Miley Cyrus was a badass feminist in her Bangerz era - so why did we bash her for it then but celebrate it now? Was she just saying a massive f*ck you to the standards society holds against women? Is she having a mental breakdown? Is she on drugs? Is she coming out as a lesbian? These are just some of the headlines you'll recognize if you remember Miley Cyrus's infamous Bangerz era, otherwise known as the year of her life when she toured the world riding a hot dog naked. She brought twerking to the mainstream, she unapologetically cut her hair and she wore barely-there clothes - but was she really going insane, or was she just doing things other daren't, and saying a massive f*ck you to the standards society holds against women? While Miley herself has admitted that during that time she went "a bit crazy," it's clear to see that the extremes of this time stemmed from what was originally self-expression, and quickly spiraled into a 19-year old girl who had seen the spotlight from a young age, being sexualized across the world and in the tabloids for letting loose and breaking boundaries, going too far to fight back. But that was 2013. That was a time when women and men alike threw around words like 'slut' as though it was nothing when chatting to their friends, as well as the year social media really took off when the Pope joined the Twitter, and gay marriage wasn't even legal in the UK. Since that time, Miley has bounced back with new albums, reclaimed her "girl-ish" style, and even married Liam Hemsworth. But what you haven't seen, is the same awful reaction to her latest single, Mother's Daughter, as we did to the release of Bangerz, begging the question - how much has the world's views shifted in just seven years? Mother's Daughter has everything a feminist anthem needs. A bite-back chorus, and a music video packed with female-forward activists including prominent members of the LGBT community, who barely had a voice in 2013. In true Miley fashion, the video shows her sporting a red latex catsuit (Britney, anyone?) complete with vagina teeth as she repeatedly sings the confrontational lines "Back up, back up, back up boy," and "Oh my god, she got the power" with the main message of the song being "Don't f*ck with my freedom" - a rapid shift from the days of the Hoedown Throwdown. She's also dived back into acting with her appearance in the latest season of Charlie Brooker's hit series, Black Mirror, as Ashley O, a pastel-haired popstar (turned-gay-icon) who tries to break free from her "manufactured" pop persona so she can create "real music" - an ironic storyline which scarily mirrors the reality of the industry and Miley's transition from Hannah Montana to becoming Miley. But instead of questions being raised about her morality, we're now seeing support from the masses, describing Mother's Daughter and it's video as "powerful statements" and "fierce," despite it being in the same NSFW tone as the singer's previous dip into being overtly feminist. In a 2013 interview with Rolling Stone, Miley acknowledged: "I know what I'm doing. I know I'm shocking you. "There's something empowering about what I'm doing right now. Especially having "short hair don't care." I think it's empowering for girls. Because there's not one thing that defines what beauty is." Admittedly, writing this is proof of the cultural shifts we're facing right now. You only have to type in my handle on Twitter followed by the words "Miley Cyrus" to see an exact tweet I posted the day of the 2013 VMA's performance, when I was just 15, that reads: "Miley at the VMAs is so uncomfortable to watch." And in reality, it was. It was a time where we weren't exposed to women who weren't known as activists making social change in their field, and if they were openly considered an activist it was frowned upon, but really people were never mad about what Miley was doing - they were just shocked. Shocked that a stereotypically attractive, female A-lister, was being all feminist and sh*t, when that was supposed to be reserved for women with protest-armpit hair. Fast forward seven years and a lot more has changed than we realize. Feminist slogans stamp high street t-shirts and celebrities are standing up for causes that were previously frown-worthy. Arguably, the #MeToo movement has happened since then, and while the stories of these women emerged for all of the wrong reasons, it has a large part to play in why people have started paying more attention to everything that's still, in 2019, wrong with women's freedom, and women everywhere have started owning their femininity. Anna Miles, period poverty activist and co-founder of the Red Box Project (a service helping to provide disadvantaged women with access to period products), knows this all too well, and despite being a community hero seeking social justice, she has witnessed the transition from gruel to cool when it comes to being an advocate for what were once taboo subjects. "The Red Box Project was founded because the notion that young women were missing out on their education because they had their period and did not have access to menstrual products seemed abhorrent to me and fortunately this feeling was shared across the country and overseas. Expressing my feelings and creating a solution that was accessible to anyone who wished to take stand too seemed to act as a catalyst. "From 2 years ago to now I have seen a real change in the level of activism which is focused on a plethora of issues that affect others. The reason for this; when one woman stands up, an army follows. "If someone like me can create a nationwide project supporting nearly 5,000 educational settings, then anyone can do it. It gives us the courage and strength to witness women, from every walk of life, making a real difference in their communities and like a butterfly effect, activism has grown and has the momentum now to continue on to make real change in the world. We are living in difficult times at the moment and quite rightly, people are angry and frustrated with the state of our country. Activism has grown, I think, because of this frustration. Now more than ever, people are listening to those who make a stand and that feels incredibly empowering." Make no mistake, Miley has done her fair share of charity work. She helped during the California wildfires despite losing her own home, and has even set up her own cause, The Happy Hippie foundation, which aims to "rally young people to fight injustice facing homeless youth, LGBTQ youth, and other vulnerable populations." Being scrutinized is just part of that. In a world where tabloid newspapers run the show, it's very easy for someone making real changes to be overshadowed by other aspects of their life, and the perception that "attractive women don't do that." But whether she's twerking against a giant teddy bear, posing topless for the 'gram or keeping it paired back on a coffee date, Miley is teaching us all that just doing you (even if you feel like shaving half your hair off one day) is breaking the boundaries we all need for real social justice to begin. Caring just got cool. (British Glamour)

