Sinead O’Connor Writes Open Letter To Miley Cyrus – ‘No one who cares about you could support your being pimped’


Finally. Someone is saying what most of us have thought since July.

Music icon Sinead O’Connor is making headlines worldwide today for releasing an open letter to pop sensation Miley Cyrus after learning the young starlet cited her as an influence. The message O’Connor had for Cyrus is about as far from a ‘thank you’ as you can imagine, but it may just be the exact message the singer needs at this point in her life. She has been on the cover and/or front page of nearly every publication around the globe in 2013, but rarely has the reason for her appearance been related to her career (music). She’s made herself into an object meant to be sexualized to the further extent imaginable, and O’Connor’s letter informs Miley she should not stand for such treatment. You can read her letter, in full, below:


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 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. And when you employ people who give the impression they don’t give much of a fuck 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 pray [sic] for animals and less than animals (a distressing majority of whom work in the music industry and the 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 fuck 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 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.

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the founder of Under The Gun Review. He loves writing about music and movies almost as much as he loves his two fat cats. He's also the co-founder of Antique Records and the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. You should probably follow him on Twitter.

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  • XBlueCollarHardcoreX

    This is awesome…

  • Julia Kate

    I love this! Go Sinead! And James ;)

  • Jack Mumm

    Pretty much typical Sinead O’Connor. She can be a refreshingly progressive voice, but has a tendency to assume that other people’s experiences and worldview are the exact same as hers. You definitely see both sides of that in this letter.

  • Kriston McConnell

    I think she makes a good point. Hollywood is using her. Scandal is popular, sex sells, all that bullshit does. She’s getting SO much attention and that translates to money. As long as she’s in the limelight acting crazy her managers will profit. Look at us, we’re talking about her now. I think it’s unfortunate her talents are being overshadowed by the way she has been acting.

  • Jack Mumm

    I agree she makes some good points.

    I think her points apply much better in an overall cultural context than in the situation of an individual, though. She’s making quite a few assumptions about both Miley and the people around her that either haven’t or can’t be confirmed.

    Are her assumptions something that is in the realm of possibility? Absolutely, as it’s happened before to people and will likely happen again. I just think if you’re going to publish something like this publicly though, relying on any assumptions is not a good way to get your point across. Especially if she’s trying to get Miley’s attention specifically.

    This isn’t meant as a jab towards Sinead or jumping to the defense of people in the industry who are advising young stars. I’m just saying I’m not always sure her approach is particularly effective. I’ve had the same critique when she’s spoken out on other topics in the past.

  • Kriston McConnell

    That’s definitely true, no one knows Miley’s exact situation except for Miley. Anything else is speculation.

  • thetruth

    miley has taken it too far but its still her art. the we cant stop video was fun and goofy and well done. her mtv performance was horrible but its her career. this letter is repetitive and just because sinead o connor didnt care about being sexy it doesnt mean everyone should live by her guidelines. you have to have fun when youre young.

  • disturbed

    No one thinks that this is just another publicity stunt? Why an open letter if one is really concerned and wants to help? What’s wrong with a private email or phone call?

  • Bullshot Bill

    Because it’s good words for everyone, especially other women. You fucktard.

  • disturbed

    How very mature of you to start out with a name calling LOL
    You must be 14 years old.

  • zamardii12

    blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah … who cares? We have more pressing issues going on in this country.

  • Stuart Karpazian

    Not that I don’t agree with what she has to say here, but for someone who seems to understand the industry well she is missing the most important point: if Miley refuses to be “pimped” then some other younger girl will come take her place. Don’t forget that hot young singers looking for fame are a dime a dozen. This is why the current “it” girl is always exploited as a sexual object (and a generation of parents are always saying it’s gone too far this time). She wouldn’t be the “it” girl (in the minds of industry decision makers or the general public) if she refused. Can anyone name an under 30 music star that doesn’t have serious sex appeal and/or refuses to take it off for Maxim and the like?

  • Mary Garcia

    She mentioned in the letter that she was being hounded by the media – Im sure this was to answer their letters as well.

  • Mary Garcia

    Aka we need for their to be “sexiness” in the entertainment industry – thanks for proving a huge point that explains why women and men feel they are not good enough.

  • Bullshot Bill

    The day that I care what some fatass from the internet thinks about me is the day I stop fucking your mother.

  • disturbed

    Thanks for proving my point.

  • disturbed

    So then in one hand she is advising Miley to not buy into the media bullshit and on the other she is doing just that if what you are saying is true. Hipocrisy much?

  • disturbed

    You’re right. We do have much bigger and real issues to be concerned about.

  • Johnson Goezinya

    She makes great records? BWAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAA!!!

  • Tierney Kirtdoll

    adele. and i do believe adele is sexy, but it is different…her talent cannot be rivaled by pop icon “sexiness.”

  • Lyle Miller

    I can summarize this whole letter. Miley, you can be Sinead or Madonna. Who’s career is more appealing?

    I’m not saying either is wrong, but those are the hot and cold choices.

  • squatty

    can I have at it with your mom next?

  • Chad Dexter

    I totally agree. Sinead has played her cards, but would rather Miley not do the same. Self righteous if you ask me

  • Yendi Jones

    Good for you Sinead. People may mock you for trying to help Miley..but I for one commend you for the effort. I suspect that she will pay little attention. What a dreadful shame that her family doesn’t care enough to say the same thing to her. I love Miley’s music. I think it is terrific. I don’t think that she needs to resort to stunts. It is a shame that she feels the need.

  • Sam Nicolosi

    I totally agree! Privacy = caring.

  • Nick L

    Just because there is issue A and issue B and issue A is a ‘bigger deal’ does not inherently strip issue B of worth. The power of the music industry over the behavior of young people is well known. This is an important conversation to have.

  • Govt is the problem

    I would rather watch spongebob serve crabby patties than Miley swinging on a wrecking ball.

  • Meagan Mattson

    I for one am very concerned about what my daughter sees and listens to. Miley is speaking to the young generation that will soon be our new leaders and take care of us. So just because the issue here isn’t all that “important” right now. It will affect us sooner or later.

  • Scott Stone

    This could very well be issue No. 1. A culture that doesn’t respect it’s own well being. If we continue to devalue ourselves for the sake of money, power, fame, etc., our moral fiber as a country continues to fall. Bleeds into everything we do as a society.

  • S M Aspen

    Isn’t it convenient? Whenever women need to discuss something, a man comes in and says “there are more important things to talk about!”

  • Sera

    I think we get the idea of what you think is more important by reading your activity… very pressing xbox and netflix issues *yawn* and enough time to waste typing blah blah.

  • moodpost

    For O’Conner, it’s always been about the music. If you don’t get what she’s saying, it’s probably because you like your music linked with video pop and sex. I think she’s saying let music fans have music, and let porn fans have porn. I’m more on the musician side, so I prefer to separate them myself.