For ELLE Magazine's May 2014 cover story, former fashion blogger (turned online zine editor) Tavi Gevinson interviews Miley Cyrus about life, love and being craaazy. Celebrity journalists typically mystify their subjects, building up the hype that surrounds them, but Gevinson is too close to Cyrus in age and has too much integrity to treat the pop star as anything other than an ordinary girl living an unusual life. Below, some of my favorite bits of the interview:
From Tavi's intro:
I flew to Phoenix in February for an interview with Cyrus and a night of her Bangerz tour. She spoke a mile a minute, eager to impress and to set the record straight, though not without claiming repeatedly that she does not give a fuck. She wore a silk John Galliano robe printed with newspaper headlines and did not break eye contact once.
"[Miley] is more self-possessed than skeptics think she is, but maybe not as self-possessed as she thinks she is. Not in any dangerous, downward-spiraling way, though. She just carries the same conviction that I and everyone else in our age group share, that as recent survivors of adolescence, we know what is really important to us."
And now Miley Cyrus, on playing a character:
"People have made me seem like a character. So now I’m just enjoying playing a character of myself. People’s mouths drop when I dance, but my friends are like, “You dance like that in the kitchen!” I’m always pretty much joking. In the show, I do this really horrible wave, like the Queen. It’s so dumb, because everyone waves back at me like that! It’s almost like abusing the fact that I’m a little bit of a trendsetter. People ask me how I stay happy and sane: I never google myself."
On being the voice of her generation:
"Sometimes my managers say, 'Why do you ask us questions if when we start to answer it….' And I’m like, 'I hear what you say and I’m gonna do the opposite of it. Because you’re old and you’re a man, and I’m young and I’m a girl and I know that’s right.' I’ve just got to make sure that I’m the voice of my generation. I think that I’m allowing girls to be really free with their sexuality."
On making difference:
"I have guys and girls that come out, and they’re like, 'The only reason I’m able to admit that I’m gay is because you’ve made me feel like that’s okay.' That is so intense, because that is a part of this generation—it wasn’t always accepted—and I feel like I am a big part of that change."
Read the full interview here.