Denise Nickerson, who played Violet in "Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory," is living out the last moments of her life, because her family tells us they have just taken her off life support. Nickerson, who suffered a stroke last year, was at home Monday and, according to her family, she got into her meds at home and took as many as she could. Her family came to check on her shortly thereafter and rushed her to the ER. Once in the hospital, doctors diagnosed her with pneumonia. On Tuesday, she suffered a massive seizure and doctors put Denise on life support. Her condition continued to worsen and her family tells TMZ they have now taken her off the respirator, which facilitates breathing and removed her IVs and stopped giving her medicine. The family says it's now just a matter of time before Denise passes. Her son, Josh, and his wife are at the hospital with Denise, and have started a GoFundMe to honor Denise's last wishes of being cremated, and her ashes turned into glass artwork. In addition to 'Willy Wonka,' Denise played Allison on "The Electric Company." She also appeared on "Dark Shadows" and an episode of "The Brady Bunch." Denise left acting behind in 1978 and became a nurse. Denise, who is 62, has one son and daughter-in-law, who've been caring for her. (TMZ)

Ex-NBA star Gilbert Arenas was involved in a WILD car crash over the weekend -- where a Toyota flipped on its head -- but TMZ Sports has learned, miraculously, nobody was seriously hurt. We're told a RAV4 collided with Arenas' pricey Maybach at around 2:55 PM on the 101 freeway in Encino, California on Sunday. The RAV4 appeared to brush up on Arenas' rear quarter panel before it rolled onto its head ... and the footage of the aftermath is crazy. You can see the mangled Toyota lying wrongside up in the middle of the freeway -- with Arenas' supercar severely dented in the back. Fortunately for everyone involved, we're told there were only minor injuries suffered -- with Arenas not even listed as hurt. For his part, Gilbert seemed to joke about the whole ordeal on social media afterward, saying, "@thebig3 the ghost ballers musta sent a killer to stop me since they couldn't." FYI, Gilbert -- who now plays in the BIG3 for the Enemies -- beat up on the Ghost Ballers the day before the accident, droppin' 12 points in a 51-35 win in Alabama. (TMZ)

Scary moment at the race track Tuesday ... Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s 18-year-old niece was involved in a horrific crash -- but miraculously escaped uninjured!! It all went down at a USAC Racing event at Red Dirt Raceway in Oklahoma ... where Karsyn Elledge -- whose mom, Kelley Earnhardt Miller, is Jr.'s older sister -- flipped her sprint car multiple times over a barrier and fencing. Elledge was coming down turn 3 at the track when she lost control ... causing her car to go airborne and tumble several yards OVER a wall before coming to a stop. The video is crazy ... but, somehow, Elledge -- whose goal is to follow in her family's famous racing footsteps -- was able to walk away from the wreck under her own power. "Tonight I am so very thankful that all my safety equipment did it's job & that my team built a safe car," Elledge wrote after the crash ... "Thank you to everyone who's reach out, I am sore, but most hurt is my pride." It's great news ... seeing as the incident hits WAY too close to home for Earnhardt racing fans. Remember, it was just 18 years ago that Dale Sr. tragically passed away in a wreck at Daytona International Speedway. For her part, Sr.'s daughter sure seemed happy Elledge walked from the crash just fine, writing, "[Karsyn] is ok, shaken up as you can imagine. Thanks for everyone checking on her and being concerned!" (TMZ)

