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Singer and actress Miley Cyrus took her fans on a trip down memory lane on Sunday, and shared photos of a younger Miley before and during the days of Hannah Montana. Then Cyrus tweeted a darker memory.
She shared the cover of a 2008 New York Post entitled, “Miley’s Shame,” which focused on a Vanity Fair cover of a 15-year-old Cyrus posing with a sheet covering the front of her body but exposing her back. The lede says, “TV’s ‘Hannah’ apologizes for near-nude pic.”
But on the 10-year anniversary of the scandal, Cyrus isn’t sorry about that photograph anymore.
“I’m not sorry,” she tweeted. “Fuck you.”
Back when the photograph was originally taken by the world-renowned Annie Leibowitz, Cyrus said in a caption within the story that she wasn’t anxious when the photo was taken.
“No, I mean I had a big blanket on,” she said. “And I thought, This looks pretty, and really natural. I think it’s really artsy.”
But Disney felt differently about the photo and a spokesperson told the New York Times at the time that she had been manipulated by Vanity Fair. “Unfortunately, as the article suggests, a situation was created to deliberately manipulate a 15-year-old in order to sell magazines,” she said.
Cyrus also apologized for the photo in 2008.
“I took part in a photo shoot that was supposed to be ‘artistic’ and now, seeing the photographs and reading the story, I feel so embarrassed,” she said. “I never intended for any of this to happen and I apologize to my fans who I care so deeply about.”
But now that Cyrus has rescinded that apology in 2018, her fans on Twitter say they aren’t surprised to learn that it was never really sincere. Cyrus has, after all, gone on to make more scandalous headlines with public stints like her VMAs performance with Robin Thicke and her infamous “Wrecking Ball” video that “broke the internet.”
i really admire what @MileyCyrus stands for. teaching women that they shouldnt have to be apologetic is always important, not to mention her representation of the LGBTQ+ communities. you fucking rock, sis.— lucy Ⓥ (@lucnewman_) April 29, 2018
This photograph was taken by an extremely talented photographer and it's honestly a very nice portrait so idk why people ever hated but let's stop https://t.co/MyPXTXMDNd— Yellow ت (@RachhWetklow) April 29, 2018
i knew your ass wasn’t sorry when my 12 year old ass read your apology in the news— ☣️ (@jaredtbh) April 29, 2018
If that picture was so "shameful" why'd they put it on the front page for everyone to see...— glader.crystal (@love_crystal__) April 29, 2018
No one should be made to apologize for their body! 10 years later & unfortunately we still see things like this from the media. There is nothing 👏 shameful 👏 about 👏 the human body! https://t.co/soXoNe6sBu
if they wanted this to be sexual they would have had her arch her back and with a more seductive face & over all pose. Miley is just legit hunched over looking like she just woke up from a bomb ass nap lmfaoo. I never found this photo “sexy” & I don’t see it now that I’m grown— Rémy (@OkayFloat) April 29, 2018
Despite an overwhelming amount of support for Cyrus online, there were still quite a few people who—even a decade later—feel that Cyrus posed as a bad role model for teens when she agreed to pose in a way that exposed her back. Fans and critics argued on Twitter about whether or not simply appearing naked is a sexual act or if the photo was OK because she wasn’t positioned in a more provocative pose.
Leibowitz and Vanity Fair haven’t made a comment about Miley’s tweet.
Tess Cagle is a reporter who focuses on politics, lifestyle, and streaming entertainment. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Texas Monthly, the Austin American-Statesman, Damn Joan, and Community Impact Newspaper. She’s also a portrait, events, and live music photographer in Central Texas.