Miley Cyrus and Hailey Bieber not only grew up as friends, but also both grew up in the Christian church, a major topic they discussed ahead of their beauty tutorial on Cyrus’ latest Bright Minded Instagram Live episode Friday (March 20).
When the two landed on the R of the Instagram Live series title — which stands for Reliable sources — Bieber listed family members, friends, therapists, random strangers, pets and church parishioners, which shifted the conversation to another important R in both of their lives: religion. Bieber, who shares the same fervor for her spirituality as husband Justin Bieber, explained to Cyrus, “I think there’s a difference between being raised in church and then being an adult and having your own relationship with God…. I feel like I’ve found my footing with spirituality and faith and church. I’ve found a church community that works for me where I feel supported and loved and accepted.”
But that core group wasn’t a dependable source of comfort for Cyrus during her young adult years.
“I was raised going to church as a believer, and that was a really important part of my life. And I kind of fell off that path a little bit because I think I had a hard time finding a relationship with God that worked for me as an adult,” Cyrus confirmed. “I think what I just took away from you is I’m allowed to decide what my relationship is with spirituality as an adult that doesn’t have to be aligned with the way it was when I was brought up.”
She continued, “I was also brought up in the church in Tennessee at a time in the ’90s, so it was a less accepting time with all that. I had some gay friends in school that the reason why I left my church is that they weren’t being accepted. They were being sent to conversion therapies. And I had a really hard time with that and I had a hard time with me finding my sexuality too. So I think you now telling me that I’m allowed to redesign my relationship with God as an adult and make it how it feels most accepting to me would make me feel so less turned off by spirituality.”
Cyrus came out as pansexual in 2015 and disclosed in a 2016 interview with Variety that her upbringing in “a very religious Southern family” encumbered her development as a middle school girl figuring out her sexual identity and entering her first relationship with another girl. “The universe has always given me the power to know I’ll be OK,” she said at the time. “Even at that time, when my parents didn’t understand, I just felt that one day they are going to understand.”
And the “Slide Away” singer confessed she still feels like her parents have a major presence in her spiritual life.
“I think that I’m in this quadruple-thruple relationship with God where it’s me and my parents and God,” she said during the live show. “If I could remove them and it can become my relationship with the higher power… now that feels way less intimidating and I can just talk to God directly rather than it being me and my parents having a conversation.”
Head to Cyrus’ Instagram to watch the entire Bright Minded episode with Bieber.