Miley Cyrus says playing Hannah Montana gave her 'body issues'

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Aug 18, 2015 06:00 AM EDT

Hannah Montana has truly grown up, but it hasn't been all glitter and sparkles along the road to adulthood. The star of the hit Disney series is on the cover of Marie Claire's September issue, in which she talks about the downside of growing up in the entertainment industry.

The now 22-year-old singer and actress, who is set to host the MTV Video Music Awards on Aug. 30 and the first episode of SNL's 41st season this October, spoke up about how being the star of Hannah Montana for several years affected her formative years and how she saw herself.

Entertainment Weekly reports that according to Cyrus, it wasn't really the "best of both worlds." as Hannah would sing on the show.

"I was made to look like someone that I wasn’t, which probably caused some body dysmorphia because I had been made pretty every day for so long, and then when I wasn’t on that show, it was like, Who the f— am I?" Cyrus confessed in her cover story.

Body dysmorphia or body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is defined by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) as "a body-image disorder characterized by persistent and intrusive preoccupations with an imagined or slight defect in one's appearance." Individuals who suffer from BDD obsess with their flaws for hours and days on end, and this may lead to low self-esteem, avoidance of social situations and problems at school or work. Around one percent of the U.S. population is afflicted with BDD.

Cyrus told Marie Claire that as a young actress, she truly felt the pressure to be someone else during that period in her life. She said, "From the time I was 11, it was, ‘You’re a pop star! That means you have to be blonde, and you have to have long hair, and you have to put on some glittery tight thing.’ Meanwhile, I’m this fragile little girl playing a 16-year-old in a wig and a ton of makeup. It was like Toddlers & Tiaras. I had f—ing flippers."

On top of that, she also had to deal with seasonal affective disorder and anxiety. Cyrus admitted that she even got her first period while filming the show, according to TechTimes. She admitted: "I just had to keep going, be tough, be strong. Everything happened to me on that set."

Since then, Cyrus has been defiant about being herself, with her 2013 record Bangerz and the way she dresses, speaks out on various topics, and portrays herself in public. She said that she dislikes the way women are portrayed by media.

"When you look at retouched, perfect photos, you feel like [expletive]. It's a total bummer. It's crazy what people have decided we're all supposed to be."

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