Miley Cyrus, who began her stardom with the innocent Hannah Montana, has recently descended into the mire of sexual exhibitionism to an extreme that has shocked even much of the lurid pop music industry. An interesting development in this ongoing saga however is the letter of another music star, Sinead O’Connor, which expresses her grief in a loving way. Sinead is no paragon of virtue by any means, in fact she's the one who famously ripped up the picture of Pope John Paul II, however she comes by her concern for Miley honestly, by having been used by the same industry.
While Sinead speaks in her letter warning Miley not to continue to go nude in her music videos, her points are well made (except for the foul language, of course). They work equally well in counseling young women on modesty in dress.
Even though they’re great talking points, you should be warned that Miley’s reaction to Sinead’s loving outreach – which were based on the abuses Sinead herself suffered in the industry – were not taken well. Miley read the letter as saying, “Hey I really respect you and I really love what you did. You know what? You suck!”
For me, that doesn’t discredit Sinead’s approach, nor her effort to reach out. Teens will often misinterpret what parents tell them. And, while in counseling your teen girls on dressing with care for their dignity, you may be seen as a villain, or disregarded, I think deep down your daughters will value your counsel, will see your love and concern, and one day, God willing, will adopt it.
I’ve excerpted the most important parts of the letter, bleeped out the expletives and adding my own comments in bold.
…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 [dress provocatively]… 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…
The music business doesn’t give a [care] 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 ogling you give a [care] 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 [care] about you. All the more true when you unwittingly give the impression you don’t give much of a [care] about yourself. And when you employ people who give the impression they don’t give much of a [care] 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 [scantily clad] 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. …
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 [dressing inappropriately]. 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…
As for the shedding of the Hannah Montana image.. whoever is telling you getting naked [dressing immodestly] 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…
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 [bleep] who hasn’t expressed alarm, because they don’t care about you.
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