Don't Allow Yourself to be "Pimped": Sinead O'Connor Pens Open Letter to Miley Cyrus

Sinead O'Connor and Miley Cyrus
One of many revelations in Rolling Stone's recent profile of one Miss Miley Cyrus is that she based the look of her "Wrecking Ball" music video, in part, on the video for Sinead O'Connor's "Nothing Compares 2U." In response, O'Connor posted an open letter to the wild child on her website, warning her against the pitfalls of the music industry, and those who seek to exploit her.

O'Connor writes that the letter is "in the spirit of motherliness." She chides Cyrus for her attention-grabbing stunts, rather than simply letting her talent speak for herself. Here is the letter in full, posted with O'Connor's permission:

Dear Miley,

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 in Rolling Stone your Wrecking Ball video was designed to be similar to the one for Nothing Compares… So this is what I need to say… And it is said in the spirit of motherliness and with love. 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 it’s 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 s*** about you, or any of us. They will prostitute you for all you are worth, and cleverly make you think it's 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 s*** 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 f*** about you. All the more true when you unwittingly give the impression you don’t give much of a f*** about yourself, and when you employ people who give the impression they don’t give much of a f*** about you either. No one who cares about you could support your being pimped... and that includes you yourself. Yes, I’m suggesting you don’t care for yourself. That has to change. You ought be protected as a precious young lady by anyone in your employ and anyone around you, including you. This is a dangerous world. We don’t encourage our daughters to walk around naked in it because it makes them prey for animals and less than animals, a distressing majority of whom work in the music industry and its associated media.

You are worth more than your body or your sexual appeal. The world of showbiz doesn’t see things that way, they like things to be seen the other way, whether they are magazines who want you on their cover, or whatever... Don’t be under any illusions.. ALL of them want you because they’re making money off your youth and your beauty... which they could not do except for the fact your youth makes you blind to the evils of show business. If you have an innocent heart you can’t recognise those who do not. I repeat, you have enough talent that you don’t need to let the music business make a prostitute of you. You shouldn’t let them make a fool of you either. Don’t think for a moment that any of them give a flying f*** about you. They’re there for the money... we’re there for the music. It has always been that way and it will always be that way. The sooner a young lady gets to know that, the sooner she can be REALLY in control.

You also said in Rolling Stone that your look is based on mine. 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 years 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. It’s really not at all cool. And it’s 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 it’s somehow cool to be prostituted... it’s so not cool Miley... it’s 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 motherf***er who hasn’t expressed alarm, because they don’t care about you.

If Miley really is inspired by O'Connor's career, perhaps this is what we can expect on SNL this weekend?



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  • angiedd

    I hope Miley listens, but something tells me she's going to have to learn the hard way. Too much money, too young, too many people telling her YES and not enough telling her to respect herself and her body. Rely on your talent and not your nakedness.

  • Elizabeth Aspen
    Elizabeth Aspen

    Absolutely everything she said is completely spot-on. Sinead may have her issues and maybe only 2 hits to her name, but she's always going to be a respected artist. Miley needs to look to other great iconic performers who rely more on their talent than skin to express themselves, like Sarah McLachlan. If Miley truly wants to be a conveyor of empowerment, try doing what Sarah does - start a music school, start a female movement, do charity work around the world. Don't just sit your bare ass on a cold steel wrecking ball and lick a sledgehammer while horny 13-year old boys jerk off under the covers to your video.

  • Donna Anderson
    Donna Anderson

    One can only hope Miley listens. I watched an old video of hers where she sings "Jolene" and she has an amazing and powerful voice. But who really listens these days? No one. Instead of being attracted to a beautiful young person with a beautiful voice, we're all distracted by her ugliness. Poor Miley. Someone - other than her misguided parents - needs to step in. I hope she listens to Sinead.