Miley Cyrus’ ‘Flowers’ and The Art of Dancing Solo


Bailey Bryan

“‘Flowers’ broke Spotify’s single week streaming record with over 96 million plays, and went No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 its debut week.”

Bailey Bryan, Senior Staff Writer

With the gray skies, the sharp cold, and the monotonous weeks of the backend of winter, it’s easy to fall into a dreary, zombie-like haze through routine. Each day seeming nearly the same, we spin around the sun in a repeated fashion like a broken record. ‘Tis indeed the season of nothing, as we sit, work and longingly watch out our windows for spring’s arrival. 

 Enter Miley Cyrus and her new lead single. Starting off 2023 strong, Cyrus dropped “Flowers” on January 12. Since then the song has amassed a large entourage for her upcoming album, Endless Summer Vacation. 

“Flowers” broke Spotify’s single week streaming record with more than 96 million plays, and went No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 its debut week. It’s Cyrus’ first chart hit in the decade since “Wrecking Ball,” which held the top spot for three consecutive weeks in 2013. 

The soul-pop bop’s lyrics are not only catchy, but have an empowering message perfect for anyone in the throes of a breakup, insecurity, or even just the cold-weather blues. With a disco-esque beat, it tells the story of Cyrus finding an epiphany in self-appreciation after the end of a relationship. She describes this as remembering that she is the person who can love and appreciate herself better than anyone else. 

Junior Meredith Dunn has been an avid Miley Cyrus fan for years, and considers the pop star’s new single to be an anthem for embracing independence. 

I’ve been a Miley Cyrus fan ever since her Hannah Montana days, and she has continued to release really great music! Not only is ‘Flowers’ a powerful song about self love, but it’s an anthem for anyone going through a breakup,” Meredith said. 

This aspect about the message of the single and audiences’ reception to it opens up the conversation on the importance of self reliance. Our chronically-online society has exponentially grown into us creating better-than versions of ourselves, as it can often feel like the only thing we have any control over, so we might as well show off our personal highlights reels and label them as “everyday life.” This has also conditioned many to being addicted to receiving the validation of what others think about our posted lives; through what we post, who follows our accounts, and which specific people are smiling in our pictures. 

But social media is only a small piece in the pie of this bigger issue. Far too many of us forget that having the autonomy to motivate, care for, and love ourselves is one of the most vital steps in personal growth. That’s not to discredit the times in which we need others to lean on, as there is great emotional maturity in being able to be vulnerable. Yet on the whole, independence is a widely accepted sign of an individual’s strong adaptability and resilience skills in response to difficult situations according to many psychologists. An article about the importance of self reliance, published by the Berkeley Well-Being Institutes, cites that “exercising autonomy makes us more efficient and effective in our professional and personal lives; it means we can take better care of ourselves and others,”. 

“The soul-pop bop’s lyrics are not only catchy, but have an empowering message perfect for anyone in the throes of a breakup, insecurity or even just the cold-weather blues.” (Bailey Bryan)

Junior Kaylie Giljum believes that Cyrus emphasizes this importance in self-love, and demonstrates how to find strength even in tough situations with her song, “Flowers.” 

I really enjoy ‘Flowers’ because it embraces both the pain of losing someone you loved and the realization that loving yourself is so much better than depending on someone else for your own worth. It spoke to me a lot about self love and having faith that you can and will be okay, even if a person you once cared about is no longer in your life,” Kaylie said. 

In the music video, Cyrus artfully expresses the meaning of the lyrics in a nuanced manner. Upon one’s first watch, her actions of tying up her hair, taking a swim, working out and dancing could on the surface appear like her embrace of enjoying life on her own. 

But the timing of the climax of the song with the scene in which she energetically twirls around in an empty room does not appear coincidental. The visual of Cyrus is one that hammers home this idea of the power in being happily independent. That we all must, at some point, buy ourselves some flowers and learn the art of dancing solo.