Everything Miley Cyrus Has Said About Being a Former Child Star

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Getty Images/Courtesy of Everett Collection/Treatment by Bea Oyster

Miley Cyrus has been famous for pretty much all of her life. She came into the world with star power in her blood, given that she's the daughter of multi-platinum country musician Billy Ray Cyrus. Miley Cyrus spent a good portion of her childhood on tour with her dad, then spent the rest of it starring in Disney Channel's Hannah Montana, landing the part when she was barely in her teens.

Recently, Cyrus revisited the entire scope of her career in a TikTok series tied to the release of her single “Used to Be Young" and touched on some of the most significant moments of her life as a child entertainer. In true Cyrus fashion, she's been pretty open about how that experience shaped her, both the good and the bad. This got us thinking: what else has Miley Cyrus gathered about her triumphant and tumultuous past as a kid growing up in the spotlight?

Below, dive into everything Miley Cyrus has said about being a child star.

August 2023: Cyrus said she couldn't have made her first album without a Hannah Montana B-side.

<h1 class="title">The Radio Disney Totally 10 Birthday Concert - Show</h1><cite class="credit">Getty Images</cite>

The Radio Disney Totally 10 Birthday Concert - Show

Getty Images

In an episode of her TikTok series, Cyrus revisited her first solo album Meet Miley Cyrus, which was combined with another disc, recorded as her Disney Channel character Hannah Montana. “The smartest thing to do was to put it on a double disc… I wasn't valued at the time like Hannah was," Cyrus explained. "[But] the voice behind Hannah was always me.”

August 2023: Cyrus revealed her brutal work schedule from age 12.

<h1 class="title">Disney's "Hannah Montana" - File Photos</h1><cite class="credit">Getty Images</cite>

Disney's "Hannah Montana" - File Photos

Getty Images

You think your schedule is packed? When Cyrus was just “12 or 13” filming Hannah and doing press, she started her day at 5:30 A.M. and completed nearly a dozen interviews and photoshoots until late in the evening. In another TikTok, grown-up Cyrus revisited her schedule from that era, which included nine interviews, meetings with editors, and two photoshoots — then getting up to do it all again the next day before flying back to set. "I'm a lot of things, but lazy ain't one of them,” Cyrus commended her past self. “I do think this girl deserves a little endless summer vacation.”

August 2023: Cyrus said she originally auditioned for the role of Hannah Montana's best friend.

<h1 class="title">HANNAH MONTANA, Miley Cyrus, Emily Osment, 'You Are So Sue-able To Me', (Season 2, episode 29, aired</h1><cite class="credit">©Walt Disney Co./Courtesy Everett Collection</cite>

HANNAH MONTANA, Miley Cyrus, Emily Osment, 'You Are So Sue-able To Me', (Season 2, episode 29, aired

©Walt Disney Co./Courtesy Everett Collection

In 2004, Cyrus began the auditioning process for Hannah Montana; she was originally auditioning for the role of Lily, Hannah's bestie. “I was too small and too young to fit in with… that group they had already casted,” she remembered. “About a year had gone by… they called back and said they wanted to give me another chance now that I had grown up.” (She had braces at the time.) Cyrus was ultimately cast in the lead role. “And the rest is herstory.”

May 2023: Cyrus believes she was “harshly judged” as a former child star.

<h1 class="title">Miley Cyrus "Bangerz" Record Release Signing</h1><cite class="credit">Getty Images</cite>

Miley Cyrus "Bangerz" Record Release Signing

Getty Images

In a revealing interview with British Vogue in spring 2023, Cyrus reflected on the more controversial moments of her career and said that she was “harshly judged” by the world. "I carried some guilt and shame around myself for years because of how much controversy and upset I really caused," Cyrus explained, reflecting on her teen and young adult years as a “rebellious” former child star. “Now that I'm an adult, I realize how harshly I was judged. I was harshly judged as a child by adults and now, as an adult, I realize that I would never harshly judge a child.”

July 2019: Cyrus knew the exact moment she needed to quit Hannah Montana.

<h1 class="title">HANNAH MONTANA: THE MOVIE, Miley Cyrus, 2009. Photo: Sam Emerson/ ©Walt Disney Co./courtesy Everett</h1><cite class="credit">©Walt Disney Co./Courtesy Everett Collection</cite>

HANNAH MONTANA: THE MOVIE, Miley Cyrus, 2009. Photo: Sam Emerson/ ©Walt Disney Co./courtesy Everett

©Walt Disney Co./Courtesy Everett Collection

Cyrus played the dual roles of regular girl Miley Stewart and pop star Hannah Montana from 2006 to 2011, but she knew it wouldn't last forever. In 2019, Cyrus said she knew it was time to hang up the Hannah wig “the minute” she had sex for the first time. "It felt ridiculous," she shared. “I was kind of like, 'I can’t put the f*cking wig on again. It got weird. It just felt like... I was grown up.”

