Cyrus has also replaced her avatar on Twitter, but as of writing, all her tweets are still there.
But why? Unsurprisingly, her fans (some of whom were eagle-eyed enough to notice the exact moment in which Cyrus began deleting photos) have some theories.
One is that things have gone south for the singer’s relationship with Hemsworth. This doesn’t quite track, however — Hemsworth and Cyrus still follow one another, and all of Hemsworth’s photos with Cyrus still remain.
The other (and slightly more likely) option is fairly straightforward: album promo, baby.
Some might say that this kind of stunt is a little tired. The reason why some stars might take such an extreme approach to social media is perfectly clear — deleting photos costs nothing, is relatively easy to do, and, if you’re a big enough celebrity, almost always gets people talking, which means that it’s free publicity for whatever project you’re trying to promote at the moment — but it’s been done enough times that it’s fairly predictable.
Taylor Swift famously deleted her previous social media activity in summer 2017 before releasing reputation as a way of symbolising a new era and persona for the singer. Blake Lively also got rid of all her photos and unfollowed everyone who wasn’t named “Emily Nelson” in May as a means of promoting her upcoming film, A Simple Favor. (Though technically, those photos were archived, rather than fully deleted, and returned in full form a few weeks later.)
Then again, some might argue that Cyrus has always used her persona as a means of shifting public perception — so why shouldn’t she capitalise on an Instagram stunt like this?
After all, Cyrus has gone through more than a few aesthetic transformations throughout her career. It only takes one glance at a photo of Cyrus to figure out the era in which it was captured, whether it was the Party In The U.S.A. years, the Bangerz period, or the Dead Petz phase. She also “reinvented” herself for last year’s album, Younger Now, taking on a more laid-back, stripped-down look that aligned with the album.
Deleting her photos could be a way to herald in the latest era of Miley, whatever that may entail — which is fairly likely to be accompanied by new music. So, no guarantees here. But it seems safe to assume that we can expect something new from Miley Cyrus very soon.