Sinead O'Connor Pens Heartfelt Open Letter to Sinead O'Rebellion, aka, Miley Cyrus: Perfect, or the Dreaded Slut Shame?

By Courtney Enlow | Celebrities Are Better than You | October 3, 2013 | Comments ()


Sin-ad-O-Connor-sinead-oconnor-23799115-1440-900.jpg

On her website yesterday, Sinead O’Connor posted an open letter to Miley Cyrus. The site is currently down due to more hits than it’s probably ever received, so I’ve included it below in its entirety.

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 sh- 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 sh- 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 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. 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.

Miley responded, predictably, like a 20 year old.

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As you know, I’ve been of somewhere between two and 10 minds about this whole Miley Cyrus twerkastrophe. On one hand, I don’t like the way almost anyone has responded to this situation, with labels of “gross” and “desperate.” I do think she believes herself to be totally in control of her image, that she believes she is being herself, that there’s nothing wrong with showing her body or sticking her tongue out if that’s what she wants to do. But something was making me feel uncomfortable about the whole thing, and I didn’t know why.

I guess this should open up a bigger conversation. It’s one I’ve wanted to start for a long time, but wasn’t sure how. And the conversation is this: slut shaming. Because, while the letter has many fans, many are waving the SLUT SHAME banner and are outraged by this letter. So, slut shame. What exactly is it, where does the label belong and how do we even begin to posit that some of us just might be being—fuck, it hurts to say it—oversensitive?

And I do hate saying that, I do. But I hate more that I had to say it, because to me, the oversensitivity, the immediate lash-out, it’s why we can’t have nice things. We have become the boy who cried “wolf” and the girl who cried “SLUT SHAME!” I said it in a comments section recently—to me, slut shaming is the idea that being quote-unquote “slutty” is bad and dirty and makes you a bad person. But, the lines have blurred, and now how do we approach a conversation about whether or not a young woman is actually in control of the body she is displaying without seeming as though it’s slut shame?

Miley might think she’s being herself. But the record company and management team is using that “herself” to make money. While she espouses her own sexual identity, that same sexuality is being bought and sold by those in charge. It is a commodity. Whether she knows it or not, whether she thinks she’s in charge or not, it isn’t out of the question that she is being prostituted by her own industry.

And, more than the rest of us, I guess someone who’s already been there would know.

I love this letter. And I can see why Miley wouldn’t—because she’s 20. And she thinks she is the fabricator of her own image. But, no 20-year-old pop star really is. She is a business. And business is booming—but who is at the wheel?



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Comments Are Welcome, Jerks Will Be Banned


  • NynjaSquirrel

    That wasn't how Miley reacted, her retweeting came after Sinead's second letter not the first. She responded to the first with 'can't write back, too busy working and doing SNL', after which SO got snarky, hence the retweets after that letter, followed by a third 'I'm getting my lawyers on you' from SO. Now can we drop this petty shit and move on? Tired of reading about it.

  • Jae

    Look, I get it.

    Sinead wants to start/participate in a conversation about exploitation of femel sex appeal and how much of it is truly is or even can be about a woman's actual desires.
    It is a conversation worth having.

    Why did she have to pretent she gives an actual flying fuck about Miley Cyrus... well, I get that too. It is about attention, of course.

    But sriously. I wish people, from Sinead to just people on the street, would just stop with that 'I'm concerned about her' bullshit.
    No you're not. Most of you are most definitely not. What you are conserned is showing off your high horse and using her as the basis for your argument. Which is... you know, exploiting her life for your benefit.

  • Pitry

    Sinead O'Connor isn't slut shaming her. she's concern-trolling her. She doesn't say she's a bad person for being a sexual, sexualised woman, she says she's a little girl who's being taken advantage of by middle aged men. At which point I say, okay, fair enough, Miley Cyrus is a 20 (?) year old ex-Disney star, this might very well be the case. Except that if SO really is worried about this, this is a thing that should be done in private, not in a public 'open letter'. Hence, concern trolling. Neither side comes out well here and it has nothing to do with slut shaming.

  • Pitry

    Ah, scratch that. She did move to outright slut shaming in the newest chapter of this trainwreck. Sigh.

  • Ben

    For those interested, Amanda Palmer wrote a response to Sinead's letter.
    http://amandapalmer.tumblr.com...

  • She's wonderful.

