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Many musicians have a shtick. Michael Jackson had the moonwalk. Mariah Carey works with that supersonic whistle note. Miley Cyrus's "thing," perhaps, is sticking out her tongue. Now, Cyrus is sharing why she does it. She says the tongue pose did not begin as a ploy for attention (in case that was what you thought). Instead, sticking out her tongue was a way to shrug off feelings of insecurity in front of the cameras, especially when asked to do something she didn't want to do. Check out what the Malibu-based singer from Nashville had to say about it:
I was crazy about making the tongue slide work. I was so embarrassed to be on the red carpet, and so many of those fucking disgusting photographers would tell me to blow a kiss, and that's not me! I don't want to blow you a kiss. I didn't know what to do with my face, so I stuck my tongue out, and it became a rebellious, punk-rock thing.
Miley Cyrus revealed her defiant reasons to Billboard during an interview in advance of her upcoming single, Malibu. Reportedly, the 24-year-old musician is (somewhat) cleaning up her act. For example, Cyrus explained that she stopped smoking weed for a few weeks to focus on her work. Now that she is angling for a softer, singer-songwriter vibe, it sounds like the tongue pose could be a thing of the past for "grownup Miley."
The new explanation for the tongue pose is similar to a description Miley Cyrus gave Barbara Walters for Walters's list of the ten most fascinating people back in 2013. Even then, the former Hannah Montana star was describing the tongue pose as a tactic that came after red carpet events. Cyrus told Walters that she began sticking out her tongue because she did not know what else to do in front of the cameras. After a while, photographers started asking her to do it.
In that way, the gimmick that helped her beat the photographers ended up becoming the norm. (Does that mean the next logical step would be for Miley Cyrus to blow a kiss to photographers who ask her to stick out her tongue?) Perhaps the sometimes-coach of The Voice is taking a page from other superstar celebrities before her. Think about how Madonna chilled out in the years between Erotica and Ray of Light, or how Lady Gaga cooled it with some of the antics to move from Artpop to where she is now.
Miley Cyrus is a talented musician who does not need to rely on gimmicks. For a while there, she had many people feeling like Renée Zellweger telling Robin Tunney, "Shock me, shock me, shock me with that deviant behavior," in Empire Records. What we hear about the tone of this new era is a welcome change, so we'll keep an eye on it to see where Cyrus goes.