O’Connor was compelled to write the note “in the spirit of motherliness,” but also after she was continually hounded by journalists to speak up after Cyrus recently told recent Rolling Stone that O’Connor’s her “Nothing Compares 2 U” video was an inspiration for her own “Wrecking Ball” clip. “I wanted it to be tough but really pretty – that’s what Sinead did with her hair and everything,” Cyrus said, also calling “Wrecking Ball” the opposite of her wild VMA performance.
While O’Connor was flattered to have influenced Cyrus in some way, she was concerned that those around the young singer had pushed her to thinking it’d be “‘cool’ to be naked and licking sledgehammers in your videos,” as she does in the “Wrecking Ball.”
“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,” O’Connor wrote. “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.”
O’Connor went on to mention that her own simple stylistic choices were a reaction to the record executives who pushed her to over-sexualize herself early in her career. “I felt I would rather be judged on my talent and not my looks,” she said. “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 [years] of age.”
O’Connor wrote at the end of her note: “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.”