And so the saga continues. After Sinead O’Connor’s first open letter to Miley Cyrus which led to Sinead being mocked on Twitter, the 2nd open letter to Miley reads like this:
Miley…Really? Who…is advising you? You have posted today tweets of mine which are two years old, which were posted by me when I was unwell and seeking help, so as to make them look like they are recent. In doing so you mock myself and Amanda Bynes for having suffered with mental health issues and for having sought help.
Have you any idea how stupid and dangerous it is to mock people for suffering illness? You will yourself one day suffer such illness, that is without doubt. The course you have set yourself upon can only end in that, trust me.
I am staggered that any 20 yr old woman of the 21st century could behave in such a dangerous and irresponsible manner as to not only send the signal to young women that its ok to act like prostitutes but also to the signal that those who have suffered or do suffer mental health problems are to be mocked and have their opinions invalidated. Have you no sense of danger at all? or responsibility?
Remove your tweets immediately or you will hear from my lawyers. I am certain you will be hearing from all manner of mental health advocacy groups also. It is not acceptable to mock any person for having suffered.
It is most unbecoming of you to respond in such a fashion to someone who expressed care for you. And worse that you are such an anti-female tool of the anti-female music industry. I hope that you will apologise to Amanda Bynes and to any person who has been wounded by your mockery of those who have suffered. And I hope that you will wake up and understand that you in fact are a danger to women.
Furthermore you posted a photo of me tearing the pope’s photo .. as if to imply insanity.. by doing so all you have achieved is to expose your staggering ignorance. I suggest you read The Philadelphia Report, The Boston Report, all the reports which will illuminate for you why that action of mine remains sane and valid. By mocking it you mock every child who suffered sexual abuse at the hands of priests and had it covered by the Vatican. You could really do with educating yourself, that is if you’re not too busy getting your tits out to read.”
Sinead is right
As parents of daughters battle to save them from images born of easily available pornography; from headlines led by the bad behaviour of the likes of Kim Kardashian, Lindsay Lohan, Lady Gaga and various Desperate Housewives; Sinead’s is the voice of reason. She speaks from years of experience and maturity. It’s a real shame that Miley Cyrus didn’t see the advice for what it was and decided to come out fighting with her claws drawn.
Sinead’s advice to Miley is right and sound, and as parents of daughters, we all have many lessons to learn from it too. Miley Cyrus is still breaking out of her Hannah Montana mould. Instead of riding on the success of her early fame, she is determined to burn her Disney past in favour of a Hustler future. But at what cost to herself? And perhaps as mothers, we should be asking the question, at what cost to her thousands of young, female fans around the world, one of them who could be your own daughter?
What can we teach our daughters from all of this? Find out on the next page.
Lessons for our daughters
Miley’s plight is disturbing and sad. And most probably your young daughter who may also be a Miley fan, won’t understand completely why she behaved the way she did. But if your daughter asks you one day “Mum, what happened to Miley?” at least you can use her question as an opportunity to tell her about the kind of young woman she shouldn’t become. There are lessons to be learnt from both Miley’s saga and Sinead’s advice to her.
1. Respect yourself:
Teach your daughter the value of self-respect. How can someone else respect her if she doesn’t respect herself first? Tell her to be proud of who she is, even in those difficult tween/early teen years when girls are so easily influenced by what others think…and by what popular celebrities do. Provide her with examples of women who she can look up to. And yes, there are even some in the music and showbiz industry like Hillary Duff.
2. Respect others:
Miley, in her letter to Sinead, shows a terrible lack of respect to both Sinead and those struggling with mental health issues. For someone to publicly shame another for having mental health issues is also a reflection of how terribly ignorant/uneducated that person is, given the amount of social awareness that has been created by mental health advocacy groups around the world. To respect others is to gain respect from others. Keeping this in mind will help your daughter become a responsible, caring adult.
3. Your sexuality is sacred:
It’s so easy for young girls these days to think their sexuality is there to be shown off. And why wouldn’t they think so when it’s become so normal to see images of young women showing off their bodies in a sexually provocative manner in almost every form of media. Whether it’s Miley Cirus or a young fashion model, the message shouted out to young girls is the same: “go on, show off your body – your sexuality is not yours, it belongs to the public”. Teach your daughter to value her body and her sexuality…they are hers and hers only. In Sinead O’Connor’s words: “women are valued for so much more than their sexuality”.
A little respect goes a long way
4. Popular doesn’t have mean trashy:
It’s so important for many young girls to be popular and hang with the ‘in’ crowd. Unfortunately, because of the influence of the likes of Miley, many young girls these days think the only way to achieve popularity is to be trashy. Tell your girl this is not the case. She can also be popular by being kind, thoughtful, considerate and respectful towards others. ‘Trashy’ belongs in the rubbish bin – with the lid tightly closed.
5. High self-esteem:
It’s safe to say that Miley’s behaviour stems from a terrible lack of self-esteem. She’s not happy with who she is. So she tries to re-invent herself as someone else. And look at the results and the potential long-term consequences (ironically, mental health issues will probably on the top of that list of consequences). Teach your daughter the value of being grounded, of never forgetting who she is and what she has achieved in life. Of what she can achieve in the future. Nurture her sense of self-esteem and watch her blossom into a confident and caring young woman.
If only Miley had a sensible older adult to guide her. Showbiz can be a nasty place and many a successful star (think Britney Spears, Whitney Houston) has crashed and burned in the heat of it all. If only Miley could have seen the wisdom in Sinead’s words. The experience she shared. Perhaps instead of a public war of words, they could have shared some female solidarity. Sadly it was not to be. But we hope that Sinead’s words of wisdom – and the lessons that can be taken from this story – will resonate with other young women, including perhaps, your own daughter.
What do you think of this war of words between Sinead and Miley? And what you taken out of it as lessons for your own daughter/s? Have your say in the comments below.