Amber Portwood's Boyfriend Requests Emergency Custody Hearing After Arrest. Amber Portwood is facing a new legal battle. Andrew Glennon is seeking custody of his and Amber's 1-year-old son, James Glennon, E! News has learned. He filed a petition for an emergency hearing regarding the paternity and custody of their child, just days after his girlfriend was released from jail. The mother-of-two was put behind bars on Friday after allegedly assaulting Glennon at their shared home in Indiana. In a statement, police told E! News that officers were sent to Portwood's house at 3:00 a.m. because they received a call about a disturbance. When they arrived on the scene, a male victim claimed he and his live-in girlfriend were involved in a disagreement that turned violent. The victim alleges that she assaulted him while holding their infant child. This isn't the first time that Amber has allegedly beaten her partner. In 2010, she was arrested and charged with felony domestic battery and neglect of a dependent, and misdemeanor domestic battery after allegedly slapping and choking now-ex-fiance Gary Shirley in front of their toddler daughter, Leah. Her ex has since spoken out about Amber's recent arrest. He stated, "My prayers are with @AmberLPortwood, Andrew, & most importantly baby James, idk any of the particulars, however I'm thinking of them." He added, "And for all the questions and concerns Leah was/is currently camping with her best friend." E! News has reached out to Amber and Andrew's respective legal teams for comment. (Eonline)

Audrina Patridge is pissed her ex-husband, Corey Bohan, made a big blunder in their custody arrangement ... one that turned her holiday into a stress-filled day of panic about their daughter. As you might know by now, Audrina meets Corey at the Costa Mesa Police Department every time they exchange custody of their little girl, Kirra, but sources close to the ex-couple tell TMZ ... Corey totally blew off their planned exchange last week on the 4th of July. We're told Corey was supposed to hand over Kirra at 10 AM, but he never showed at the police station, and refused to answer Audrina's frantic calls and texts. Making matters worse for Audrina ... while she's wondering where her child is, an earthquake struck sending everyone into a panic. We're told Audrina was freaking out even more due to the added fear of not knowing where Corey was with Kirra. Law enforcement sources tell us ... police conducted a welfare check at Corey's house around 10:45 AM, and he was home with Kirra. We're told his interaction with cops was calm, but he told officers it was HIS day, not Audrina's to have their daughter. They eventually ended up meeting at 7 PM for the custody exchange. Kirra was fine, but according to their custody agreement ... Corey screwed the pooch. He's supposed to return Kirra to Audrina every Thursday at 10 AM, and they alternate Independence Days. Audrina gets her on odd years ... like 2019. Our sources say Audrina wants to file a contempt of court order against Corey. We reached out to her attorneys, but so far nothing's been filed. Audrina and Corey have been divorced since 2017, and they've had many, many custody issues since then. (TMZ)

