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Miley Cyrus jibes at mental health problems: A step too far

Celtic designOur ambassador, Vicky, comments on the Sinead/Miley public spat:

I don’t really think about Miley Cyrus that much. I mean she doesn’t affect my life too much on a daily basis. I’ve been known to drunkenly (and soberly) dance along to “Party in the USA”. But generally, her actions don’t concern me.

Media frenzy

I watched with amusement as the media worked itself up into a frenzy about Miley’s VMA performance last month. But that’s a Pandora’s box I’m not even going to touch. The reason Miley is now receiving my scorn is because of her jibes at mental health problems.

The story so far…

If you haven’t already heard, Irish singer Sinead O’Connor sent an open letter to Miley Cyrus, warning her of the dangers of the music industry. O’Connor has long been a controversial and critical figure of the industry, religion and a myriad of other issues.

In the letter, O’Connor said she was writing to the former Hannah Montana star out of the “spirit of motherliness”. While some of O’Connor’s language in the letter was strong (she said that what Miley was currently doing with all her outrageous behavior at the moment, whether by her music bosses or herself, was equivalent to pimping).


But she also praised the singers talent and was trying to convey, from one artist to another – bear in mind, an artist that Miley said in her Rolling Stone interview inspired her for the closeup shot of her face in her Wrecking Ball video – that simply, Miley doesn’t need to try so damn hard to be successful.

Offering advice 

Now, we can understand Miley being ticked off with O’Connor, even if the advice was coming from a good place. Nobody particular likes having people interfering with their life, even if that person is offering sound advice. Especially as right now, Miley seems to be relishing in the attention her antics are gathering for her and probably doesn’t want a public telling off about it.

But, being annoyed with something does not give you the right to make a joke of their history with mental health problems. In response to O’Connor’s letter, Miley tweeted “Before Amanda Bynes… there was” along with a screen grab of tweets from O’Connor in 2011 when she publicly sought help on her Twitter account as she was feeling suicidal. Amanda Bynes is currently being treated at a psychiatric facility in the US.

Role models by default

It’s extremely offensive and a harmful portrayal of mental health problems. Pop stars like Miley Cyrus might not ask to be role models, but by default of being admired by millions of young people, they are. To insinuate that someone shouldn’t be listened to, because they went through a tough time is shameful.

But, judging by people’s reactions so far, this sentiment isn’t shared, as people express outrage at her response. This time, Miley might have created a controversy that she really doesn’t want.

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