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Image / Living / Culture

Miley Cyrus is in her Revenge Dress era 


By Sarah Finnan
16th Jan 2023
Miley Cyrus is in her Revenge Dress era 

Much like Princess Di in her famous Revenge Dress, Miley Cyrus is taking her power back… and sending a very clear message to her ex in the process. 

Miley Cyrus just released the first single from her new album, Endless Summer Vacation. Titled “Flowers”, many fans believe the song to be about Cyrus’ ex, Liam Hemsworth. 

Celebrated as a “self-love anthem”, one listen will tell you it’s a track about healing. It’s about taking your power back and honouring yourself… it’s also about saying a massive “f*ck you” to those who have wronged you – apparently Hemsworth, in this case. Safe to say, things didn’t end amicably between the two. 

For those of you not up to speed, here’s a brief (and very topline) breakdown of the drama: 

First meeting on the set of The Last Song in 2009, Miley and Liam’s relationship started out as just friendship, with Miley once describing him as her “best friend in the whole wide world”.

Friendship blossomed into something more and three years later, Hemsworth proposed to Cyrus. “I was fortunate enough to get called back in to read [for The Last Song] with my now-fiancée, who I recently got engaged to. And we read together and fell in love and now we’re married. Well, not married yet, but we will be! We’re very, very excited. Very happy,” Hemsworth told attendees at the Australians in Film Awards and Benefit Dinner in LA soon after. But their engagement ended in September 2013 after the couple split. 

“You fall in love with who you fall in love with; you can never choose,” Hemsworth said of his relationship with Cyrus in an interview with Men’s Fitness. “I guess some people just come with a little more baggage. I mean, look – we were together five years, so I don’t think those feelings will ever change. And that’s good because that proves to me that it was real. It wasn’t just a fling. It really was an important part of my life and always will be.”

By January 2016, the engagement was back on. Then in 2018, the pair lost their home in a California wildfire. “He thinks it’s not romantic, but I learned that it is,” Cyrus said of referring to Hemsworth as her “survival partner” on the Howard Stern Show. “That is why you pair up with someone, for survival, and he was so incredible.” One month later, the couple exchanged vows at their Tennessee abode in front of close friends and family.

Sadly, their wedded bliss was shorted lived and they parted ways after just nine months of marriage.  “Just a quick note to say that Miley and I have recently separated and I wish her nothing but health and happiness going forward,” Hemsworth said in a statement shared on Instagram at the time. Hemsworth filed for divorce in August 2019, citing “irreconcilable differences”. 

Around that same time, photos of Cyrus kissing Kaitlynn Carter (Brody Jenner’s ex) surfaced online, though she denied having cheated. “Once Liam and I reconciled, I meant it, and I was committed,” she wrote on social media in response to the rumours. “There are NO secrets to uncover here. I’ve learned from every experience in my life. I’m not perfect, I don’t want to be, it’s boring. I’ve grown up in front of you, but the bottom line is, I HAVE GROWN UP. I can admit to a lot of things but I refuse to admit that my marriage ended because of cheating. Liam and I have been together for a decade. I’ve said it before and it remains true, I love Liam and always will. BUT at this point I had to make a healthy decision for myself to leave a previous life behind. I am the healthiest and happiest I have been in a long time.”

Fast forward to 2023, and the speculation surrounding their relationship is at an all-time high once again. 

“Flowers” isn’t the first time that Cyrus has addressed her relationship with Hemsworth through music though. Many fans believe that “Wrecking Ball” tells the story of their first break-up, while her 2020 album, Plastic Hearts, reportedly contains “several tracks about Hemsworth” – including one called “WTF Do I Know”. “It’s not that it’s how I feel every second of the day, it’s how I felt for a moment,” Cyrus later told Howard Stern about the song. “That works as some sort of protective armour and there’s a sense of myself that does feel that way. A record is all of these mason jars filled with something that lights up, that you catch something that’s kind of magical for a moment, but it doesn’t have to be you all the time.”

Thematically, “Flowers” is a classic breakup anthem, one where Cyrus concludes that, actually, she’s better off alone. Miley has ushered in “a new assured era”, Esquire notes – her aura is “less look at me, and more, here I am,” as they put it. Timing the song’s release with Hemsworth’s birthday, Miley is assured, yes, but not above pettiness either, it seems… in fact, the music video apparently holds many a Liam Hemsworth-shaped Easter egg. 

According to as-of-yet unconfirmed fan theories, Miley wrote “Flowers” as a direct response to Bruno Mars’ “When I Was Your Man”; a song Hemsworth supposedly once dedicated to her after the dissolution of their relationship. It may all be hearsay at this point, but the lyrics are pretty similar – “I didn’t want to leave you / I didn’t wanna lie / Started to cry but then remembered / I can buy myself flowers / Write my name in the sand / Talk to myself for hours / Say things you don’t understand.” I’ll let you make your own conclusions.

There’s also mention of their burning Malibu home, a reference to past red carpet clips of the two and a Vanity Fair interview the couple did together back in 2019 which culminated in Cyrus twerking on Hemsworth.

Even crazier still? The Twitter rumour that Cyrus chose the villa the music video is filmed in because it’s – allegedly – where Hemsworth cheated on her with 14 (14!!!) different women. She’s working out because he would supposedly tell her he was “going to the gym” to explain where he was. Again, none of this has been confirmed as of yet, but… damn. 

Celebrity gossip aside, it’s clear that Miley is very much in her revenge era. The gold lamé dress, the black lingerie, the Saint Laurent tuxedo suit; they’re outfits that ooze sex appeal, but power too. It’s main character energy and we’re loving it. Like Princess Diana in her off-the-shoulder number, Cyrus is taking control of how this narrative plays out, be that with her outfit choices or her words. In Diana’s case, the dress signified the birth of a new woman, the same can be said of Miley here… even if the cheating allegations prove to be nothing more than social media speculation. 

Watch the official music video for “Flowers” below.