  • Thank you for that. It was very interesting and gave me a different perspective. That's always refreshing.

  • Also (and yeah, I have feelings about this), what strikes me as the most true part of Sinead's letter is how she points out that Miley isn't in control, not at all. Because, people, she never has been. She's been famous since she was practically a newborn, with her every move, word, action planned out by her father, and Disney, and the usual posse of managers and soulless people that surround these poor kids. None of what she's doing isn't planned and thought out and rehearsed to the nth degree. She has no idea what actual independence means, because she's never led an actually normal life where she's been allowed to make her own choices.

    So, yeah, she scoffs at Sinead's letter and pretend like she's in control, when in reality she's been a puppet for so damn long that she doesn't even see the strings anymore.

  • **I AM** NotTheOne

    Every time someone mentions her name (I'll just say "Ciley Myrus. But you know who I am talking about) a puppy dies.

    A PUPPY DIES, YOU GUYS! AN ACTUAL PUPPY!

  • ZbornakSyndrome

    She who cannot be named! Let's call her Tom Riddle from now on, shall we?

  • **I AM** NotTheOne

    She sings in parseltongue.

  • ZbornakSyndrome

    Finally! A decent explanation for the tongue. THANK YOU!

  • John G.

    The over-reaction to her VMA performance and wrecking ball video were text-book slut shaming. I heard the outcry first, then watched the clips, and I couldn't understand what anyone was talking about. It was stupid, yes, but not outrageous or disgusting. That was 100% Puritanical nonsense slut-shaming.

    This letter from Sinead O'Conner is something different. I think this is honest concern from one artist who has experienced the fame machine of the entertainment industry to another. And The industry IS in the prostitution business. Now that they can't sell music in over-priced CD's anymore, they have to sell what they have left. One thing they have is young, attractive celebrities that haven't been seen naked yet, so they can milk that for all its worth.

  • SamuraiShampoo

    I think I'm gonna go live in the woods until Miley Cyrus is no longer a thing.

  • BWeaves

    I would like to point out that Sinead is calling us "Ladies." I approve.

  • Wigamer

    With Miley, I feel like maybe it's this--she's always been a product. She was a one-girl industry cranking out pap for tweens & lining the pockets of Disney and her reprehensible parents. She probably doesn't understand anything else, any other way to be an artist. And let's be brutally honest; she doesn't have a lot of talent to trade on. Whatever else industry people are telling her, you can be sure they're not telling her that.
    And I know that we were all twenty once, and we all did stupid shit, engaged in attention-seeking behavior, the whole thing. But none of our youthful experimentation turned into a national controversy/conversation/clusterfuck. There are consequences for every choice we make--and I'm not talking about people calling her a slut. I'm talking about the way she may feel about herself one day, if she looks back and realizes this was a confused time for her psychologically or emotionally. And to know that it played out so publicly...I just feel really sorry for her because I think she has probably never had any sense of herself.

  • I can just picture some evil-eyed Botoxed monster producer patting her on the shoulder, egging her on with "You're only 20! You deserve your freedom to lick things! Tell them that, Miley! Tell them! It's only what you're thinking, isn't it?"

  • Dumily

    I can't really wade into the comments right now, lest I get sucked up by the undertow. But I would like to ask why we presume that a 20 year old woman who is behaving sexually must have been tricked into doing so. Because I have never in my life heard someone say "He's decided we wants to major in computer engineering. But he's too young and innocent to know what that college is doing to him. They're just using him to make money."

  • Because she's a Product, and always has been, and we all know that deep down, the Products never, ever have any actual freedom or choices.

  • Dumily

    Forget Miley. A regular college sophomore starts wear mini skirts and no bras. Was she tricked into it?

  • Okay, having read Amanda Palmer's response, I am going to have to rethink my automatic assumption that Miley Cyrus is not exerting control over her career. I don't actually have any problem with what she wears or does, but it bothered me to think she was being pushed in that direction. Perhaps you are right, and she's totally driving the bus. I don't know if we have any way of knowing that at this point, but I suspect somewhere down the road, she'll tell us, one way or another.

  • Dumily

    Amanda Palmer basically said what I was trying to say in a much more eloquent, much less bitchy way.

  • No, but your average college sophomore does not have handlers, a P/R machine, multiple companies that expect to make money from her image and actions, or parents who have a long history of shoving her in front of the public.

