Wire called it one of the show’s “worst episodes” ever for its “over the top, cartoonish” performance.
Does the world hate on Cyrus because she changes her image so much or does she change her image so much because everyone hates on her? Either way, we know three things are true. Cyrus will never be Hannah Montana again. The girl can sing. And she’ll make headlines no matter what.