As Kanye West once famously said, "I miss the old Kanye." And as a number of Miley Cyrus's followers have no doubt said to themselves, mid-scroll, "I miss the old Miley." It was just a few years ago, after all, when Cyrus was churning out some of the best content around—arguably even better than the queen of rogue Instagrammers, Martha Stewart. Even while she was putting out albums like Bangerz and the underappreciated Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz—not to mention infamously twerking onstage at the VMAs—Cyrus was also devoting a significant amount of her time to taking and posting selfie after blurry selfie. (Or, just as frequently, some of her hallucinatory art experiments or several of her then 13 or so pets.)
Alas, bit by bit, the past few years have seen her feed morph into a bland grid of red carpet photos and filtered, behind-the-scenes glam shots—the only change in which has been the recent addition of her newfound husband, Liam Hemsworth. Could this really be the end of The Climb—a spouse and a social media manager?
But, just over a week into March, all that abruptly came to an end. The old Miley isn't just back: She's here, she's queer, and she's ready to party, as Cyrus broadcast in the caption of a photo of herself posing nude, save for a bucket hat, that she posted to Instagram on Tuesday. As for where, exactly, "here" is, Cyrus informed her followers in another photo of herself—this time, atop a giant rooster—that she Instagrammed in a frenzy of excitement about this summer and its array of music festivals. "When I’m not riding a wrecking ball, you can find me on a giant cock ? ?????????," reads the accompanying caption.
At that point, Cyrus had been dropping hints that the old Miley would soon be making her comeback for about a week and a half. The first emerged on International Women's Day, which Cyrus celebrated with gusto and GIFs—the most memorable of which featured of Taylor Swift, um, humping Cyrus mid-twerk. ("Top like Taylor? Or Twerk like Miley? Please Answer in comments below," she requested of her follower and their plans to celebrate. (Never mind that it was a day—and then two days—after the fact, because Cyrus has "officially declared Women’s Day Every ? Fuckin ? Day ? ??.")
Still, Cyrus's feed is still devoid of granular selfies; during her hiatus, she seems to have developed a taste for high-quality (and highly edited) photography instead. She is not, however, above returning to her lo-fi ways to promote the latter, as she showcased on her Instagram Stories on Tuesday:
The big reveal turned out to be a series of photos of Cyrus decked out in chains in a pool—and three captions' worth of confirmation that her jokes have not received the same upgrade as her photo quality.
Last but not least, Cyrus's new content has brought her a new audience. One of her most ardent fans these days, it seems, is none other than the official account behind Lisa Frank, which apparently doesn't remotely mind any of Cyrus's cheesy sexual innuendos. "You're the definition of sunshine!" the account commented on her first topless photo, before leaving another compliment ("radiant") rather than weigh in on twerking like Miley or topping like Taylor.