  • Wigamer

    Normal college sophomores are not products. Can't make a legitmate comparison here.

  • Some Guy

    No, but they are certainly products of their environments.

  • I meant she's a good. To be packaged and promoted and sold and discarded once it can't make you any money.

    I believe they call it being a "brand", but it's really just a way of saying "product".

  • False equivalence there. Very few people have been sold into computer engineering slavery, whereas women have a long history of being bought and sold for sexual purposes. No one is questioning a 20 year old woman who wants to be a nurse, because we tend not to have a black market for nurses, nor are nurses held up as objects of great desire for others to wank to. Okay, I'm sure there's tons of porn for that, but it's not as mainstream as overtly sexualizing of a young woman to make money for her handlers.

  • Dumily

    Nope. Not buying it. How many 18-year-olds were sold college degrees which would never give them the earning ability needed to pay off their student loans? (Philosophy and Journalism, I'm looking in your direction). And, seriously, I feel like I've been screaming this on most of my posts recently, but women are raped BECAUSE PEOPLE RAPE THEM. Not because of what they were doing or wearing, and sure as fuck not because of what Miley Goddamn Cyrus was doing or wearing.

  • To be clear, I don't disagree that young women are sexual because they want to be sexual, but do you really think there is no motivation to sell Miley's image/body by people who stand to make tons of cash off it? And do you really believe that those people have zero influence on her public image or choices?

    Sure, folks choose degrees that may not make them money (although I would argue with your premise that everyone goes to college with the motivation to make money), and I suspect there are people who helped them make that decision, including the colleges themselves, who stand to make lots of money off of students, whether they choose IT or philosophy.

    I have no idea where the rape issue came into this discussion.

  • Dumily

    I agree that Miley's handlers make money off of her and have influence over her in the same way that colleges make money off of and have influence on their students. I don't see how one is more malevolent than another.

    You said, "whereas women have a long history of being bought and sold for sexual purposes." Unless you believe that women abducted and forced into prostitution suddenly begin having consensual sex with their johns, then I'm pretty sure you brought up the rape issue.

  • Right, but I was specifically pointing out that the idea that a young woman being encouraged to play into the patriarchal narrative by being overtly sexual in order to sell herself/her music is problematic specifically because it echoes a long history of sexual subjugation and lack of consent/control and is not at all the same as a young man deciding to be a computer engineer.

    If Miley was simply going out and being a normal, sexually active 20 year old, then no one would give a damn. The thing O'Connor is specifically warning Cyrus about is the creepy fuckers who are using her body and sexuality to make money for themselves with little or no regard for the impact it may have on her.

  • Pippa Laughingstock

    What's wrong with prostitution? No, seriously. Big fan of Kushiel's Dart here.

    Slut is a bad word because it makes consensual sex seem like a bad thing, and that, in and of itself, is always false. Granted, consensual sex and sexual displays may be weighted in a strongly negative way in our society, but you're never going to change that by not doing it. It's her hot body. She can do what she wants.

  • The problem with prostitution is that those doing the work are generally not in any way free to choose whether or how they will do it, and frequently are unable to leave. They are routinely abused in myriad ways with very little chance of finding a way out.

    Now, willing sex workers who are in a safe environment where they get to choose their clients? No problem with that at all. It's just not the norm.

    Then again, I don't think Miley is being prostituted. I think she's being exploited, which is a similar, but different, conversation.

  • Pippa Laughingtock

    "The problem with prostitution is that those doing the work are generally not in any way free to choose whether or how they will do it, and frequently are unable to leave" Yeah, the problem with prostitution that you describe is not that it's prostitution, but that it's not consensual.

  • Sean

    There is a difference between slut and whore. Sluts are fun. Doing what THEY want to do. What O'Connor is rightfully pointing out that Miley is being whored out by her owners. That they will use her til they can no longer do so. Sinead is right on every point.

    Miley's staggeringly mean, and immature response is just like any other whore would say about their pimp.
    Sinead O'Connor has mental problems. She is a highly intelligent, sensitive woman who was abused. She has some issues. However, she is drastically smarter and wiser than Miley. I would like to think that Miley will get there someday. But we all know she wont.

  • F'mal DeHyde

    That tweet made me squirm, it was so incredibly vicious.

