The one-time pop princess of “Hannah Montana” fame wasn’t always the hot twerking mess she was on MTV’s “Video Music Awards” earlier this week.
The performance has had social media buzzing about whether it was awful or awesome—it depends on whom you ask—and she’s been held up as another disgraceful role model to young girls everywhere.
As “Hannah Montana,” she seemed wholesome enough, beaming a broad girl-next-door kind of image off the cover of numerous magazines.
Typically, magazines tend to clamor for child stars to appear on their covers once they reach the all-important legal age of 18. But Miley started making magazine controversy well before.
Rather than a cover it was provocative images in a 2008 issue of Vanity Fair shot by famed photographer Annie Leibovitz. A 15-year-old Cyrus would later say she was “embarrassed” by the photos, and Leibovitz would say they were “misinterpreted.”
Whatever the case, many saw them as a shocking departure from her backed-by-Disney image, but it was just the beginning of the controversy she would create.
Since magazines can be a good barometer of change, we take a look at the transformation of Miley Cyrus in these six covers (clockwise from top left):
1. Elle Magazine, August 2009: A 16-year-old Miley drew criticism for this daring neckline and body-hugging dress.
2. Marie Claire, March 2011: Miley showed more back in her Vanity Fair appearance at 16, but at 18 she pulled it off on this cover with less fanfare.
3. Marie Claire, September 2012: Older and wiser at 19, Miley seemed to at least show she had it together with fashion-forward clothes, hair and makeup.
4. Cosmopolitan, March 2013: At 20 she embraced a new look—and a new round of criticism for appearing bra-less—on this cover. She did it again on the cover of Elle UK a few months later, but hardly an eye was batted over it.
5. Billboard Magazine, June 22, 2013: A continuation of Miley’s new look to go with her new sound, but this time stripped down to just a bathing suit.
6. V Magazine, Summer 2013: By far the edgiest (some might say crude) of her magazine covers.