Southern Charm's Thomas Ravenel Requests Sole Custody, Alleges Kathryn Dennis Failed Drug Test. Exes Thomas Ravenel and Kathryn Dennis are in the middle of a long custody battle over their two young children. Southern Charm alumnus Thomas Ravenel is reportedly requesting that the court strip his ex-Kathryn Dennis of custody of their two children after she allegedly tested positive on a drug test. Ravenel, who shares daughter Kensie, 5, and son Saint, 3, with Dennis, has requested that the court grant him full custody of his children, according to court documents obtained by The Blast. According to the outlet, Ravenel, 56, said in the documents that on June 13, 2019, he and Dennis both had to submit drug tests -- including blood, alcohol, urine and hair drug tests -- as ordered by the court. One day later, on June 14, "while in the possession of the children, Kathryn produced a urine test positive for marijuana, benzodiazepines and amphetamines," Ravenel claims in the documents, according to the outlet. According to the documents, Ravenel said that Dennis has prescriptions for benzodiazepines and amphetamines. Dennis, though, "disputes the veracity of the June 14, 2019 urine tests because her hair test was negative," according to the documents. But Ravenel is alleging that the mother of his children wears wigs and hair extensions, and also colors her hair, which could affect the accuracy of the tests. While the father of two reportedly stated in the documents that Dennis produced a negative urine test following the positive test, "the marijuana detected in the June 14, 2019 test could have been flushed out of her urine by that time," according to the documents. Additionally, he alleges that Dennis has purchased fake urine tests in the past and that her mother is primarily caring for the children. "The parties had a long scheduled temporary hearing in this matter, which took place on June 26, 2019," Ravenel's attorney tells PEOPLE about the hearing, which "had been scheduled for quite some time." "At the temporary hearing, Mr. Ravenel and other witnesses submitted affidavits to support the claims made by Mr. Ravenel against Ms. Dennis," his attorney continues. "The information discussed in The Blast article comes from Mr. Ravenel's affidavit and various supporting documents submitted with it. These are on file with the Court." Currently, Ravenel's legal team has "yet to receive and are awaiting a ruling by the judge on the issues argued at the temporary hearing." An attorney for Dennis did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment. In a June episode of Southern Charm, Dennis -- who is locked in the legal battle with Ravenel -- cried and worried she "will be a single mother" to her kids if Ravenel goes to prison and she's given sole custody. Dennis lost custody of Kensie and Saint after failing a drug test and entering rehab in 2016, but she now says she is sober and has earned back 50/50 custody. In October, she filed documents in Charleston seeking to obtain primary custody of the two children after Ravenel was arrested and charged with assault and battery in the second degree. Ravenel has denied all the allegations. Southern Charm airs Wednesdays (9 p.m. ET) on Bravo. (People)

DMX is the spitting image of a wanted man in South Carolina -- even though he isn't one -- but he says there's a simple explanation ... the sketch artist must've traced an old photo. We talked to The Dog himself after a police sketch of an attempted murder suspect in Columbia, SC -- who, apparently, looks EXACTLY like X -- went viral. The similarity is SO eerie, he thinks the sketch artist straight-up drew him. He has some theories as to how it got commissioned, but says he has no idea why. For the record, Columbia PD's deputy chief, Melron Kelly, has come out publicly and said DMX is absolutely NOT a suspect in their investigation -- he lives in NYC for God's sake -- and has suggested the resemblance to the rapper is merely a coincidence. Not to go down a rabbit hole of conspiracies here, but a side-by-side comparison of any number of DMX pics from the 2000s shows he's a dead ringer for the guy's profile ... minus the hair and whatnot. X might not be too far off in thinking this is a bit ... well, sketch. Luckily for him, he's not getting hauled down to the South anytime soon to answer for any crimes. As he notes, he's already got his plate full up north, and ain't lookin' for trouble. (TMZ)

Gavin Rossdale had a rude awakening that quickly turned from creepy to downright scary in a matter of hours. Law enforcement sources tell TMZ ... a Caucasian woman believed to be in her 40s showed up to Gavin's L.A.-area crib late last week just after midnight, rang the doorbell and started talking gibberish about the Illuminati. Our sources say Gavin was home at the time but didn't say anything to the woman, who apparently thought nobody was home and left. But, later that afternoon ... she came back and spotted the Bush frontman in his car about to pull out of his driveway, so she pulled up right next to him. We're told Gavin came face-to-face with her ... thinking the woman was a delivery person -- but when she tried talking to him he immediately recognized her as the Illuminati woman. Our sources say Gavin bolted, leaving the woman in his driveway, and immediately called cops. LAPD is now investigating. TMZ broke the story ... Chloe Grace Moretz had a similarly creepy and dangerous situation when an obsessed man knocked on her front door twice within days. The second time coming right after he got out of jail for the first incident. (TMZ)

Real Housewives of Orange County's Gina Kirschenheiter Pleads Guilty in DUI Case. UPDATE: Real Housewives of Orange County star Gina Kirschenheiter has plead guilty to one misdemeanor count of driving under the influence of alcohol and one misdemeanor count of driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.08% or more, E! News confirmed. The 35-year-old was sentenced to three years' probation, has to complete 20 hours of community service and must complete 6 months of an alcohol program for first offenders.

