Don't misjudge Miley Cyrus's fondness for cleavage-bearing gowns, skin-tight corsets and super-short shorts -- or her pole and lap-dancing performances.
"I'm not trying to be 'slutty'," the 17-year-old "Can't Be Tamed" singer tells the Associated Press.
"I'm not trying to be, like, go to the club and get a bunch of guys," says Cyrus, who's currently dating Australian actor Liam Hemsworth. "What I'm trying to do is make a point with my record and look consistent, in the way my record sounds and the way I dress."
In her video for "Can't Be Tamed," (the album of the same name debuts next week) Cyrus wore a $25,000 corset, shows off her legs in hot-pants while writhing in a cage, and, in another scene, wears a low-cut leotard with thigh-high boots and feathers. She posed nearly topless on the December 2008 cover of Vanity Fair, and turned heads in August 2009 with a pole-dancing routine at the Teen Choice Awards.
Cyrus defends her provocative behavior and outfits. "I'm really comfortable with my body, I work really hard to be fit and to know that I can wear whatever makes me most comfortable."
As a maturing teen, she adds that "I feel more comfortable dressing with a little less, which is just how I've always been...Now I'm able to do that a little more freely and, also, I've just grown up to be this way too. It's not like this was me five years ago. It's me now, presently."
The singer and actress, whose star-making Disney series Hannah Montana wraps this year, explains that she's "grown into" becoming sexy. "When you're 11, the word you would use to describe someone is definitely not sexy, and as you get older I think you grow into that. And I think I've done that but that's not my schtick. That's not what I'm trying to do to sell records. I want people to buy my record because of my music."