(Sinead OConnor – Miley Cyrus letter)
Collette Walsh, editor of Shine! speaks about the powerful open letter from Sinéad O’Connor to Miley Cyrus (the letter is below)…
IT’S the letter that has myself and countless other women (and men) punching the air with approval. Yesterday evening the singer and mother-of-four Sinéad O’Connor released a ‘letter to Miley’ on her Facebook feed.
I clicked on it as soon as it hit my own FB page and such was the rush by thousands of others of fans that the Sinead O’Connor website was literally overloaded with hits.
I read the letter and literally cheered at every sentence. Yes! Finally here was someone – a world-class singer, a woman and a mother – speaking right from the heart of the matter regarding the sexploitation of singer Miley Cyrus.
Please read Sinéad’s letter (below) – it is punchy, honest, fair and sincere. Miley claims that the video to her single, Wrecking Ball, was inspired by Sinéad O’Connor’s iconic Nothing Compares to You and that the Irish singer has been a big influence on her.
In her letter to Miley, Sinéad makes it clear that while the twerking, nudity and pornographic licking gestures Miley is now becoming synonymous for may bring her media exposure, the price she is paying for ‘prostituting’ herself is not worth it.
We at Shine! agree with EVERY word of Sinéad’s letter and encourage you our readers to share it, especially with younger readers, friends and relatives who may not realise just how exploited young pop idols are by the music industry today.
Miley, at only 20-years-old, has EVERY right to celebrate her beauty, her sexiness and her body – BUT ON HER OWN TERMS – not those of the music bosses, PR agents and publicists. Few women at the age of 20 have any idea just how precious their youth is and how vulnerable they are to be being used, abused and sexualised by those only too quick to degrade and exploit them.
Today, in response to the letter, Miley’s twitter feed screen-grabbed and highlighted old tweets by Sinéad written while the Irish singer was going through a distressing emotional and mental collapse (widely reported at the time). You can bet Miley’s PR team were working overnight to try and find some dirt on Sinéad O’Connor to detract from the powerful words in her letter! However, this speaks volumes too – for Miley’s people to try to diminish Sinéad O’Connor based on a traumatic time in her past is just an incredibly low, cowardly and bullying punch. Really pathetic.
So, we say to Miley, ignore your entourage and publicists for a few minutes and just listen hard to Sinéad – make a note of each and every word of advice and insight she gives you in this brilliant letter. No record, album deal or video shoot is worth selling your soul, dignity and beauty for.
The brilliant Sinead O’Connor gives some superb advice and wise words here to Miley Cyrus… it’s a really good read – no nonsense! Here’s the letter:
I wasn’t going to write this letter, but today i’ve been dodging phone calls from various newspapers who wished me to remark upon your having said your Wrecking Ball video was designed to be similar to the one for Nothing Compares… So this is what I need to say… I am extremely concerned for you that those around you have led you to believe, or encouraged you in your own belief, that it is in any way ‘cool’ to be naked and licking sledgehammers in your videos. It is in fact the case that you will obscure your talent by allowing yourself to be pimped, whether its the music business or yourself doing the pimping.
Nothing but harm will come in the long run, from allowing yourself to be exploited, and it is absolutely NOT in ANY way an empowerment of yourself or any other young women, for you to send across the message that you are to be valued (even by you) more for your sexual appeal than your obvious talent.
I am happy to hear I am somewhat of a role model for you and I hope that because of that you will pay close attention to what I am telling you. The music business doesn’t give a shit about you, or any of us. They will prostitute you for all you are worth, and cleverly make you think its what YOU wanted.. and when you end up in rehab as a result of being prostituted, ‘they’ will be sunning themselves on their yachts in Antigua which they bought by selling your body and you will find yourself very alone.
None of the men oggling you give a shit about you either, do not be fooled. Many’s the woman mistook lust for love. If they want you sexually that doesn’t mean they give a fuck about you. All the more true when you unwittingly give the impression you don’t give much of a fuck about yourself.
You are worth more than your body or your sexual appeal. As I said, you have enough talent that you don’t need to let the music business make a prostitute of you.
The look I chose, I chose on purpose at a time when my record company were encouraging me to do what you have done. I felt I would rather be judged on my talent and not my looks. I am happy that I made that choice, not least because I do not find myself on the proverbial rag heap now that I am almost 47 yrs of age.. which unfortunately many female artists who have based their image around their sexuality, end up on when they reach middle age.
Real empowerment of yourself as a woman would be to in future refuse to exploit your body or your sexuality in order for men to make money from you. I needn’t even ask the question.. I’ve been in the business long enough to know that men are making more money than you are from you getting naked. Its really not at all cool. And its sending dangerous signals to other young women. Please in future say no when you are asked to prostitute yourself. Your body is for you and your boyfriend. It isn’t for every spunk-spewing dirtbag on the net, or every greedy record company executive to buy his mistresses diamonds with.
As for the shedding of the Hannah Montana image.. whoever is telling you getting naked is the way to do that does absolutely NOT respect your talent, or you as a young lady. Your records are good enough for you not to need any shedding of Hannah Montana. She’s waaaaaaay gone by now.. Not because you got naked but because you make great records.
Whether we like it or not, us females in the industry are role models and as such we have to be extremely careful what messages we send to other women. The message you keep sending is that its somehow cool to be prostituted.. its so not cool Miley.. its dangerous. Women are to be valued for so much more than their sexuality. we aren’t merely objects of desire. I would be encouraging you to send healthier messages to your peers.. that they and you are worth more than what is currently going on in your career. Kindly fire any motherfucker who hasn’t expressed alarm, because they don’t care about you.