Miley Cyrus' 2014 VMAs Appearance Is the Beginning of a New Miley & She Knows It

At the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) on Sunday night, Miley Cyrus announced that she has officially "retired" from twerking. Uh, what? When a conservatively dressed (for her standards) Cyrus stopped to talk with MTV's Sway and Pretty Little Liars' Lucy Hale on the red carpet on Sunday evening, she said:

I'm retired [from twerking]. I'm making some music right now with the Flaming Lips. And it is different, it's a little psychedelic, but still in that pop world. And [I'm] working with some really talented people that I'm really excited about. I live to be in the studio. ... This record might take me five years. I don't know. I'm just going to work on it 'til I'm done...

That's right, twerking is sooo 2013. Been there, appropriated that — Cyrus is through. These days, she's just focusing on what really matters in life: recording material for her next album. After all, as Cyrus noted at the very end of her interview, "It's not about twerking, it's about music." Ah, I've always had that one confused. But seriously, has Cyrus turned over a new leaf? A leaf that doesn't involve grinding on Robin Thicke dressed as Beetlejuice? I wonder...

Check out her unexpected red-carpet admission below.

Though Cyrus didn't perform on Sunday evening, she still managed to get people talking — just not in the way that you might have expected. At the end of the night, Cyrus' date, Jesse, accepted the award for Video of the Year on her behalf. Instead of delivering a typical acceptance speech, Jesse used his time to bring awareness to the millions of homeless youth living in the United States today. Jesse himself was once homeless, and as Cyrus watched her friend speak, her eyes filled with tears. In fact, she just launched a campaign to raise funds for My Friend's Place, a shelter for homeless youth in Los Angeles. Wow. What a difference a year makes.

Now, does Cyrus' new wardrobe, twerking retirement, increased focus on music, and new homeless youth campaign signal that she's going to undergo a total and complete image overhaul over the next few months? No, not necessarily — and I wouldn't want her to. After all, her spunky attitude and crazy on-stage antics are part of what makes her her — and they've gotten her this far (though obviously she needs to avoid offensive cultural appropriation in the future). Besides, her Bangerz Tour isn't over until the end of October, so she definitely has a couple more months of riding around on a giant hot dog ahead of her.

Christopher Polk/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Still, I think it's clear that Cyrus is trying to show off a different side to the public. In my eyes, keeping the focus of Sunday night solely on her new music, Jesse, and a cause that's bigger than herself, really displayed an unprecedented level of maturity and a tremendous amount of growth. In fact, according to US Weekly, Cyrus told Ryan Seacrest on Monday that she brought Jesse to the 2014 VMAs because she learned an important lesson from Mileygate 2013. This time around, she wanted to use her "star power" to "spread an important message":

There's going to be talk, so what do I want them to talk about? If I'm going to be given this loud of a voice and this big of an image and this big of a platform and this huge of an opportunity to talk to young people in America right now, what am I really trying to say? Because I don't think what I was trying to say is what happened the year before.

Good on you, Miley. There's no doubt in my mind that Cyrus has the talent to continue to grow her career without employing so many shock tactics. I'm really interested to see where this new road takes her.

Image: Getty Images