Credit: Ariana Grande on Instagram

Few people would jump to associate tongue-wagging, twerking Miley Cyrus with wholesomely sweet Ariana Grande. But just a few short years ago, Miley was in a very similar place as the rising pop star — coming off of a kid’s network and attempting to break into the adult music sphere. In a new interview with The New York Times, the “Wrecking Ball” singer opens up about how she tried to help her chart-topping pal change up her image.

Miley gets candid with the publication, admitting that she actually pays a great deal of attention to her peers’ careers. She explains that she didn’t used to watch the music videos and performances of other stars, as she felt “jealous of what everyone else got to do, because I didn’t get to truly be myself yet.” But now, Miley adds, “I realize how much they’re not being themselves either.”

And now that the 21-year-old has embraced herself, she can recognize that insecurity in some of her fellow young stars — especially when they’re hesitant to attach themselves with her edgy image.

“I don’t have a bunch of celeb friends, because I feel like some of them are a little scared of the association,” Miley admits.

One such star getting her footing in the industry is Ariana, 20, who Miley says she’d like to see tap into her more mature side in lieu of her usual pastel dresses and swingy ponytail.

“I was backstage with [the rising pop star] Ariana Grande,” she recounts. “I’m like, ‘Walk out with me right now and get this picture, and this will be the best thing that happens to you, because just you associating with me makes you a little less sweet.’”

Miley does concede that she sees Sam & Cat star attempting to edge things up a bit. “She’s trying. I see her wearing the shorter things. She comes in, and she goes, ‘This made me feel like you.’ And I’m like, ‘That was like my sixth grade prom dress.’”

The Disney vet can also understand that Ari has a contract and executives to honor as the current star of a children’s show. She’s, I think, still on Nickelodeon. She has people that she has to kind of respect. Things came out that happened — like, you know, bong videos — when I was on Disney. But I never wanted to do that to Disney.”

But now that Miley is no longer associated with the House of Mouse, she’s answering to nobody. “When I was no longer employed by anyone, that’s when I was like, ‘O.K., I’m going to do my own thing.’ But I waited until I felt like I had respectfully finished out what I was supposed to do, you know?” Well, once you put it like that, it sounds like such a rational decision!

Though we don’t necessarily want to see Ariana grinding on Robin Thicke in a nude-colored bikini, we have said before that we’d love to see her change up her look. Maybe a little advice from Miss Miley can push her in the right direction!

Do you agree with Miley’s assessment? Sound off in the comments below.

Source: The New York Times

Samantha Lear is an Assistant Editor at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow her on Twitter and Google+!