After Miley Cyrus’ topless photo was deleted from Instagram, she responded in perhaps the inexplicable way possible: she started posting photoshopped images of her own face on other women’s bodies. Wait, that’s not quite strange enough yet. The other women were topless. Still not weird enough? The images of herself she used were of a young Miley, not the adult. Oh, and the photos are blurred, unlike the topless photo she initially posted of herself. Still need more odd? In one of them, she used five different young-Miley images on five different adult bodies standing side-by-side.
MTV News reports that Miley posted the original shot last night. In it, Miley is lying on her back, arm between her bare breasts. Cyrus reportedly captioned the photo with a statement that she was sure someone would flag it for removal (bare female nipples are against Instagram’s nudity policy), throwing out the hashtag #FreeTheNipple.
Again, both are somewhat censored, both appear to be completely consensual images of women celebrating topfreedom, both seem to have already been images about #freethenipple before Miley even touched them…. and both now bear the face of Miley, the Miley of Hannah Montana and Nickelodeon, rather than the Miley Cyrus of MTV and “Wrecking Ball.”
If you’re looking for statements from Cyrus on her intent, she hasn’t expressed anything outside the captions, which read, respectively,
bring me out bring me ouuuutttt (. ) (. )
Free em bb (. ) (. )
Aside from “free the nipple,” there’s no explanation for the odd photos, and we’re left to speculate — is this Miley’s way of expressing that being topless is innocent, like her little-girl photos, or is she just looking for a way to shock again? Even without the partial nudity, the images are jarring and disproportionate, with a child’s face on an adult body.
She did share a similarly photoshopped image last week, with her adult face on other women’s bodies, and has shared numerous other photos that skate the line (such as the one of a pair of breasts with only the nipples covered by cutouts of a baby’s face), as well as others that Instagram has removed. As you can see above, Miley is a fan of strange and jarring imagery.
It’s also not Miley’s first time sharing an image of a child’s face on a different body.
Whatever her intent, and however odd and startling the altered images may be, Instagram probably won’t remove Miley Cyrus’ topless photos, as long as they don’t show nipple, so her strange new child-face-on-adult-body meme could last.