VMAs Criticism Left Miley Cyrus Unable to Wear a Bikini for 2 Years

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While recently chatting with fellow former child-star Demi Lovato, Miley Cyrus opened up about struggling with body image issues.

She says her issues stemmed from all the negative comments critics made about her body after her controversial performance alongside Robin Thicke at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards.

Miley Cyrus’ 2013 VMA Performance That Spawned the Infamous Turkey Comparisons

I’m sure you remember that bizarre performance and the ensuing memes fondly, but if not, here’s a very brief recap: in what has now become one of Miley’s best-known performances, she sang and danced in a fuzzy bodysuit, and then twerked in nude latex underwear. It spawned comparisons of Miley to a raw turkey, which took the internet by storm.

At the time, Miley seemed confident. But that self-assurance went out the window as the singer started seeing the jokes all over the internet.

Related: Miley Cyrus’s Controversial Slam on Liam Hemsworth

Now, Miley is opening up about how insecure all that criticism made her.

The former Disney Channel star has been doing daily “talk shows” called Bright Minded: Live With Miley. This time she chatted with Demi Lovato. As the pair video chatted from their cellphones, Miley revealed her struggles with body image issues that were sparked by what she saw as body-shaming. She said she adjusted her wardrobe accordingly.

Criticisms Made Miley Less Confident, Affected Her Wardrobe

“I basically went through two or three years where I wouldn’t wear shorts. I stopped wearing skirts on stage, all this sh*t,” Miley said. “Because after the VMAs and I had on my cute little nude bodysuit, everyone started comparing me to a turkey and putting a turkey in my outfit. I was just so skinny and so pasty and they kept putting me next to this turkey, and I was feeling so bad on myself that I did not wear a bikini for like two years.”

“No one thought that that would’ve ever made me feel some type of way,” Miley said of the memes mocking her outfit. “It was just really, really hurtful to be so body-shamed like that. And it really affected me in my personal life.”

She also said that changing her wardrobe in the face of criticism left her feeling like a “fraud.”

Miley felt like “having this persona of being the most confident girl on the planet” while also refusing to wear things like shorts or bathing suits was “actually kind of fraud.”

Lovato has dealt with her own fair share of body image issues over the years. This eventually led to the singer’s ongoing battle with an eating disorder. She said it inspired her to do “bigger” things with her platform.

“I’ve talked about my struggles with food and stuff. And yeah, I’m glad that I did, because it’s brought me and my fans closer,” Demi said during the chat. “It, I feel like, helped young people learn to accept their bodies when it starts to change.”