"There's something about Miley Cyrus that elicits a strong reaction in people..."

Miley Cyrus on Cosmo coverThere's something about Miley Cyrus that elicits a strong reaction in people. Even in the days before her radical haircut and experimentation with salvia, something about Miley made people cry "slut." So much so that an artistic Annie Leibovitz photo taken for the cover of Vanity Fair in 2008 scandalized everyone from Disney on down. While a 15-year-old Cyrus understood that the topless photo "wasn't in a skanky way," parents were crying for Hannah Montana's cancelation. Now, five years later, Cyrus appears braless on a magazine cover once again, and, while popular opinion of the star has shifted slightly, the slut-shaming continues to rival the proclamations of love. 

At 20 years of age, Cyrus has reached a level of comfort in her own skin that far older women still strive to achieve. And, as evidenced by her 2010 album Can't Be Tamed, this is no recent development. After years of wearing revealing outfits and engaging in risqué behavior, Miley has successfully bucked her squeaky clean alter ego Hannah Montana and emerged as her own person — and a strong, opinionated, 
beautiful person at that. Because the thing about Cyrus is, for all her innuendo, she's never felt false. Whether she is running errands braless or making out with her older boyfriend, it has always been clear that Miley is just being Miley. And, furthermore, Cyrus' indiscretions never crossed the line from teenaged rebellion to criminal or dangerous behavior. So she's smoking a bong. So what? What 17-year-old isn't becoming familiar with weed? At least she doesn't have a DUI and isn't checking into rehab — the same can hardly be said for all of Disney's protégées. 

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