April 2018: Cyrus took back her 2008 Vanity Fair apology.

<h1 class="title">Miley Cyrus Visits The SiriusXM Studios In New York City</h1><cite class="credit">Getty Images</cite>

Miley Cyrus Visits The SiriusXM Studios In New York City

Getty Images

When Cyrus was 15, she posed for the cover of Vanity Fair magazine wearing a bedsheet wrapped around herself, with her bare back facing the camera. A controversy ensued over the “revealing” photos, and Cyrus apologized, saying, "I took part in a photoshoot that was supposed to be ‘artistic,’ and now, seeing the photographs and reading the story, I feel so embarrassed. I never intended for any of this to happen and I apologize to my fans who I care so deeply about."

In 2018, though, Cyrus took that apology back, posting a photo of the New York Post's coverage of the incident, with the headline “Miley's Shame.” Cyrus's caption read: "IM NOT SORRY… F*/k YOU #10YearsAgo.”

Cyrus revisited the photoshoot once more for her TikTok series, saying, “Everyone knows the controversy, but they don't really know the behind the scenes, which is always much more meaningful.” According to Cyrus, her entire family was on set, including her younger sister Noah, the photo was the first time she'd ever worn red lipstick — another way to split her image from that of Hannah's. “This image of me is a complete opposite of the bubblegum pop star I had been known for being, and that's what was so upsetting [to the public]. Really brilliant choices, looking back now."

October 2017: Cyrus said playing Hannah Montana did “extreme damage” to her psyche.

<h1 class="title">"Hannah Montana: Livin' The Rock Star Life" DVD Signing - March 27, 2007</h1><cite class="credit">Getty Images</cite>

"Hannah Montana: Livin' The Rock Star Life" DVD Signing - March 27, 2007

Getty Images

In an interview with CBS Sunday Morning in 2017, Cyrus talked about the impact playing Hannah had on her as a person. “I definitely look back on it as a good time. I think what was hard for me was balancing everything,” she shared at the time. “I think it got harder when I started touring as both — I toured as Hannah Montana and as myself. I think that’s probably what’s a little bit wrong with me now! I mark that up to doing some extreme damage in my psyche as an adult person.”

While in the throes of Disney, Cyrus enjoyed her experience — but her feelings changed after a few years away. “I liked being in the Disney universe because I didn’t know anything else. I knew I was getting to live what I wanted to do,” she said. “I think now that I’m older now, I realize that’s a lot to put on a kid.”

July 2017: Cyrus said she doesn't remember a lot of her child stardom.

<h1 class="title">Disney's "Hannah Montana" - File Photos</h1><cite class="credit">Byron Cohen/Disney Channel</cite>

Disney's "Hannah Montana" - File Photos

Byron Cohen/Disney Channel

The musician got real about the pressure of child stardom in an interview with Harper's Bazaar in 2017, saying that there's a lot she doesn't recall from that period of her life. “There’s so much I don’t remember about being a child entertainer because it was so much to keep in my brain,” Cyrus explained. “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.”

She also called out the double standard of people criticizing her Bangerz performances in her early twenties, and not the fact that she was dressed up like an adult pop star when she was a teenager. “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,” Cyrus said.

August 2015: Cyrus said she got her period for the first time on the Hannah Montana set.

<h1 class="title">Disney's "Hannah Montana" - File Photos</h1><cite class="credit">Joel Warren/Disney Channel</cite>

Disney's "Hannah Montana" - File Photos

Joel Warren/Disney Channel

Cyrus remembers the day she got her first period, but it was where she got it that sticks in her memory the most: the Hannah Montana set while wearing white pants. “It was so embarrassing, but I couldn't leave. And I was crying, begging my mom, 'You're going to have to put the tampon in. I have to be on set,'” Cyrus told Marie Claire in 2015.

She also shared that she started dealing with anxiety attacks before performing live. “I would have anxiety attacks. 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,” Cyrus said. “Then the anxiety started coming from anxiety."

August 2015: Cyrus said being a child star gave her “body dysmorphia.”

<h1 class="title">Disney's "Hannah Montana" - File Photos</h1><cite class="credit">Bob D'Amico/Disney Channel</cite>

Disney's "Hannah Montana" - File Photos

Bob D'Amico/Disney Channel

Playing the role of blonde superstar Hannah Montana from a young age impacted Cyrus's view of beauty standards and her body image. “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,'” she said in the same Marie Claire interview. “Meanwhile, I'm this fragile little girl playing a 16-year-old in a wig and a ton of makeup. It was like Toddlers & Tiaras. I had f*cking flippers.”

“I was told for so long what a girl is supposed to be from being on that show,” Cyrus explained. “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*ck am I?'”

Originally Appeared on Teen Vogue

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