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For Gen Z, there’s no denying that Miley Cyrus has played a pivotal role in the entertainment of our lives. From watching her on Hannah Montana, to having our parents horrified at the Bangerz era, to her being the new queen of punk pop, we’ve been a part of Cyrus’ life for as long as she’s been a part of ours. Not to mention that her relationship with Liam Hemsworth was truly the best of both worlds (wink, wink) — who wasn’t obsessed with The Hunger Games in middle school? Fans were utterly shattered when they announced their divorce in 2020. 

However, as the years have gone on, Cyrus has hinted that the two didn’t have the picture-perfect relationship we were all led to believe. When Cyrus announced on New Year’s Eve that she was releasing a new song called “Flowers” on Jan. 13 — which, uh, is Hemsworth’s birthday — fans were curious as to what to expect from the lyrics and music video and ready to celebrate Cyrus’ newfound freedom.

Now that the song and music video has been released, fans are looking into  clues about her and Hemsworth’s decade-long on-and-off-again relationship. (Take all of this with a grain of salt, of course: Cyrus hasn’t publicly stated one way or the other whether the song is about Hemsworth or not.) One of the lyrics that stood out most to fans in the song was “Built a house and watched it burn,” which most likely was referencing when Hemsworth and Cyrus’ house burnt down in November 2018 during the Woolsey fires. In fact, Cyrus wrote in a 2019 memo for Vanity Fair that the fire was a part of the reason why they decided to get married because it reminded her “that no one is promised the next day.”

In the pre-chorus, Miley sings, “Mmm, I didn’t want to leave you, I didn’t wanna lie,” possibly suggesting that Hemsworth was the one that wanted the divorce. However, after some time, it seems like she came to terms with the divorce and could finally be at peace with herself and her surroundings, based on the rest of the lyrics. 

The chorus also stood out to fans as referencing a momental time in the couple’s history. With lyrics like, “I can buy myself flowers/Write my name in the sand/Talk to myself for hours, yeah/Say things you don’t understand/I can take myself dancing, yeah/I can hold my own hand/Yeah, I can love me better than you can.” Fans on Twitter couldn’t help but notice the similarities to Bruno Mars’ “When I Was Your Man,” which fans believe Hemsworth once dedicated to Cyrus on a radio station, according to Us Weekly (these claims have never been confirmed, however). The chorus tells the listener, though, that Cyrus is satisfied on her own and doesn’t need a relationship to make her happy. 

The post-chorus is “Can love me better, I can love me better, baby/Can love me better, I can love me better, baby,” telling herself and her ex-lover that she can love herself better than he could and that she doesn’t need a romantic love to be fulfilled. 

The second verse showcases all of the self-love that Cyrus is giving herself now that she couldn’t get it in a romantic relationship. She sings, “Paint my nails cherry-red/Match the roses that you left/No remorse, no regret/I forgot every word that you said.” Despite how much of a toll the relationship took on her, she doesn’t regret it, and she’s truly moved on, freeing herself from that heartbreak. 

Although the music video is mainly just Miley feeling herself and enjoying her newfound confidence (as she should!), there are some possible references to Hemsworth in the video that fans spotted. In the beginning, she is walking down the streets of Malibu, possibly reminiscing on the memories she had with Hemsworth when they lived there. This isn’t the first time that Cyrus has linked Hemsworth with Malibu. In 2017, Cyrus released “Malibu” and confirmed that it was about her relationship with Hemsworth.

Cyrus is also twerking in the video, which fans had been comparing to her behavior at a Vanity Fair event with Hemsworth before the music video even came out. It’s clear in the music video that Cyrus has never been more free than she is right now and that she’s truly living her best life and getting the love that she deserves, even if it is the love that she’s giving to herself!

 Whether you’ve been a fan of Cyrus’ since the Hannah days or find yourself rocking out to Plastic Hearts, “Flowers” is a song that you’re gonna wanna jam out to. I already know that it’ll be on both my “getting ready” and “boss b*tch” playlists. Whether you’re single or happily in a relationship, “Flowers” is truly a self-love anthem and I’m glad that Cyrus is focusing on loving herself after everything she’s been through. 

Born and raised in Arizona, Kayleigh Shaw is a Her Campus National Writer. She mainly writes for the Culture section, primarily focused on the latest entertainment news, but will occasionally write about life and career, giving advice to a wide array of readers. Outside of Her Campus, Kayleigh was also a part of Rod Pulido’s Street Team for his debut novel, Chasing Pacquiao and completed social media challenges to promote the book. She also hopes to one day write for Screen Rant and Comic Book Resources. where she will continue to use her love of all things pop culture to her advantage. She also graduated from Glendale Community College in May 2022 with an Associate's Degree in English. When Kayleigh's not working on journalism pieces, she can be found writing poems and short stories, reading, watching TikToks, listening to their favorite podcasts, listening and dancing to Sabrina Carpenter and Taylor Swift, watching movies and TV shows on Netflix and Hulu (while crying over fictional characters and relationships.) She would live in a library and avoid the rest of the world if she could. She also drinks coffee like a Gilmore and often goes down rabbit holes researching their hyper fixations.