I am jumping onto the Miley Cyrus train incredibly late. And I somewhat regret it!
While I admit I'm still not into her music (it's just not my style, while I do respect her talents for making music), I am a huge fan of who she has finally evolved into.
I will be insanely frank here: I used to really despise Miley. Perhaps part of it was jealousy, as she was a famous star who was able to act in her own TV show and travel the world spreading her music, or perhaps I didn't think she was up to par and I despised talentless Disney kids anyway.
Whatever the reason, I think really highly of her now, even if her fashion choices are somewhat questionable and I don't vibe well with her tunes. I can still respect the girl for doing her thing!
Let's take a walk down Memory Lane as we see Miley transform from a Disney Star to a Powerhouse Activist.
Miley Cyrus first burst out onto the scene when she landed the role of Miley Stewart in Disney's teen TV show, Hannah Montana. Although producers deemed her too young and small for the role, her persistent attitude and her strong abilities in singing and acting helped sway their minds.
Check out this clip of a young Miley working the stage, smiling ear to ear, and having fun with her fans:
Cyrus continued her stint with Disney and Hollywood Records, even joining forces with the Jonas Brothers, Aly & AJ, and Everlife when touring.
Many fans and celebrities kept a weary eye open for Miley Cyrus, predicting that once she became an adult, her experiences as a child star would only hinder and hurt her.
Cyrus' transition into adulthood began when she appeared in the Nicholas Sparks' film The Last Song, with the intent of appealing to an older audience as she departed from her Hannah Montana image.
Following The Last Song, Miley focused on her music and released the album 'Can't Be Tamed,' an appropriate title that would be telling of her new persona. Even before her public breakup with Liam Hemsworth, Miley cut off her famous brown locks, opting instead for a short blonde, pixie-style do.
Shortly after, Cyrus hired Larry Rudolph, who had previously worked with Britney Spears, and signed with RCA Records, thus producing her fourth studio album entitled 'Bangerz.'
Miley adopted more elements of hip hop in her music, and was then found featured on songs with the likes of Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa. Miley Cyrus also released the popular song 'Wrecking Ball.'
Which caused people to create some of the most hilarious parodies, such as this one featuring a hedgehog:
I remember that everywhere I turned, people were discussing Miley's wild antics from her Bangerz tour, including Miley straddling a giant hot dog, wearing a marijuana leaf thong onesie, and featuring midgets, furries, and twerkers on stage.
Here's a GIF of Miley shaking what her mama gave her.
Although Miley can still be ridiculous, and has no problem sticking out her tongue whenever she feels like it, Miley's focus and direction has recently changed.
Happy Hippie Activist
Activist for the Homeless
I first started to really take Miley seriously when I watched the VMAs in August 2014. When she won the award for Video of the Year for 'Wrecking Ball,' instead of accepting the award, she sent Jessie, a young homeless man, to spread awareness of the homeless youth as well as recite some alarmingly painful statistics.
Excuse the terrible quality, but feel free to check it out below:
I was immediately taken aback because I actually felt impressed with Miley. As a woman with so much attention and pull in the world, she was taking the opportunity to use her fame to spread awareness.
Activist for the LGBTQ+ Community
From there, I learned that she had begun to speak openly about her sexuality, and the difficult decision to come out to her mother when she was 14-years-old. She talked about how she hasn't only had heterosexual relationships, and that her mother accepted her despite being incredibly conservative.
She has recently been seen with Victoria's Secret model Stella Maxwell, and I do have to say, they make one very attractive couple!
She isn't only openly being herself, which teaches young kids that they're still very much normal if they aren't heterosexual or pertain to any specific gender, but she has also created the Happy Hippie Foundation with a warm and resounding mission statement:
We are celebrating love, support, and resilience with portraits of transgender and gender expansive individuals from all walks of life.
Check out #InstaPride to learn more about the power of acceptance, self-expression and freedom, no matter what our gender identity.
I never thought I would get to this point, but I found myself following Miley on Instagram, as well as her Happy Hippie page. I was also incredibly impressed when she released this song with Joan Jett in her Backyard Sessions.
I have never been a fan of Miley's voice, but I found myself digging the song. Not to mention the incredible message in the song. I could imagine a young Michelle listening to this in middle school and feeling very confident and strong.
Activist for Animals
I then found out Miley had been a vegan for a whole year after her beloved dog died. As a fellow vegan, I was instantly excited! Another celebrity who was willing to speak up for animals.
An inspiration and reminder to include more greens in your diet as well as let animals live peacefully among us? I'll take it!
A Leader with a Voice
If you had told me even a year ago that I would at some point actually like Miley Cyrus, I would have called you crazy. As I have seen her evolve into a stunning, smart, fun activist, I am impressed to the point that I would actually call myself a fan.
This has also taught me that while we all go through rebellious phases as young adults, some people have their phase in the public eye for all to judge and see.
Miley has grown into a strong young woman with a powerful voice. I can't wait to see what more this girl does, because if you couldn't tell already, she's has no plans on stopping.