This video made me cry. I have been where all these women have been before. I’ve felt uglier and fatter than what I really was. I let the most fickle things destroy me internally. I wounded myself until I was “unpretty.” I felt like everyone was lying to me when complimenting me. I had the wrong perception of beauty. I wish Dove had this video in my teens but then again, I had to go through low self-esteem to re-establish myself and truly feel confident again. Life is ever-changing. I am a brand new me. I chose to be happy, healthy and free!
I don’t care for Miley, it doesn’t bother me that she isn’t Hannah Montana either. I knew it was all an act and therefore I wasn’t emotionally attached to her show. The fact that her “true” self is now revealed or how she chooses to make her money is not for me to judge either. What I did find profound was the concerning letter Sinead O’Connor (whom I also had no inkling of her existence) wrote to Miley, about her worth and ultimately her power to influence. This is what caught my attention. I am fully aware that this is delayed news, but it’s great to throwback. For those of you who haven’t seen it, here is the open letter to Miley. Please excuse the foul language. I also corrected the spelling or else it would annoy me. LOL
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 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 ogling 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 prey for animals and less than animals, a distressing majority of whom work in the music industry and it’s 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.”
My advice to you all is that you have to “Stand for something, or fall for everything”
There is nothing attractive or good about not knowing your bounds or limits as a person.
In my journey of life I often always meet women who are constantly in some kind of relationship trouble. It never occurs to them that they have a choice on how to react or whether or not it is still worth it to be in the relationship. But I shouldn’t include matters of the heart; too much of a knotted helix, which I am not qualified to unstitch. Also, as I am always on the receiving end, at my heightened view, I can be too critical or sound emotionless, forgetting that I’m dealing with someone new who knows not of the several case studies I have just encountered.
So as these women saunter in their labyrinths of love, they meet “Jerks of all trades” who completely confuse their well-beings and identities and unconsciously teach them how they should be treated. They accept these behaviours in hopes of things changing (by a strike of lightening from the heavens that will turn the leopard’s spots into stripes) and going back to the sweet honeymoon phase of being pursued and wanted again.
These women are so great, filled with potential and wit. Their hands are full of gold and purpose. They are beautiful. But they risk nemesis by inviting such rejection, complacency, abuse into their hearts. It’s scarring. These women are our mothers, aunts, neighbours and friends, culturally taught to withstand all adversity at the sake of their distant families. What a curse!
And so the example of the frog is brought up.
“If you put a frog in a pot of boiling water, it will immediately scramble out. However, if you put the frog in a pot of cold water and gradually turn up the heat, the frog will become groggier and groggier, until it is unable to climb out the pot. Although there is nothing restraining it, the frog will sit there and boil. Why? Because the frog’s internal apparatus for sensing threats to survival is geared to sudden changes in the environment-not slow, incremental changes.”
The signs are always there.
We as women only react to dramatic changes whereas ignoring the gradual signs and processes lead to bigger threats that cost our souls more.
Don’t wait too long.
How far will you have to go before you learn the lesson?
I can’t see another macabre headline of murder, torture, abuse, suffering and the like.
When you know you’re enough, you’ll know when you’ve had the same.
Let no one tell you who you are, how to live or who to be. Acculturation and socialization have recreated our identities so much that we sometimes forget who we really are. Define you. Be you. #TalithaKoum