Amber Portwood went after her boyfriend with a machete ... he wasn't the worse for wear, but their door sure was. It was like a scene right out of "The Shining" ... Amber and Andrew Glennon got in a heated argument that escalated big time, and according to court documents, she wielded the machete and struck a door with Glennon on the other side. The machete didn't hit him but Amber allegedly found another way to inflict injury ... by striking him with a shoe while he was holding their one-year-old son. Amber was arrested on 3 felony charges, including domestic battery and criminal recklessness with a deadly weapon, and a judge just slapped her with a restraining order. She can't go near Glennon or their son until the criminal case is resolved. We broke the story ... Portwood was arrested last week in Indianapolis after Glennon contacted police claiming his and James' lives were in danger. Glennon claims she also assaulted him with a shoe while he was holding James, and cops noticed marks on his neck when they arrived. He told officers this was not the first time she had struck him. Police contacted Children's Services. Glennon has filed for an emergency hearing to obtain sole custody of their son, too. (TMZ)

A$AP Rocky Arrested for Gross Assault in Sweden. UPDATE: Nearly 130,000 individuals, including prominent figures within the music industry, have signed a petition demanding the release of rapper A$AP Rocky from Swedish officials following his arrest on Wednesday, July 6. Travis Scott, Shawn Mendes, Tyler the Creator, G-Eazy and more artists have expressed support for the social media movement #JusticeForRocky after news broke that he would remain in custody for two more weeks while authorities investigated the assault claims against him. The hip-hop star's manager addressed the incident on Instagram, claiming Rocky is being held in a "horrific" facility with "24/7 solitary confinement" and "unsanitary conditions."

Beth Chapman's upcoming memorial service -- where thousands are expected -- is being run like a major Hollywood production, which is why showbiz vet Kim Fields is running point ... TMZ has learned. Kim is spearheading the elaborate ceremony -- coordinating security and overseeing production details right down to the flower arrangements ... according to sources close to Beth's family. How the 'Facts of Life' and 'Real Housewives of Atlanta' star ended up in charge is pretty serendipitous. Kim relocated to Aurora, CO earlier this year and joined Beth's place of worship ... Heritage Christian Center. We're told Kim's pastor in Georgia asked her to help him with his new Colorado church, and she happily obliged. While Beth and Kim never met in person, we're told Kim took on this massive project because she felt like God was calling her to help people in mourning. Kim's many decades on Hollywood productions, and her obvious celeb experience, made her a natural fit to help Dog Chapman and his family pull off the high profile event. As we first reported, the family has been working with local police to make sure the venue is extremely safe and secure, in anticipation of a massive crowd. Some of the security protocols are interesting ... we're told all weapons will be banned at the service even though Colorado is an open carry state. All bags will be searched, and we're told the heightened security is partly related to the community still being sensitive to Aurora's 2012 movie theater shooting, and of course the nearby Columbine massacre. Beth's Colorado service is her final sendoff ... following the heartwarming ceremony in Hawaii. The service Kim's planning is part of Beth's final wishes, and we're told the church will be heavily decorated with hundreds of stargazer lilies Beth's favorite flower. (TMZ)

Rip Torn, Emmy-winning actor and comedian, is dead. Rip, perhaps best known for his role as Artie on HBO's "The Larry Sanders Show," died Tuesday. No cause of death has been released yet. He won an Emmy for his 'Larry Sanders' role, and was nominated 6 more times for it. He was also an Oscar nominee in 1984 for "Cross Creek." Rip made his film debut in the 1956 film "Baby Doll." From there, he began a prolific and decades-long career on stage and screen. Torn's work on "The Larry Sanders Show" garnered him a whole new generation of fans, who would go on the enjoy his character work as Zed in the first two 'Men in Black' films. He also had memorable roles on "Will & Grace" and "30 Rock." His full name was Elmore Rual Torn Jr. ... but he started going by the nickname Rip when he was a kid. Fun fact ... his cousin is iconic actress Sissy Spacek. He is survived by his wife Amy, his 6 kids, his sister Patricia, and his 4 grandchildren. Rip was 88. RIP. (TMZ)


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