Over the last few years, a seismic shift in the pop landscape has put Taylor Swift in venerable standing on par with Beyoncé, while stars like Miley Cyrus have been perceived as falling from grace. She’s a pop pariah shamed for rocking out with her crotch out — a long-standing double standard she’s not afraid to call out. In a new cover story for Marie Claire, this year’s VMA host makes an argument against Taylor’s infallibility, taking aim at the violence in her “Bad Blood” video: “I don’t get the violence revenge thing. That’s supposed to be a good example? And I’m a bad role model because I’m running around with my titties out? I’m not sure how titties are worse than guns.” Neither is Rihanna, really.
Miley adds that the hypocrisy isn’t just exclusive to Taylor: “There is so much sexism, ageism, you name it,” she notes of the industry. “Kendrick Lamar sings about LSD and he’s cool. I do it and I’m a druggie whore.” And after coming out as gender fluid in June, Cyrus says she’s experienced a new kind of vilification. “Some people snarl at that. They want to judge me,” she says. Though Miley warns that she’ll never stop being Miley, no matter how much she’s tested: “People need more conventional role models, I guess. But I just don’t care to be that person.”