Miley Cyrus says she felt "sexualised" after twerking on stage at the MTV Video Music Awards in 2013.
During the show, the singer wore a latex bra and pants and stuck her tongue out while rubbing herself against Robin Thicke.
She was forced to defend the performance, with some fans backing her but others saying they were shocked.
"It became something that was expected of me," she's told Harper's Bazaar magazine.
"I didn't want to show up to photo shoots and be the girl who would get my [breasts] out and stick out my tongue.
"In the beginning, it was kind of like saying, '[Screw] you. Girls should be able to have this freedom or whatever.' But it got to a point where I did feel sexualised."
Miley Cyrus, 24, has changed her image again for the release of her new single, Malibu.
This time around she's given her music more of a country feel and has a more conservative look, compared to her Bangerz days.
Last year she said that she now identifies as pansexual after struggling with her sexuality when she was younger.
But she says it's not her fault that she shocked people while twerking.
"People were so shocked by some of the things that I did," she says.
Warning: Third party content might contain ads
"It should be more shocking that when I was 11 or 12, I was put in full hair and make-up, a wig, and told what to wear by a group of mostly older men.
"It's no wonder that a lot of people lose their way and lose who they really are because they always have people telling them who to be."
Since the release of her streaming-only 2015 album, Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz, the singer has been busy with other projects outside music.
She also rekindled her relationship with Australian actor, Liam Hemsworth, and the pair got engaged - for the second time - in October.
She says she's still learning who she is.
"I think I'm just figuring out who I am at such a rapid pace that it's hard for me to keep up with myself," she says.
"People get told that it's a bad thing to change.
"Like, people will say, 'You've changed.' And that's supposed to be derogatory. But you are supposed to change all the time."