Yoga. Sound Healing. Angelic Reiki®. Well-being.
So, I had started writing my first ever blog post, when an intriguing back and forth between some of my friends on Facebook came to my attention. I had sent a friend of mine the post made by Sinéad O’Connor in regards Miley Cyrus. It is beautifully written and truly spoke to my heart. The sentiment behind it hit very close to home in many ways, and was very close to the message I would want to say to her too. I feel it is sincere and spoken from a voice of concern, unlike a lot of the posts made about Miley recently. I have copied the letter at the end of this as her website has crashed from all the traffic to it since the post went up.
My friend who posted the link on FB is a very talented DJ, on his way to being recognised for the talent he is on a global scale, so it is close to his heart as he is entering that world and also because he is a sensitive, kind man who I have talked about this whole area with many times.
He discussed the response it was getting on his wall with me- a mixture of cynical comments making personal remarks about Sinéad O’Connor, funny remarks using excerpts from the letter in witty ways that take the piss out of it but are only meant to be the humerous showboating people do on Facebook and of course, people agreeing with the sentiment.
To me, FB is perhaps not the most perfect platform for serious chats. However, it is one of the biggest communication devices used today and a lot of people are on it. I am not and I feel passionately about this subject, being a female and being a musician, so I am posting my response to some of the replies here:
Ian is a man so allowed to have a career without his body and looks being an issue. He is also able to get paid what his work is worth, unlike women who get paid less up the ladder in every industry still. And he is allowed to have viewpoints and write open letters and not have people put him down and say he is ‘crazy’ or ‘it must be that time of the month’ or other terms to belittle women who try to change the hugely sexist world we still live in. Or have people laugh and make awful comments about his appearance. Or judge whether he is allowed to have a music career because he is not interested in trading on his looks, get exploited and get naked for magazines or because he is too big/fat/thin/skinny to be considered hot enough TO trade on his looks.
Unfortunately, there is not as much of an impact when women communicate these things as there are when men decide to bring them up. Men are the ones in power at the moment. So men have to support women taking back their power, so change can really start to take place. And I mean so balance can take place. Not the bastardised version of feminism where men are put down and hated for being blokes, or where women are ridiculed and seen as betrayers by other women because they want to stay home with their children. But in the true sense, where both are equal in every sense of the word. Because we are all equal human beings, and we all have the right to be here and live our lives in harmony and peace and to make our choices. And to try to make the world a better place- on various scales. Like, by seeing someone in trouble and the media absolutely encouraging a meltdown and the music industry exploiting her body for all they can, just as they’ve done repeatedly in the past, and actually come out and say NO. This is not right and we demand change. We will not buy this anymore. Because the bottom line is the industries just care about the bottom line. So if we could all come from compassion and not buy into these exploitative scenarios so this behaviour becomes unprofitable, they would stop exploiting.
Yes, I know Facebook is not the ideal forum for all this and most replies are just going to be flippant comments meant to be humerous and witty- and often they succeed at this!
But we need to take this topic seriously. The dangerous message being sent out to young women- actually, to extremely young girls- is that loving your body and owning your sexuality is the same as humping people on stage, wearing very little clothes and giving the impression (whether true or not) that you are up for anyone objectifying you/doing anything they want to you. It’s not the same. And as a 32 year old woman who grew up with those thoughts constantly pumped into her brain to the point that after being attacked as a sixteen year old, I felt much safer to put on weight and try to hide from men because the only options presented to me, and in my experience, were you had to either be/pretend to be/give the impression of being a slut/”up for it” in which case men of all ages saw you only as meat they can do with as they please, or sink into the background and be listened to for your brain but never be a sexual being. These are not the options and it has taken me a further 16 years to truly get that. It has taken me that long to allow my body to start coming back into balance. To truly respect and love my body no matter what size it is. To truly respect and love myself for the awesome human I am. And I AM awesome, just as you are. We are all so amazing and incredible with so much potential. It is so joyous and empowering to truly understand and feel that!
And as much as men can be sensitive and understanding of the fact that women get fed the thoughts that their worth is how hot they are according to the communal trend for shape and size at that moment in time, they can never fully understand what it is like to constantly receive these messages. They can look at their own viewpoints and core beliefs, and realise that they have in fact been trained to see women’s worth like that too. Whether it be a message they act on or not or have grown out of, I feel there are very few men who can say they were not trained to think of women’s worth in relation to their looks from a young age.
I had a conversation last week with a woman who was telling me there is a trend among young girls at the moment to ask boys in their class to rank them on FB. Rank them. In terms of how hot they are. WTF?! Being a teenager with all the pressure and hormones that come with it was hard enough without the internet- who would be a teenager these days?!
And Miley Cyrus is just out of her teens. She is young and wants people to love her. We all want people to love us. And when we are that age, we are most of the time, not mature enough to understand the difference between love and lust or indeed, manipulation. And the music industry as it is, is very much about manipulation. There is so much darkness within it. They comment on how amazing a female who (and you are all going to think of the same person), as they see it, does not have the “perfect” figure or is not “really hot” can actually have a career- “and she can really sing!” Like having the ability to sing beautifully and talk to someone’s soul is not actually a prerequisite for having a career AS A SINGER! It is madness. And it is time for the madness to stop.
We see change happening on a global scale, not just in regards women’s rights, but in terms of gay, human and animal rights. And whether you understand it yet or not, each of us are extremely powerful and can absolutely change the world around us. If every one person does their part, if every person came from love, if we could get the world to simultaneously pause and send out love from our hearts to every corner of the world, I truly feel our whole planet’s negative vibrations would shift instantly. We’ve all experienced sending love to someone who is seriously ill and being able to feel that aura around them. To see miracle recoveries happen in that situation. My group of friends and I experienced that with a dear friend of ours pretty recently and it was potent. We were in different parts of the world and yet could all feel it.
We can make huge changes and have a hugely positive impact on the world around us. We just have to let go of the fear of being ridiculed for being sincere. To always come from love. To be the change we want to see in the world.
So I thank you Ian for posting that link on your FB. We need more men like you, supporting women so they can take their rightful place, balancing the power in the world. And I thank you all for reading!
With Love and Light,
The Letter Sinéad O’Connor posted:
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.