In case you were wondering, Miley Cyrus is in on the joke.
The "It Girl" of the moment has been making headlines since her controversial VMAs performance. Some called it offensive, others called it a modern-day minstrel act. Miley called it a "strategic hot mess."
The 20-year-old pop star is the subject of a new MTV documentary, Miley: The Movement. "For me, the movement needs to be bigger than just a record; for me, a movement represents taking over the world," she says during the film, which Wetpaint Entertainment has screened in advance. "That’s the only way to describe what I’m doing."
Taking over the world is one way to put it. It's hard to avoid Miley Cyrus these days. She's been on a whirlwind media tour promoting her new album Bangerz (out October 4) — from posing topless for Rolling Stone to stripping down in her new video for "Wrecking Ball" and even declaring marijuana "the best drug on earth." Theere's so much news about Miley flooding the web, there's now a "No Cyrus" Google Chrome extension.
However, what becomes extremely apparent during MTV's hour-long peek into Miley's "movement" is that she knows exactly what she's doing. "You’re always going to make people talk," she says. "You might as well make them talk for two weeks rather than two seconds." And while the entire world seems to be up in arms over Miley's antics, the singer says she's "just smiling, having fun, loving life."
But there's more to the story than that. Miley 2.0 is completely candid about her childhood in the business. Having never had the creative control during her days as Disney's top cash cow Hannah Montana, now every move Miley makes is about control. One scene of the documentary shows Miley's near-meltdown when her VMAs entrance doesn't go as planned. "I’m a control freak," she says. "I hate being out of control."
The show, of course, went on, and it catapulted Miley — and her "movement" — into the pop culture zeitgeist. "Because I had to do something that didn’t feel like me for so long, I want to do everything my way now," she says. "Every time I do anything I want to think, 'This is what separates me from everyone else.'"
Miley: The Movement gathers a few interesting perspectives from the people who know her best (interestingly, her father Billy Ray Cyrus and her then-fiance Liam Hemsworth do not make an appearance in the film. Executive Producer Dave Sirulnick told Wetpaint Entertainment that Miley wanted the focus of this project on her music — not on her personal life. "It wasn't so much that we didn't include him," Dave said of Billy Ray. "He just wasn't there.")
However, this isn't the story of a rich kid gone wild. Her mother Tish Cyrus is constantly by her side. "My mom is my homie," Miley says. "If I win, she wins — not because she’s my manager, because she’s my mom."
Perhaps the biggest criticism of Miley 2.0 is her penchant for twerking. Some say she's appropriating black culture, but rapper/producer Pharrell, who worked with Miley on Bangerz, defends her actions in the documentary. "This is a 20-year-old evolving," he says. "Her dad is Billy Ray Cyrus. Her godmother is Dolly Parton. She was raised in the era where Hip-Hop was king. So when people were asking why is she twerking? Why is she trying to be black? She’s a byproduct of America."
Miley doesn't comment on the race issue in the MTV-fronted doc — "I don't pay attention to the negative," she says — but there's plenty of twerking to signify she's not too worried about her image. It's just another part of the movement. Miley Cyrus is no fool. In fact, she's been fooling us since day one.
"I need to let go of the past because we need to see change," she says. "I feel like I can finally be the bad bitch I really am."
Miley: The Movement premieres on Wednesday, October 2 at 10 p.m. ET on MTV.