  • Sean

    Yes, exactly. I actually gave no fucks whatsoever about Miley. But now I really hate her. I might even laugh out loud during her upcoming crash and burn.

  • Tinkerville

    I really wish we'd all stop giving Miley a free pass because she's 20. She's welcome to do embarrassing shit that she'll regret later in life and I agree that people at that age have a lot of growing to do. But if you're acting like an asshole at any age you deserve to be called out on it.

  • JR

    I guess what these conversations bring up most for me, when we talk about slut-shaming, is... what's so bad about slut shaming? She's acting like a slut; sluts are bad; ergo, we should shame her for it. I think it's OK to shame someone for being... I dunno, a gossip, or a tattletale, or a thief. I don't see the difference here. Those things are all bad, and I would, in fact, criticize someone for being those things. Those people are "being themselves," too - but just because someone is being true to themselves doesn't mean that their every behavior is OK. Miley is being herself, and what she IS, herself, is someone who is comfortable acting like a slut. I don't think that's OK, and I don't think it's unfair to criticize her for it. Are we supposed to be pretend like acting like a slut is somehow noble or self-possessed? What's wrong with thinking it's "gross" to see someone in a stupid costume waving her crotch around like a slobbering idiot?

  • Is the problem that you don't approve of women having the same sort of sexual freedom that is afforded to men, or that you don't like the way that Miley dresses/moves her body? Actually, I don't think it matters. I have a problem with the notion that it's okay to "slut shame" women for making choices that, ultimately, do not harm anyone else. Sure, we may be offended by the way Miley dresses or moves, but I am completely appalled by people who display their underwear in public, wear winter boots with shorts, or think flip-flops are actual footwear. I'm a bit disconcerted by face and neck tattoos. Mullets make me instantly distrust a person. I think that almost all auto-tuning is a crime against music. Most modern art does absolutely nothing for me. And you cannot get me to eat beets, no matter how fancy the restaurant or how exciting the chef. Despite that, I do not believe it's okay to "shame" the people who choose these things, nor would I ever expect other people to do so simply because I find these things repellant.

  • ZbornakSyndrome

    I was with you until flip-flops. Don't flop shame me!
    But well said, well said.

  • I never would! The only proactive thing I do in my fight against flip flops is bar my student workers from wearing them into the office, and that's just good preparation for office work in general. Okay, so I may lecture about the dangers of plantar faciatis, but not regularly.

  • emmalita

    +1000 up votes.

  • mswas

    ditto +1000 up votes.

  • jennp421

    That's the whole point - what about being a slut is bad? Why is it bad for a woman (because the term is pretty much exclusively applied to women) to have multiple sex partners if she enjoys sex and that's what she wants? Why should she be judged for that? If it's consensual and safe, what's the issue?

  • Zen

    "Slut shame" has become the new "racist". Everyone's desperate not to be pasted with that brush.

  • kiryjay

    I have no problem with slut shaming. I hate hate HATE when young women use raunchy sex to sell themselves. Is anyone listening to Miley's voice, or her songs? No, they are watching her masturbate on stage. When I see those big titted blonde bimbos hanging off of Hugh Hefne'rs wrinkly old dick I want to heave. It saddens me and grosses me out at the same time. Women wonder why they aren't taken seriously. They wonder why people look at their boobs instead of their face when they talk. They wonder why they are treated as objects and not human beings.
    I'll say it.... I AM A SLUT SHAMER AND I DON"T LIKE FUCKIN SLUTS. So sue me.

  • shoebox

    "Women wonder why they aren't taken seriously. They wonder why people look at their boobs instead of their face when they talk. They wonder why they are treated as objects and not human beings."

    Look, I get what you're saying about women being complicit in their own objectification.

    But.

    I shouldn't have to cover myself up to be taken seriously. The presence of my cleavage shouldn't automatically turn me into a sex object. Women wonder why they aren't treated with respect because they expect to be able to be sexual, or care about their appearance, and still be seen as intelligent human beings with feelings and talents besides. A woman shouldn't have to suppress her sexuality or never wear anything remotely revealing to be considered an equal. That's like saying "you're only entitled to equality if you accept these restrictions on your liberty, cool? Cool."

