In 2015, Miley Cyrus had her second interview with Barbara Walters. Unlike their previous encounter, this time around Miley was no longer an innocent sixteen year old girl but instead a grown women, making a new name for herself. The reasoning behind Barbara Walters interviewing Miley Cyrus was to show the transition between the once innocent Hannah Montana and herself now. During the interview, Walters made it a priority to focus on how much Miley has grown in the five years that has gone by from her first interview. Many times throughout the interview Barbara played side by sides of Miley’s first interview as an innocent sixteen year old next to her free-spirted twenty-one year old self. There is most definitely a difference between the two but it is also obvious that Miley is not done growing, she has plenty of time to grow. The cultural climate of society during the time of the interview was that all musical artist were trying to climb their way to the top. Since there were so many popular upcoming artist in 2015 such as Ariana Grande, The Weekend and many more it was difficult to stay on top billboard for very long. Many artist did everything in their power to keep the attention of their fans and in Miley’s case being provocative on stage kept her in the spotlight of the public, but not always in the best light.
The audience that Barbara Walters usually attracts is an older crowd since her most popular show is 20/20, but this specific interview is directed to a younger scene. Most teenagers would be interested in this interview because we grew up with Miley. She is our age and Hannah Montana was the most popular Disney show during our time. This interview caught my attention because I was curious to know what Miley had to say about her transition. She was once a young and innocent actress/singer just starting out and making a name for herself. Now Miley is a pop culture icon taking over the music industry with her risky performances and new hit album, Bangerz. Miley’s hit song, Wrecking Ball, got over four hundred and fourteen million views on youtube and touched on the recent travesty of her engagement. As Barbara stated in the interview, “Miley Cyrus got on a wrecking ball and destroyed Hannah Montana.”
The main take-away of the interview was to comment on the evolution between Hannah Montana and Miley. Barbara wanted an explanation for Miley’s recent actions and if Miley had any regrets. The media and most of Miley’s fans had given her negative feed back regarding her new “bad” girl image. For example, after Miley performed at the VMA’s with Robin Thicke most of the reviews on her performance included, “disturbing,” and or, “had to watch with my hands covering my eyes.” Other casualties included her new fashion wardrobe and her public decency. When Miley was asked if she had any regrets she responded with “not at all.” She went on to explain that there was a purpose behind everything she did. Barbara’s goal for the interview was to change people’s perspective on how Miley has grown. Most people think negatively about Miley because they see her a bad role model for young girls. But when Walters brought out Miley’s mom who is also her manager she reminded everyone that Miley is in her twenties and she is doing what everyone does in their twenties, the difference is that Miley is doing it in front of the whole world. Also an important aspect to remember is that Miley grew up in the media’s eye. Every action she made was judged. For example, Miley explained that when she wore a “full Marc Jacobs gown” she was labeled as boring. This makes a good case for the role and influence the media had on Miley’s growth and choices as a person and public figure.
This interview really helped how I now view Miley. For a very long time I saw her as a girl who went off the rails due to fame but one thing I now notice is that her main focus has always been her music. Everything she has done was to help gain attention towards her music, and as an artist, drawing attention to herself is what made sense for her to make the most of her opportunity. I believe that Barbara wanted to help portray Miley as hardworking and determined with her music and not just this wild, out of control girl. Before watching this interview I thought Miley got caught up living in the fame and stopped paying attention to her future but almost every comment she made tied back to how important her music was to her. Specifically, when Barbara asked Miley’s mom where she thought Miley would be in ten years she responded with hopefully giving me some grandchildren. But Miley has different thoughts for herself, she sees herself in ten years on tour with a new album. Most importantly, Miley seems happier as who she is now, since she mentioned that she was “never happy with who she was.” She took her happiness into her own hands and did whatever it took to thrive as who she wanted to be.