Miley Cyrus, who used to be in Disney channel show Hannah Montana, recently released a new music video to her song Wrecking Ball. In the Wrecking Ball music video, Miley appears naked swinging on a giant wrecking ball. The video also features close ups of Miley’s face while she is crying, which is similar to Sinead O’Connor’s music video for Nobody Compares.
This caused Sinead to write an open letter to Miley about her provocative performance in the Wrecking Ball video. Sinead was worried about Miley and wrote this letter to warn her against exploitation and to tell her she should be judged on her talent and not her looks.
This is why, in the letter, Sinead says, "Please, in future, say no when you're asked to prostitute yourself" and "I am extremely concerned for you that those around you have led you to believe, (...) that it is in any way 'cool' to be naked and licking sledge hammers in your videos". However, Miley isn't being forced to do anything because it’s 'cool’. She is making her own decisions and came up with the idea for the video herself; it was her way of getting the song’s message across to the audience.
Sinead also tells her " ...us females in the industry are role models and have to be extremely careful what messages we send to other women." However, it can be argued that you cannot live life worrying if you are sending a good message to people all the time.
The reason there has been such a big reaction to the Wrecking Ball video is because Miley was a child star, therefore she is still looked upon as a role model and judged more severely. In contrast, Lady Gaga is known for wearing hardly anything and faces much less critique. In fact, she was naked in her music video for Marry the Night and that wasn't as scrutinized as Wrecking Ball. Although, are decisions like this expected of Lady Gaga now?
In the letter it also says, "I (...) would rather be judged on my talent and not my looks." However these days looks are a big part of the music industry, people are naturally judged on their looks and unfortunately it does play a part in their success. Some people change themselves to appear more "sexy" like Taylor Swift. She used to sing country songs wearing dresses and cowboy boots but then she changed her image and her music to become more popular. She didn't need to do this because people liked her music before. So, is this an example of Taylor Swift bowing to pressure? Or is she just trying to gain an even larger audience?