It's always been clear that Miley Cyrus is eager to explore change, and in her new song, "Younger Now," it sounds as though the musician has settled into her identity. The slight oxymoron nature of the song title, however, is definitely a little bit of a time-defying brain twister. So what does "Younger Now" actually mean? While the lyrics provide some depth as to the overall meaning of the phrase, there's actually a story behind what inspired "Younger Now," that you'll definitely want to know about.
During an interview with Billboard in May, Cyrus described how a conversation with her mom, Tish, inspired the creation "Younger Now" as a phrase. Speaking about how great she thinks it is for "girls to celebrate being young right now," Cyrus shared the conversation that inspired the song, saying, "She was like, ‘I swear to God, you are younger now at 24 than you were at 4!’ And so it just hit me, like I am f**king younger now, and I am proud of that."
"Younger Now" is clearly an autobiographical statement for Cyrus in celebrating her transition from one phase of her life to the next. However, the song can also be taken as an anthem for young women looking to embrace and enjoy the ups and downs of youth, as the lyrics powerfully prove.
Opening with the lyrics, "Feels like I just woke up, like all this time I've been asleep/ Even though it's not who I am, I'm not afraid of who I used to be," the song immediately introduces how transitional your sense of identity can be as you grow up. Cyrus is comfortable with reflecting on her past self, even if it feels alien to who she is now, and is able to use that perspective to continue to grow. As the chorus to "Younger Now" makes clear:
No one stays the same
You know what goes up must come down
Change is a thing you can count on
I feel so much younger now
While it's obviously physically impossible for a 24 year-old to feel younger than a 4-year-old in any literal sense, Cyrus' lyrics provide their own interpretation as to what being young means. In "Younger Now," true youth is the ability to straddle change and ride it out. To make mistakes, become the wrong version of yourself, and to constantly make adjustments to who you are and what you do. It's having a past to give you perspective on the present, so that you can move forward in the future.
True youth is being able to grow up without fighting against, or fearing, transitional states, and actually using change to your advantage, which is a sentiment that most millennials can likely relate to at this moment in time. "Younger Now," is Cyrus accepting her identity as a fluid state and her age as an arbitrary time stamp, and asking us to do the same. And guys, it'd be just plain foolish not to listen.