It’s been 15 years since one of the earliest times Miley Cyrus shocked and perhaps outraged the nation. Now 30 years old, the “Used to Be Young” singer is looking back at her infamous topless Vanity Fair cover shoot at just 15 years old.
“Everybody knows the controversy of the photo, but they don’t really know the behind-the-scenes, which is always more meaningful,” Cyrus said on the latest installment of her “Used to Be Young” TikTok series.
The new video series, which Cyrus is releasing in conjunction with her latest single, takes a look back at the pivotal chapters of her career. “We gotta go there,” she said while looking at the Annie Liebovitz cover. “2008.”
Taken when she “used to be young,” Cyrus revealed what was happening in the room, which actually included the detail that it wasn’t Liebovitz who was actually behind the lens.
“My little sister Noah was sitting on Annie’s lap and actually pushing the button of the camera, taking the pictures,” Cyrus revealed. “My family was on set.”
She also noted that it was her first experience wearing red lipstick. It was an intentional choice by Pati Dubrof, who did her makeup for the shoot. Cyrus said that Dubrof “thought that that would be another element that would divide me from Hannah Montana.”
“This image of me is the complete opposite of the bubblegum pop star that I had been known for being, and that’s what was so upsetting,” Cyrus explained. “But really brilliant choices looking back from those people.”
Cyrus would, of course, go on to completely shed that innocent Disney Channel image, embracing even more brazen and provocative imagery, like her “Wrecking Ball” video and twerking on Robin Thicke at an awards show.
In fact, as much as the Vanity Fair cover was a reaction to her “bubblegum pop star” image as a child star, her latest single is a reaction to those “wild” years that followed.
The music video is an emotional ballad that has Miley reflecting on her “wild” and “crazy,” getting emotional while wearing a Mickey Mouse t-shirt underneath a glittering red corset as she sings to the camera.
Fans can check out that music video below, and follow along as Cyrus hits the highlights of her career so far over on her TikTok page.