Miley Cyrus is sharing more revelations from her younger days in the latest installment of her “Used To Be Young” TikTok interview series. In part 15, posted on Aug. 30, the “Endless Summer Vacation” singer reveals a behind-the-scenes tidbit about her controversial 2008 Vanity Fair cover, where she was famously photographed topless by Annie Leibovitz, covered only by a white sheet. At the time, Miley was 15 years old, and according to her, her sister, Noah, played a big part in how the scandalous shot came to be.
“Everybody knows the controversy of the photo, but they don’t really know the behind-the-scenes, which is always much more meaningful,” Miley starts in her TikTok. “My little sister Noah was sitting on Annie’s lap and actually pushing the button of the camera, taking the pictures.” At that time, Noah was 8.
Miley also shares that along with the rest of her family being on set, the cover shoot marked the first time she ever wore red lipstick. She explains, “Pati Dubroff, who did my makeup, thought that that would be another element that would divide me from Hannah Montana.” While the singer acknowledges that her cover look was upsetting because it was the “complete opposite of the bubble-gum pop star” she was known for being at the time, she also praises the “really, really brilliant choices” that helped shape the latter half of her career.
Used To Be Young (Series) – PART 15
♬ Used To Be Young – Miley Cyrus
When Miley’s Vanity Fair cover was first unveiled in April 2008, she seemed pleased with the photo, telling the publication in a caption of the shot, “I thought, This looks pretty, and really natural. I think it’s really artsy.” However, after the controversy arose, she issued a statement where she noted she felt “embarrassed.” “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 (via ABC News). “I never intended for any of this to happen, and I apologize to my fans who I care so deeply about.” Leibovitz shared a formal statement addressing the photoshoot as well, saying at the time, “I’m sorry that my portrait of Miley has been misinterpreted.” She continued, “Miley and I looked at fashion photographs together and we discussed the picture in that context before we shot it. The photograph is a simple, classic portrait, shot with very little makeup, and I think it is very beautiful.”