Miley Cyrus on Mariah Carey: ‘Never Been a Fan’ of Her ‘Schtick’
Miley Cyrus is an incredible vocalist, a solid songwriter and an often captivating entertainer, with a showy style that tends toward "Jeremy Scott meets craft store meets Frederick's of Hollywood." She's the founder of an LGBTQ-championing nonprofit that she's cannily used her fame to help promote, and an actress too. Like all of us, Miley's got layers, and within those layers there's some head-scratching contradictions, such as her "love everyone!" dictum undercut by her surprisingly judgmental (and frankly, facile) assessments of fellow famous women. Latest case in point: Her dismissive comments about Mariah Carey in an October Elle cover story.
"Miley Cyrus has this term: 'doing it'," the interview's intro opens, going on to explain that's her way of saying someone is trying too hard or being disingenuous (this reads as shorthand for "doing the most," a slang expression that arose in nonwhite and gay male circles and Cyrus did not originate). Cyrus tells Elle that her new role as a coach on NBC's The Voice is her way of helping struggling artists, and Elle asked her to explain what she meant when she told one contestant, "not everyone can be Mariah Carey." As it turns out, she wasn't solely referring to the "Always Be My Baby" singer's legendary range.
"I've never really been a fan, because it's so much about Mariah Carey," Cyrus told the magazine. "That's part of her shtick; I can see through that. That's part of what makes her a gay icon; like, it's about Mimi! It's about what she's wearing, and it's about her. What I make isn't about me. It's about sharing my story; it's about someone being connected to what I'm saying."
The reducing of Carey, herself a gifted singer and songwriter who's, yes, unapologetically flamboyant by any measure, to someone who's based her career solely on narcissistic flash is particularly strange coming from someone who reinvented herself post-Disney with, well, the BANGERZ Tour — her subsequent philanthropic endeavors notwithstanding.
When Miley's asked whether she, herself, feels pressured to be both mogul and artist in the age of the multi-hyphenate, the MAC makeup collaborator/ad star and hosiery spokesmodel scoffed, "That's why you don't see me, like, on the sides of buses, selling shit. I mean, what am I going to do—sell makeup? Mostly, I tell people, Don't wear makeup. Today, I only have makeup on because Joan had eyeliner on yesterday, and we all think Joan looks so cool that I copied her."
This, evidently, Miley's brand of realness: Everything's chill, except for when Miley decides something another woman's doing is NOT chill, save for some exceptions where she's suddenly decided it is, because Joan was doing it. Wha?
To sharpen her point, I guess, Miley added, "Alicia [Keys] doesn't really wear it. But she's got a makeup artist and I don't." Oh look, another assertion of Miley's self-defined authenticity, measured against another female artist. Cool!
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