  • kirbyjay

    A night on the town where you're looking hot and showing some skin or a tiny bikini on the beach, Cool.
    But boobs at the workplace, raunchy sex acts on stage, naked on a wrecking ball. I stand by my statement. No man will take you seriously if you are suggesting sex in inappropriate places. They WILL ONLY THINK ABOUT SEX. I wonder why young women don't see this. You can moan all you want about how you should be able to dress as you want, anywhere you want, but you don't see men in an office wearing muscle shirts or Speedos.
    ( not that Speedos are sexy but you get my drift).
    And wearing a blouse that shows a little cleavage is hardly the public sluttery I was talking about.

  • shoebox

    The workplace is very different to being out in public or at a bar or whatever. Looking professional is part of doing your job. It's a different story on your own time.

    I didn't say you should be able to dress how you want, anywhere you want. There are some places where a certain dress code is reasonably expected. Work, funerals, formal events. It's not just short skirts or tight clothing - you shouldn't wear flip flops or other casual attire either.

    Fair call on the cleavage comment; that was a little bit of a straw man I set up there.

    I guess where I mainly disagree with you is that I don't believe sexualising yourself means you have to forfeit other people's respect, or that you can only be viewed as a sex object. Public sluttery doesn't make you a bad person, and it doesn't mean that that's all you are.

    As for men ONLY thinking about sex when a woman sexualises herself, that's on them. I can look at a half-naked dude and even if I'm like "damn", I still remember that he's a person.

    Anyway, as long as you accept that women are free to choose to be overtly sexual, then we're good. They have the right to be slutty, and you have the right to feel uncomfortable or saddened.

    Also public sluttery is a really amusing phrase, so thank you for that.

  • kirbyjay

    P.S. Before everyone goes all rabid on me, I'm talking abut public displays of sluttery. I'm not talking about what anyone does in their bedroom because I don't care. It makes no matter to me if your taking it up the ass several times a night. But Miley Cyrus, Madonna, Rhianna and their ilk, whether they like it or not, are role models because they influence, not adult women but frigging young teenage girls and it pisses me off.

  • competitivenonfiction

    All judgements of Miley aside, I find it really interesting that we act like the early to mid twenties are an extended and unsupervised teenage years. Sure, for some this is absolutely the case. I definitely know of a few people who were or are real brats at that age, and I certainly wasn't perfect (much to my chagrin, I'm still not). However, there are lots of people around that age who volunteer, engage, and connect in very real ways with the world around them. Some who even seek out advice from those who are older than them. Maybe we all did some dumb things and we weren't as mature as we are now, but I don't think we should be giving young adults the same standards as we give teenagers. They might just live down to them.

  • Michael

    Did Miley create a fake Sinead O'Conner twitter account and post those tweets? I seriously doubt Sinead's email address is "iamwonderful@me.com". If she did this, could it not be considered libel and/or defamation?

  • emmalita

    Sinead O'Connor's mental health issues are well documented. I think the tweets are really hers.

  • Legally Insignificant

    I hope I'm not repeating what someone has already said in response to this letter, but my favorite part of the letter is that Sinead provides sugestions on how to remedy the situation. Too many people want to tell you what you're doing wrong without offering suggestions for how to remedy the perceived issue. The letter isn't anywhere near to slut-shaming.

  • I love Sinead's letter, but like most any advice given to a young person, it'll largely go ignored. Each of us has had to find her own way. If she's lucky Miley might--in hindsight--see the wisdom later on, but for now she's convinced she's doing her own thing.

    I feel like there's a difference between garden variety slut shaming and the overall marketing industry and audience that convinces most every young woman with talent that undressing herself is the way to fame, popularity, money and even self-fulfillment. Funny enough, I was reading about this last night and revisited a couple of Miley's backyard session videos, and holy hell, does she ever not need to do anything but sing. Most of us, when we see who she presents herself as now, can recount the similar escapades of several women before her; what Miley doesn't get is that she isn't being her true self or being original--she's doing what many others have already done. She's doing what many others after her will do. What will distinguish her is not what she does or doesn't wear, how rebellious she is or even how beautiful she is in her 20s, 30s, etc. What could distinguish her is her voice. And that's a hell of a lot more than several other pop singers can say.

  • Bodhi

    Her version (cover?) of Jolene is amazing. She needs to do more things like that & kick Taylor Swift's ass right of the country charts

  • ZbornakSyndrome

    She just did a semi-nude photo shoot with Terry Richardson (it's on buzzfeed), and I have to say, what disturbs me is that it seems like she's performing sexualized poses for an old white dude with a camera - which is I suppose an apt metaphor for the music industry in general.

