A more mature-looking Miley Cryus graces the February cover Harper’s Bazaar showing fans and their parents that this teen singing sensation is growing up. Miley opens up in an interview about how she struggles with her fame, the Vanity Fair photo shoot that caused controversy and why she was happy to leave L.A. for the summer.

Growing up in the spotlight is a difficult thing to do and Miley knows she has a challenge ahead of herself.

“My job is to be a role model, and that’s what I want to do, but my job isn’t to be a parent,” she explains in the interview with Harper’s Bazaar. “My job isn’t to tell your kids how to act or how not to act, because I’m still figuring that out for myself. So to take that away from me is a bit selfish. Your kids are going to make mistakes whether I do or not. That’s just life.”

And Miley has made some mistakes, according to some parents, when she posed in a bed sheet for a Vanity Fair photo shoot, but her own mom and dad don’t see anything wrong with that.

“Here, my parents are thinking they’re seeing a beautiful photograph by a major photographer, and the people of America want to see something dirty in that?” she asks. “It doesn’t make sense to us because [my family] doesn’t look for negativity. But people don’t want to say ‘What a great performance’ or ‘What a great shot.’ No one wants to look at something like that and see the positive because it doesn’t sell a magazine.”

With the constant pressure of being in the spotlight 24/7, Miley cried tears of joy when she was able to escape L.A. and spend a summer in Georgia filming her new movie, The Last Song.

“I got on the plane [to Georgia], and I was lying in my mom’s lap and crying and saying, “I’m so happy to be getting out of L.A,” she shares. “[In Tybee, Ga.] I went out every night with my friends. I did karaoke. I danced. All this stuff would’ve been such a big deal in Los Angeles: Who’s she with? Why is she dancing? I felt so alive and real. It’s so much easier to know who you are when there aren’t a thousand people telling you who they think you are. I felt like I was really figuring myself out. Usually I have someone whispering in my ear, but I was on my own.”

Spending time in Georgia helped Miley deal with the insecurities she has despite all the adoration she receives.

“I used to ask everyone all day, ‘Do I look pretty?’ I probably asked that question about as many times as I blink,” she explains about how she felt before going to Georgia. “It’s not about how because I started feeling beautiful; it’s just because I was comfortable. I was so used to the paparazzi and the cameras and the ‘What are you wearing?’ and having people stare at me.”

While this superstar can’t spend all her time in Georgia, she’s on the right path towards figuring out how to handle the spotlight while growing up in it!

The February issue of Harper’s Bazaar hits stands Jan. 12.

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