The most interesting revelation from Miley Cyrus' big Rolling Stone profile today wasn't that she said Kanye West was her "homey." Or that she likes to throw real-life "We Can't Stop"-style parties with her "homies." Or that she considers her background dancers some of her biggest "homies." (She said the word "homey" a lot.) It's that maybe—just maybe—the cautionary tale, "Disney star gone bad" is way more in control of her career than any of us have realized. I'm not going to say that she's... smart in any conventional sense. But Cyrus does seem to know what she's doing, and her decisions aren't motivated by an unseen manager or agent. She's making the call to hump foam fingers and Robin Thicke. And it might be the best one for the future of her career.
Here's the part in question. It comes a couple of days after the VMA performance:
"America is just so weird in what they think is right and wrong," she continues. "Like, I was watching Breaking Bad the other day, and they were cooking meth. I could literally cook meth because of that show. It's a how-to. And then they bleeped out the word 'fuck.' And I'm like, really? They killed a guy, and disintegrated his body in acid, but you're not allowed to say 'fuck'? It's like when they bleeped 'molly' at the VMAs. Look what I'm doing up here right now, and you're going to bleep out 'molly'? Whatever."
Miley isn't bothered by people who called her performance a disaster. "I wasn't trying to be sexy," she says. "If I was trying to be sexy, I could have been sexy. I can dance a lot better than I was dancing." She knows sticking her tongue out isn't hot and that those weird stubby pigtails aren't flattering ("I look like a little creature"). And she even knows it's ridiculous for her to twerk. "People are like, 'Miley thinks she's a black girl, but she's got the flattest ass ever,'" she says. "I'm like, I'm 108 pounds! I know! Now people expect me to come out and twerk with my tongue out all the time. I'll probably never do that shit again."
Pop music is weird as shit right now. Lady Gaga has built a career on steadily amp'ing the weirdness of her previous stunts and costumes. Katy Perry's image is wrapped in a kind of twisted children's playset. Just when you think pop as hit Peak Weird, Rihanna confesses that her favorite hobby is staring at a blank TV screen.
If arousing dudes was Cyrus' goal, then she really does have a warped sense of how she should act as an adult. But she realizes that her performance wasn't titillating in the slightest. She's trying to come up with a schtick, a way to amp the overall weirdness quotient and keep her name in the news before the release of her next album. And she won. No one's talking about Lady Gaga wearing even less than Cyrus—or her's actually being the performance that caused that reaction from the Smith family. It's been all Miley for, like, three straight fucking weeks. She's going to have the biggest-selling album of the year. And she'll be the artist of the moment until Selena Gomez begins living in a plastic bubble.