    I just think that every time she flashes me her nipples or yanks her g-string, she's moving the conversation away from her music and her talent. Again, if that's her choice, who am I to question it? But it just seems like yet again a dude is controlling her behind the scenes, and that's creepy. It's not just her - not by a long shot, but it's troubling when any young woman does this.

  • Xander

    Kinda fascinating that so many years later now we know that Sinead O'Connor was absolutely right in tearing the picture of the Pope apart. So I wouldn't be surprised if she right about this as well

  • Maguita NYC

    The world has become a bit less blindly faithful, and a lot has to do with internet access.

    Wonder what would be done today if someone with Sinead's back-then popularity rips the Pope's picture. Although, this Pope is showing promise of actually being a bit more Christ-like in his behavior, than say his predecessor.

  • Xander

    True. But honestly it's still not good enough for me. Call me crazy but I believe that the guilty people should be punished. The previous pope actively encouraged and helped pedophiles not only escape justice but enabled them. The one before who's picture got ripped turned a blind eyed to this.

    As far as I am concerned it's finally time for something to change and unless the new pope let's the police launch an inquiry into these disgusting things and truly punish the guilty I will never be truly happy with him even with the nice publicity gestures

  • sideshowRaheem

    "Miley might think she’s being herself. But the record company and management team is using that “herself” to make money."

    How is this any different then any other music artist's image. Record label's exploit and sell whatever makes any artist noteworthy this is how the music industry has worked for 70 years. The only difference with Miley(and the only reason anyone's talking about all of this) is we watched her as a little pre-teen girl and now we see her as a sexed up adult and that makes people uncomfortable if we had no knowledge of the child Miley was no one would care about how sexed up the VMA performance was, at least not to the same degree. Lady GaGa preformed and sat in the audience of that same awards show wearing nothing but a thong and a bikini top and I haven read one article commenting on whether or not it was too sexual, but if we all watched Lady Gaga grow up for 10 years I'm sure we would be hearing the same complaints about her.

    All of this is much to do about nothing Miley is a 20-year-old making music for other 20-year-olds it's not really meant for anyone out of that demo and I cant imagine why anyone out side of it even cares all that much. I mean when you were 20 did your parents sit down and try to listen to and try to understand all the music you were into?

  • emmalita

    This is an interesting place to get an overview of slut-shaming and the double standard. Not all criticism is slut-shaming.

    http://finallyfeminism101.word...

  • ZbornakSyndrome

    I really don't care if Miley is a furry who likes to have sex with anonymous Teddy Bears with her tongue hanging out. That's her right, and as long as everyone is consenting, go for it girl.
    I'm pretty uncomfortable with her ratchet look and the weird racial tones she's promoting, but that's a different topic.

    But I think it's hard to express discomfort about the sexualization of all young pop stars without people screaming slut shaming. It just seems like once a woman hits 20, it's time to cut off her hair and glue on the pasties (do you glue them? God I'm unhip). Rhianna did the same thing. But I feel like any time you start treading in those waters, the slut-shamming whirlpool threatens to suck you in - it's hard to talk about sex without sounding judgey sometimes.

    Also, I don't really think Miley is that good of a performer - which is subjective - but if she's going to go this route, I wish Beyonce or Britney would mentor her.

  • Seriously, why is it that that they all "choose" to show that they're grown up by turning into these oversexualized monster children? there's really no other way to do it? There HAS to be something else you can do that doesn't rely on photoshoots with Terry Richardson.

  • Sure, you can go to an Ivy league college, get your degree, and decide where you want to go from there, but it doesn't give you much press coverage until you go back into the entertainment field and win an award or land on a really popular TV show.

  • ZbornakSyndrome

    Uncle Terry is so freakin' creepy.

  • emmalita

    It is hard to criticize anything without sounding judgy, but anything to do with women and sexuality is 100 times harder. Which is why I've tried not to get into the Miley debate. So many other people have better things to say about it than I do.

  • ZbornakSyndrome

    I agree. Just wanted to mention that I love that website and now I'm not working and browsing articles.

  • emmalita

    I just discovered it today when I tried to find other examples of women who have been slut shamed. Happy browsing. :)

  • Lemony

    And once again, the conversation centers around Cyrus's sexuality and slut shaming and not the gross racist behavior.

