More than just playing around with hair and makeup, the visual shifts of Miley Cyrus is not only significant in the liberation of her image and definition of her identity, it also marks the evolution of her music.
Just like many pop stars before her, you know, the progressive greats who paved the way for many today such as Madonna, Britney Spears, and Beyoncé, Miley Cyrus was never one to shy away when it comes to beauty. Whether it was the classic switcheroo from blonde to brunette in Hannah Montana, her bold pretty-meets-punk phase, or the confident swerve into 80s territory with an of-the-moment mullet, lived in kohl-filled lids, and ch-ch-cherry bomb red lips, she always knew how to make a statement with just one look. More than just playing around with hair and makeup, however, these visual shifts were not only significant in liberating her from the image of gleaming perfection engineered by Disney, it also marked her evolution in music.
Unapologetic and no-holds-barred, Miley Cyrus knows how to have fun when it comes to beauty and her music. Ever the irreverent, the artist who has experimented on genres ranging from country, psychedelic pop, and glam rock, would parallel these big swings in her career with equally risk-taking moments when it comes to her look. Constantly evolving and growing, whether it be in the form of stacking, smearing, and stripping layers, she was, to further the metaphor, marching to the beat of her own drum.
The Beauty Of Being
More than surprising, which usually files itself as a pleasant turn, Miley Cyrus would constantly shock us with her era-defining beauty moments. Ditching the gloss and punched up pink closely identified with her reign as tween queen, debuting a precise platinum pixie and pairing with a bold red lip, or packing dazzling heaps of glitter on her creases, she knew how to wow with her reinventions, turning her quirks and whims into trends that everyone would want in on.
At the end of the day, she’s just being Miley—nothing more, nothing less. Who knows what will come next from her? A buzzcut? Not unlikely. A return to the glory of her golden girl phase? Perhaps. A fauxhawk and ponytail hybrid? She did it once and she could do it again. What we do know is whatever Miley Cyrus does; we will likely try it for ourselves for the sake of beauty, even for the plain heck of it. Whatever the next step of her evolution will be, she’ll be rocking it, just as she rocks out her shows, because what? She’s got the best of her world.
Documented in chapters through her musical eras, we chart the beauty trajectory of Miley Cyrus from golden child of Disney to a Gucci goddess.
Best Of Both Worlds
Even before Roxxxie Andrews made it clear that wig reveals would be a thing in mainstream drag, Miley Cyrus was already switching things up from blonde to brunette and back, back, back again at a moment’s notice as Hannah Montana. There were no curtains of rose petals just yet, but the quick transformation was always amusing to watch.
Can’t Be Tamed
Not quite the breaking free we would be witness to later on, but right after her time as Hannah Montana, Miley Cyrus started to shake things off beauty-wise by adding more texture to her hair and coloring it a rich auburn shade that communicated: I’m no longer who I used to be.
We Can’t Stop
As decidedly aggressive as her charge was for her Bangerz era, Miley Cyrus paralleled this don’t-mess-with-me ‘tude with a shocking pixie cut that was clean shaven at the sides, which was then paired with nothing more than barely-there beauty—just a bright red lip.
Perhaps her most experimental and off-kilter release, the psychedelic energy of Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz may have been jarring for many who were only used to her taking on radio-friendly pop, but it definitely gave off a lot of fun in music and her beauty moments. In this hippie happy chapter, good spirits were at an all time high with colorful liners, sparkles, and ponytail of braids.
A collection of calm and candor, Miley Cyrus took on a more country and folk approach to her music, paring things down with strings, tempered bass, and heart-tugging lyrics. This approach was reflected in her gravitation for retro rockabilly hairstyles, which she offset with her golden mane flying free in the tender telling of Malibu.
The grit, growl, and glitter in the glam rock expanse of the 80s leaning offering that is Plastic Hearts not only made for a great selection of career-defining songs, it also accorded Miley Cyrus the opportunity to dip into the gleaming allure of the disco era where the beauty memo stipulated borrowing elements from different decades such as the shimmer of the 70s, the mullet of the 80s, and the nonchalance of the 90s. Truth be told, we haven’t quite gotten over this chapter just yet.
Bonus Track: Stand By You (In Gucci)
Ahead of her pride concert, aptly titled, Stand By You, on the streaming platform, Peacock, Miley Cyrus teased us with the spectacle it is bound to be. “I’m gonna keep fighting for us—for our community that we treasure and hold so dear—and while I do it, Imma be in Gucci,” she says. Decked out in a contrasting combination of lace and paillettes, obviously from the House of Gucci, with her eyes deepened and defined in color, lashes fanned out for full dramatic effect, and her mullet curled, the singer is set to wave the rainbow high and proud in this special with covers of ABBA, Cyndi Lauper, and Cher.
It is only befitting that Gucci will swathe her in their house’s fantastic and anachronistic signatures, because just ahead of Stand By You, Miley Cyrus was announced as the face of Gucci Beauty by way of its yet-to-be-released Gucci Flora Gorgeous Gardenia Eau de Parfum, a new fragrance by Creative Director, Alessandro Michele. “Miley Cyrus is an artist with a spirit that is both rock ‘n’ roll and eclectic at the same time,” says the master of Gucci. “I admire her and I think she will perfectly embody the new Gucci Flora Gorgeous Gardenia fragrance and story.”
In this introduction, Miley Cyrus is seen in pared down makeup and tousled hair, highlighting a natural beauty that speaks of an inner grace and confidence that is indicative of many women today. Realized in images lensed by Petra Collins, the latest addition to the visceral experience of Gucci is the embodiment of self-expression, optimism, and authenticity. And who else make sense to this great joy and fulfillment of a fantasy than the woman who is not afraid to just be herself? We get it.