by Lauren Pirie-Scott
On the 13th of January 2023, Miley Cyrus released her new single ‘Flowers,’ as part of the build up to her upcoming album Endless Summer Vacation. The song is an ode to self-love and empowerment; At the start of a new year and a month before Valentine’s Day, it encapsulates Cyrus’ personal journey and is relatable to many.
It is not surprising that the song has spent a month at the top of the UK charts, as well as in Australia, has gone viral on TikTok, and it’s music video is currently at 5 million likes. Despite the song clearly stating Miley’s independence from her ex-husband Liam Hemsworth, viewers have torn apart the music video and expedited every possible conspiracy theory surrounding its relation to their marriage.
‘Flowers’ was released on Hemsworth’s 33rd birthday and its music video contains many alleged references to Miley Cyrus’ and Liam Hemsworth’s relationship. Firstly, the reference to their Malibu house which burned down in 2018, ‘Built a home and watched it burn,’ has also been taken to symbolise the ending of their relationship. This connection at the very beginning of the song has led to a plethora of other connections to be made by fans, some more valid than others. The clearest link is to Bruno Mars song ‘When I Was Your Man,’ wherein the lyrics ‘I should’ve bought you flowers and held your hand’ have been reworked into: ‘I can buy myself flowers,’ ‘I can hold my own hand.’
Other connections are slightly less clear. The suit Cyrus is costumed in has been associated with the one Hemsworth wore when telling her off on the red carpet at 2019 premier of Avengers: Endgame. The lipreading is debated however many claim that Hemsworth mouths ‘behave,’ after Cyrus jokes by sticking out her tongue playfully. The hairstyle and choreography whilst Cyrus sports this controversial suit has also been suggested to parallel famous dance scene from the 2019 film Joker, which happens to be Hemsworth’s favourite film.
Some theories seem more far-fetched, for example the story that the house the video is filmed at was used by Hemsworth to secretly cheat on Cyrus numerous times. Another shaky theory is that the gold dress Cyrus rocks at the beginning of the video is a reference to gold dress worn by Jennifer Lawrence at the 2012 Hunger gamespremier. This story coincides with conspiracy that Lawrence and Hemsworth had been romantically involved during filming.
Whilst these theories can be entertaining, and have certainly worked as incredible promotion for the single and music video, it is important that the message of the song isn’t overlooked. Cyrus has experienced a lifetime of being scrutinised by the pubic and gossip magazines, particularly after her third album, Can’t Be Tamed, wherein singer expressed her sexuality- and subsequently outraged those who sought to maintain her in the image of her former years as Disney’s Hannah Montana.
In ‘Flowers,’ Miley shamelessly continues to express herself, emulating self-confidence; Despite the source of the song being Cyrus’ past relationship, the message is that of her future. In this way, Miley inspires viewers to practice self-love and refreshingly moves focus away from the pressure to be in a relationship, making this Valentine’s Day the perfect occasion to buy yourself flowers.