Hannah Montana mess. Miley Cyrus is glad that her Disney days are over. In an interview with Marie Claire, the “Can’t Be Tamed” singer opened up about her less-than-glamorous time on the set of the family series, and how dressing up like a teenage pop star made her self-conscious about her body.
“From the time I was 11, it was, ‘You’re a pop star! That means you have to be blonde, and you have to have long hair, and you have to put on some glittery tight thing.’ Meanwhile, I’m this fragile little girl playing a 16-year-old in a wig and a ton of makeup,” Cyrus, 22, said. “It was like Toddlers & Tiaras. I had f—king flippers.”
She added: “I was told for so long what a girl is supposed to be from being on that show. I was made to look like someone that I wasn’t, which probably caused some body dysmorphia because I had been made pretty every day for so long, and then when I wasn’t on that show, it was like, Who the f—k am I?”
Cyrus starred in the popular Disney Channel series from 2006 to 2011, kicking off her career at the young age of 14. As if the 12-hour grueling workdays weren’t enough, Cyrus began to have anxiety attacks before going on stage.
“I’d get hot flashes, feel like I was about to pass out or throw up. It would happen a lot before shows, and I’d have to cancel. Then the anxiety started coming from anxiety,” the 2015 MTV VMAs host told the mag. “I would be with my friends, thinking, I should be having so much fun. You get in this hole that seems like you’re never going to be able to get out of.”
The star’s famous father, Billy Ray Cyrus, played her TV dad on the comedy. Her mom, Tish Cyrus, was also on set often — to make sure she was okay. At one point, Tish even asked production to bring extra lights in for seasonal affective disorder.
“Every morning, I was getting coffee jammed down my throat to wake me up. I just had to keep going, be tough, be strong,” Miley said. “Everything happened to me on that set.”
That “everything” included her first period. “It was so embarrassing, but I couldn’t leave,” she recalled to Marie Claire. “And I was crying, begging my mom, ‘You’re going to have to put the tampon in. I have to be on set.'”
These days, the former child star is more comfortable with herself and her body. But she’s not immune to the pressure to look good.
“When you look at retouched, perfect photos, you feel like shit. They lighten black girls’ skin. They smooth out wrinkles. Even when I get stuck on Instagram wondering, Why don’t I look like that? It’s a total bummer,” Cyrus said. “It’s crazy what people have decided we’re all supposed to be.”
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