Dear daughter, let Miley Cyrus be a lesson to you.
Yes, this is what happens when you constantly hear everything you do is awesome. This is what happens when people fawn over your every Tweet and Instagram photo. This is what happens when no responsible adult has ever said the word “no,” made you change your clothes before leaving the house, or never spanked your butt for deliberate defiance.
If you ever even consider doing something like that, I promise you that I will run up and twerk so you will see how ridiculous twerking looks. I will duct tape your mouth shut so your tongue doesn’t hang out like an overheated hound dog. I will smack any male whom you decide to smash against his pelvis – after I first knock you on your butt for forgetting how a lady acts in public.
Why would I do that? Because I love you and I want you to respect yourself. Miley Cyrus is not edgy or cool or sexy. She’s a desperate girl screaming for attention: Notice me. Tell me I’m pretty. See how hot I am. I know all the guys want me. All the girls want to be me.
You probably know girls who will emulate this behavior at the next school dance. Don’t do it with them. You are far too valuable to sell yourself so cheaply. Walk away. Let the boys gawk and know in your heart that they see only a body that can be used for their pleasure and then forgotten.
I’m sorry if you’ve ever felt sad because I haven’t gushed over everything you’ve done. My role is to praise when praise is due, but also to offer constructive criticism and correction when it is needed as well. I’m sorry if you’ve ever felt demoralized because your Instagram following isn’t in the thousands, and I’m sorry those “selfies” can never capture how amazingly beautiful you truly are. I’m sorry if you’ve ever wished you had a friend instead of a mom, and I promise you that I will probably get worse when you hit high school.
Dear daughter, I am going to fight or die trying to keep you from becoming like the Miley Cyruses of the world.
You can thank me later.
This was an open letter a mother wrote to her daughter after she watched Miley perform at the VMA award as her daughter grew up as a Hannah Montana fan always watching her. She was concerned that her daughter may now want to copy her idols actions by maybe smoking a spliff as she may think its ‘cool’ or ‘awesome’ as Miley is doing it so publicly for everyone to see. This letter caused a lot of controversy after it went public, a lot of people agreeing and as well many disagreeing it. I find it interesting how parents are actually really worried that their young children who have grown up watching Hannah Montana actually really fear that they might follow in Miley’s footsteps and turn into provocative teenage girls attracting all the wrong attention.
One man that didn’t agree with Keller’s open letter was Miley’s father, Billy Ray Cyrus, who tweeted “‘Mile, if twerkin woulda been invented…. And I had a foam finger…. I woulda done the same thang you did.’” – I actually find this a bit shocking, coming from her dad how can he possibly find this okay that his daughter is overly sexualising herself on stage for the world to see? I know for a fact that my father would never condone this behaviour let alone defend it. This comes back to the question of, all that she does is it all just because her team, managers or record label are telling her to so that she can get more publicity…which at the end of the day is exactly what celebrities want especially younger ones trying to start of new trends and be ‘cool’ to the younger generation of fans as well as these labels wanting more money.
Another open letter that was written directly to Miley was actually from a famous person herself, Sinead O’Connor after Miley’s Wrecking Ball video was inspired by her song Nothing Compares 2 U.
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.
– Sinéad O’Connor, theguardian.com, Thursday 3 October 2013 13.06 BST [http://www.theguardian.com/music/2013/oct/03/sinead-o-connor-open-letter-miley-cyrus]
The letter is quite long so you can carry on reading by clicking on the link above, I did try find the original letter on Sinead’s website but could not find it. Sinead speaks out to Miley telling her how she feels like the music industry is ‘pimping her’ and how she is being exploited by the industry “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.”. Sinead actually refers to the music industry ‘prostituting’ Miley by making her think that all these sexual acts and ways how she is behaving is because she want stop but really she is being manipulated by the industry to be like this. She also talks about how when Miley finally is alone and sitting in rehab that her managers will be all fine and well of in ‘their yachts in Antigua’ and isn’t that ironic how you can see an occurrence here with two former disney stars…Britney Spears and Lindsey Lohan? How they were left ‘alone’ in their rehab facilities after they both went through their public breakdowns, and this didn’t affect their managers and record labels but only them.
Sinead goes on to say “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.” . This is actually quite sad to think that yeah we all look to Miley as if she is probably older than what she is but she is only a 20 year old girl trying to find herself and she probably is under an ‘illusion’ that all these endorsements want her for her talent and yes they do but on top of everything they want her because of her body, her sex appeal and mainly because she is making money for them, “ALL of them want you because they’re making money off your youth and your beauty”, and that is sadly the bottom line. Sinead says how Miley is too young and innocent that she can’t recognise this and this is probably the issue with most Disney stars who have moved onto have a adult career…they have all been so used to being in the spotlight at kids, signing contracts for new programmes or endorsements that when they grow older, sexier and more powerful in the sense of making money in the industries eyes they are exploited into being moulded into what their record labels wants them to be, look, and act like. Their whole image is probably all down to their labels choice although Miley does say she does what she wants and acts how she wants there is definitely a factor of her label that has contributed to this and to the construction of Miley Cyrus.
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.
Sinead ended her letter with this statement, which was quite strong and meaningful. She tells Miley how as females in the industry and as role models they have to be extremely careful as to what messages and how they portray themselves to their fans and public. She continues to talk about being ‘prostituted’ by the industry and how it isn’t ‘cool’. Sinead tells her that she wishes Miley would send ‘healthier’ messages to her peers and she is worth more than how she is portraying herself through her career and how she should fire anyone who shows alarm because they most likely do not care about her!
I think this was quite a powerful open letter but one that probably was needed as it does speak a lot of truth! I do believe that and I also think many people believe it too that she is being ‘prostituted’ by the industry and being manipulated into acting a certain way for publicity and to make more money by certain endorsements. I want to further explore into the exploitation of the music industry especially with younger stars such as Miley, Lindsey, Bieber, Britney (when she was younger), Christina Aguilera and some other former Disney stars.