Miley Cyrus: "Thank You for Thinking I'm Sexy!"

Celebrity News May. 18, 2012 AT 11:50AM
Miley Cyrus attends "The Hunger Games" Premiere on March 12, 2012 in Los Angeles. Miley Cyrus attends "The Hunger Games" Premiere on March 12, 2012 in Los Angeles. Credit: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

She loves wearing hot pants and showing off her toned tummy, but Miley Cyrus insists she didn't set out to become sex symbol.

"If people find that [I am], I take it as a compliment," the 19-year-old singer and actress said on Lifetime's The Conversation With Amanda de Cadenet Thursday. "Thank you for thinking I'm sexy!"

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When she first began to dress and act more provocatively, the former child star was surprised by the immediate backlash. "People are so scared of seeing a woman being like, 'This is who I am and you're not going to change it,'" Cyrus explained.

During her final season of Disney Channel's Hannah Montana, where Cyrus played a squeaky clean high school student who masqueraded as a pop star with the aid of a blonde wig, Cyrus decided to release her raciest single to date, "Can't Be Tamed."

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"Even just the title of that, for a woman to say she can't be tamed. . . for a woman in the world with my face saying 'I can't be tamed' when that's really all people wanted to do, I think proves how sexist people still really are," Cyrus mused.

Growing up in the spotlight wasn't always easy for the singer, whose father Billy Ray Cyrus had been a country music star her entire life.

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"I feel I was so trained in my interviews to be All-American or whatever," Cyrus revealed. "I just got so set in the way of saying the same things I did when I was 12 years old. . . I guess I kind of realized that my whole life isn't one giant press junket. I don't have to be smiling all the time and always have the perfect answer."

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Cyrus eventually began to crave solitude "because I had to smile so much and I had to say so much of the same thing," she admitted. "I finally had to look inside and say, 'What do I really think about this? Do I really that or am I just trained to say that? Or have I said it for so many years now that that's what people expect me to say, so now I say it so I don't have to say something else and be creative?"

The Conversation With Amanda de Cadenet airs Thursdays at 11 p.m. EST on Lifetime.

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