  • emmalita

    I'd love to have that conversation. The overlords might need to up-grade the fire suppression system first.

  • Lemony

    I'm actually ok with them not having the conversation here, because I get that this space isn't really meant for that and that's fine. But if there are going to be multiple articles about it, it should be at least *mentioned*.

  • ZbornakSyndrome

    I can believe that Miley and Bieber are so insulated from the real world and others that they honestly don't understand the implications of their actions.

    Her Rolling Stone interview, where she name-drops every black person she's ever met as "loving what she does" is so cringe-worthy. And I think there is a good discussion to be had about cultural appropriation in pop culture. (What about Selena Gomez and the bindi she was wearing when her album dropped? Was that OK?).

    I think we need to address it, otherwise we look as clueless as they do.

  • emmalita

    I think this site would be a great place to have a conversation about racism, intentional and unintentional, in pop culture. Pop culture is a mirror, but it's also a place where a better future can be imagined. There have been some images with jarring racial implications recently *cough, bieber, cough* and they have largely gone unaddressed. If we can have posts on slut-shaming, let's have them on why Brooklyn 99 made Andre Braugher's character gay, too. Of course if they made him straight no one would believe Samburg was the office stud.

  • Lemony

    I don't really disagree with that, it's more of a "are the Pajiba Overlords willing host that discussion?" I would understand if they aren't because it can be emotionally draining in a way they aren't prepared for/don't want.

  • emmalita

    True, and I'm not going to threaten a boycot or try to hold the site hostage if they aren't willing to have the conversation. I'm just saying there is some conversational meat here, and I think it would be a worthwhile conversation. I think Pajibans are a generally intelligent, thoughtful group (with exceptions, including me on occasion).

  • FrayedMachine

    That seems a little hypocritical don't you think? The site is very open and willing to discuss a lot of topics that can be -exceptionally- draining like, you know, Sexism, feminism, etc. etc. Why should Racism be any different?

  • Lemony

    Hypocritical of whom? Me or them? I definitely think that if they're going to discuss Miley and the VMA's they should be talking about it, which is why I made the initial comment. I guess I should clarify that when I said I was "ok" with them not have the conversation it wasn't because I agreed with them or liked it, just an acknowledgment that it's not my site and I don't have a say in content (beyond comments of course).

  • FrayedMachine

    Them, as you were specifically providing a reason for why they potentially might not be open to the idea.

  • ZbornakSyndrome

    Can't these crazy kids get together and tear up a picture of the Pope or something?
    Seriously, as well-intentioned as Sinead may have been, Miley is 20. She knows everything, she knows she's not being exploited and she sure as shit knows she's a down-ass bitch with "homies".

    Miley isn't going to hear any of that letter, until she's 40 and writes one to the latest pop star who masturbates with a unicorn horn in her videos and wears nipples on her fingers, or whatever is controversial in 2033.

  • Maguita NYC

    Ditto on the nipple fingers.

  • mswas

    Woe to us that Eloquent Eloquence is (mostly) dead, for thereabove lies the champion!

  • ZbornakSyndrome

    Let's make nipple fingers happen. We can do this people!

  • Maguita NYC

    Yes! Nipple fingers is my favorite thing now. Beware mswas, this and Degrateful will be thrown around FB for a while!

  • Danar the Barbarian

    I'm going to stock up now on finger nipples so I can be ahead of the trend. Thanks for the tip!

  • ZbornakSyndrome

    You guys are my witnesses, if Miley shows up at the Grammys with nipple fingers, I'm totes suing.

  • ronniedobbs

    Miley's 20. And all of us who have been 20 before (I assume that's pretty much all of us here) know that 20 year old people don't know shit. 20 year old people are people who know everything, and trying to tell them otherwise is an exercise in futility and wasting of precious oxygen. So while I thought Crazy Sinead's (I love her- she introduced me to the phrase "The Difficult Brown", via Michael K. It doubles nicely as a moniker for Chris Brown) letter was great and made perfect sense, Miley won't see it that way for a long time. I think it's pretty obvious what she's trying to do, and it just screams insecurity. Women generally get naked in public for only two reasons: money or insecurity (or a combination of the two). I'm not sure why this whole "slut shaming" thing comes into play, but I think it's because we like to believe that women who get naked in public are doing so to behave like brazen hussies. That's the pretense, I suppose, but the truth is: insecurity and money. I had a friend who was a stripper. She did not have good self-esteem and she thought all the men at her club were disgusting. It's really all bullshit, that's what I'm trying to say. If we're slut shaming Miley Cyrus, we're missing the point entirely. I don't think she's a slut at all. Not wearing clothes and licking a sledgehammer, a slut does not make. Are we sure we even know what "slut" means, and why it doesn't apply, in this context? I think she wants our attention because she's an insecure 20 year old, and I think she wants our money, because people like money. And that's about it. I mean, enough already.

