There's a topless photo of MILEY CYRUSkicking around the Internet that may very well be phony.


It appears to have been taken during the photo shoot Miley did for "Maxim" when they put her at the top of their Hot 100 list.


As you may recall, "Maxim" ran a photo of Miley topless, but FROM BEHIND, wearing only ripped jeans and some jewelry.


In this new pic, Miley is facing the camera.  She's wearing the same jeans and jewelry, plus a jacket,which she's holding wide open to expose her breasts.

(Check out the CENSORED version here, along with the shot that "Maxim" did publish . . . and the NAUGHTY one here.)

The topless pic is kind of convincing, although the breasts might be just a little too small to be Miley's.



But one thing that makes us think they're fakes is that less than a month ago, Miley said this . . . quote, "A star is someone who doesn't have to take her clothes off to be sexy because you naturally have star power.



"Sex does sell, but you have to find a way that's not just showing your [boobs]."