We've seen Miley Cyrus go through just about every phase imaginable.
From her days on Hannah Montana, to twerking on Robin Thicke, and singing about her Dead Petz... it was pretty shocking for many to see the 24-year-old in this new, girl-next-door image.
"I feel really kind of far away from that person. I just want people to see that this is who I am right now. I'm not saying I've never been myself. Who I was on the last record was really who I am. It's just myself has been a lot of different people because I change a lot."
She added later:
"Like, people will say, ‘You've changed.' And that's supposed to be derogatory. But you are supposed to change all the time."
But growing up in the spotlight definitely didn't make it easy for the Nashville native to figure out who she is on her own.
"It's really scary sometimes, someone saying, ‘This is who I am.' People have known me since I was so young, they think they know me. I heard so many comments like, ‘We just want Miley back.' But you can't tell me who that is. I'm right here."
The Disney darling revealed she didn't realize the effects her past had on her until just recently:
"There's so much I don't remember about being a child entertainer because it was so much to keep in my brain. It's like anything when you are in it. I didn't realize how much pressure I was under and how that shaped me until, like, this year."
At the time, the twerking and tounge-out period of her life was "kind of a ‘fuck you'" to the system that restrained her:
"People were so shocked by some of the things that I did. It should be more shocking that when I was 11 or 12, I was put in full hair and makeup, a wig, and told what to wear by a group of mostly older men. I didn't want to become any sort of man hater because I love all humans; I am a humanitarian. Beyoncé said, ‘Girls run the world,' and that was an important thing to say because I think subconsciously we are beaten down to believe that it isn't true our whole lives. It's no wonder that a lot of people lose their way and lose who they really are because they always have people telling them who to be."
And although not a permanent change, Miley stopped smoking weed in an effort to find some clarity:
"Just for now. To quote the wise Justin Bieber, ‘Never say never.' But right now I want to be clear."
One thing she's certain of is that she wants to lead by example:
"How can I fucking be the role model I'm supposed to be? Yeah, I just said fucking role model. Who gives a shit? Because I got my tits out before doesn't make me less of a role model. I think I show people that they can be themselves. I also think something that has been important for me, in this next little, like, transition phase of my career is that I don't give a fuck about being cool. I just want to be myself."
Do you, bb!
[Image via Harper's Bazaar.]