  • ronniedobbs

    Oh, that stripper I knew? I forgot to mention why she was a stripper: MONEY. End of story. Oh, and she got free coke. It was sad. It would never have been worth slut shaming her.

  • simplysarah

    I love this letter. When I first saw "Wrecking Ball" I thought it'd be so much more meaningful if it was just her face the whole time ala "Nothing compares 2 U".

    As for "Slut shaming" I despise that phrase!

  • Snugglepants

    I'm just old, man. I'm sorry. She's just a twenty year old girl being a twenty year old girl only on my tv. When I was twenty I did awkward attention grabbing stuff too. I don't look up to her, I don't look down at her. I don't look at her, and I probably won't until Ken Burns makes a documentary about her. Or I have to yell at her to get off my lawn. Sinead O'Connor has a vantage point on the situation that I don't, so good for her for trying to help. The rest is just... ya know?

  • Tinkerville

    Did someone say a Ken Burns' Miley Cyrus documentary?

    http://www.i4u.com/2013/10/ken...

  • Snugglepants

    Wow. The world is wide and wonderful place. It scares me.

  • Robert

    Sinead O'Connor has never been one to mince words. She meant that as a sincere appeal to a young artist and said young artist decided to mock her for actually having mental health issues. Said young artist just lost a fan for her stupidity. Said young artist joins a list containing another young artists who has repeatedly try to martyr himself for beating up his girlfriend as someone whose name I will not mention again in my writing. No excuses.

  • luthien26

    Wow, Miley's response just shows her massive immaturity. I get that she might not agree with it (what 20 year old would?), but the proper response is that you appreciate the person's concern but that you've got things covered. To ridicule a person's mental issues is beyond low. Forget slut shaming. Between the use of black people as props to boost her "street cred" and her ignorant mocking of mental health issues, this girl has a lot she needs to learn.

  • St

    Yeah. Funny thing is how Miley laughs at Amanda Bynes and seriously gives public advices to Justin Bieber and teaches him how to stop being idiot. Like she is some mature and respected person. While in reality people put her on the same level with Bynes and Bieber. It’s like if Bieber would give interview and tell Miley how she can stop being idiot...

    Miley is so blindsided with fame and position of her singles in charts that she can’t see how no one respects her at all. And that it’s nit like people criticize her. They laugh at her.

  • IngridToday

    She's probably not used to people going into detail (and making valid points) the problem with Miley.

  • ronniedobbs

    I definitely agree with that. I posted that she's 20 and she's an idiot, and I think that covers this too- but you make a great point. Sinead is not the most stable gal. But attacking her for it? When she was just trying to help? Pretty low and immature. I'm not going to slut shame the kid, but I WILL call her out for being an asshole. Just because you're 20 and dumb doesn't mean you can't be an asshole.

  • Maguita NYC

    So Miley is unfortunately evolving and growing up in an environment where women are constantly objectified.

    Yeah she did that video. Fuck yeah she gave that performance. But none could take away the fact that she owned it, has taken responsibility for it, and will be moving forward with the support of lovely women like Sinead O'Connor who are FOR women, not against.

    More should follow Ms. O'Connor's path, and less Slut shaming would do many more a lot of good, starting with Miley Cyrus herself.

  • Tinkerville

    Except that she's now responding to those lovely women by acting bratty and by referencing another celebrity's awful mental breakdown, trying to imply that Sinead is just an unstable nutjob. She's lost a ton of my respect now.

    I also think Sinead brings up very valid points-- how much of this has Miley really wanted, and how much of this has her team been making her think she wants? Obviously I don't know the answer to that, but I don't think we should be ignoring the fact that young celebrities are often manipulated.

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