Better late than never? Miley Cyrus hit the June cover of British Vogue before Margot Robbie’s American one landed, but the allure of Barbie was stronger, I guess, when it came to interrupting our Cannes flow. Sorry, Miley. It’s not personal. I even like this — there’s a wonderful shape and assertiveness, and it’s miles better (and more original) than the alternative cover that’s also included here. This may be the subscriber cover; they didn’t specify, but those typically have fewer cover lines and that’s the case here. I heartily wish it were the main one.

Vogue pulled out the buzziest line, about how harshly she was judged, but it’s a small piece of the interview. The context is the furor over some of the appropriative things she did (like all the twerking) so unapologetically, and how she carried general guilt for a long time, until she didn’t; Miley is right that she faced a lot of scrutiny at a young age, but I do also think it comes off like a bit of a dodge. There is also as amusingly snarky swipe in here, at what I think is an obvious target, about whether her song, video, and entire album secretly point to Liam Hemsworth: “I never need to be a master at the craft of tricking an audience.” (For the record, I still think she included a lot of those things more consciously than she’s letting on, but I also am personally exhausted by the idea of Easter eggs for fans and how pervasive the idea has become that EVERYTHING must ALWAYS be coded.)

But I thought this was a healthy and realistic outlook, in regard to Lil Nas X asking her if the success of her single “Flowers” caused her anxiety:

She thinks about it again now. “I was like, ‘No. I might be No 1 now, but No 2 is on its way.’ Everything is seasonal,” she says, her grey-blue eyes finally alighting on mine. She thinks we all need to be more honest about the false god of unfluctuating success – even pop stars. “A lot of headlines [recently] have said, ‘This is Miley’s moment.’ And I’m like, ‘That’s exactly what it is. It’s a moment. And it will be over.’”

“That’s not pessimistic,” she continues, smiling. “That’s honest and that’s OK with me. […] Someone could say, ‘It would be this number if you did that, or this number if you sell your soul…’” She shrugs again. “I’ve been in the Garden of Eden before and I’ve taken the red apple, and it never feels good.”

Anyway, here is the interview. To the slideshow!

[Photos: Steven Meisel; piece by Giles Hattersley]