04 October 2013 by

Miley Cyrus Strips Off For Terry Richardson - Is This The Photographer's Most Controversial Shoot EVER?

[Miley Cyrus by Terry Richardson]

By now you've probably seen the pictures from Miley Cyrus' photoshoot with Terry Richardson, which the photographer posted on his blog, Terry's Diary, yesterday. This isn't the first time that the singer has posed for Richardson - she's previously performed an upside down twerk against a wall in his studio wearing only a sports bra and shorts, touched herself in faux masturbation through jeans and cosied up to a male friend in white pants and a vest.

While this might not be in keeping with Miley's old teenage-sweetheart image, it's become the norm to see Terry's subjects, who include Lady Gaga, Rihanna and Lindsay Lohan, embracing their wilder sides for his lens. Hedonistic displays from Gaga grasping at her breast with witchy talons to Lindsay posing with the barrel of a gun in her mouth - and heck - even Beyonce singing in her knickers for GQ - are all in keeping with the photographer's signature style. 

But Cyrus' latest Terry pics, where she poses in nothing but fishnet tights and does something that looks quite painful with a red leotard and appears to treat a can as male genitalia, comes at a time when she continues to divide opinion over the promotion of her new album, Bangerz. In a blaze of publicity she has shed clothing as if it were a symbol of her wholesome Hannah Montana past. The promo for her recent single, also shot by Richardson, is a case in point, where the now 20-year-old star is seen swinging back and forth in the buff atop a giant wrecking ball and provocatively licking a hammer used presumably to smash up what remains of the childlike innocence she possessed.

However, the part of the video which has caused the most stir in the last 24-hours is when a crop haired Miley cries into the camera during a close up - an image she told Rolling Stone magazine was a homage to Sinead O'Connor's iconic 'Nothing Compares 2 U' video. The 46-year-old musician has subsequently reached out to Cyrus in an open letter posted on her website. Urging the singer to stop her sexually provocative antics and concentrate on the music O'Connor writes, "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." Sinead's website seems to be out of action for now, but you can read the letter in full below.

Meanwhile Miley doesn't appear to have taken the heartfelt words too seriously, instead tweeting the message to the woman who she once cited as an influence, "Sinead. I don't have time to write you an open letter cause Im hosting & performing on SNL this week. So if youd like to meet up and talk lemme know in your next letter." Okaaaay then….

[Miley Cyrus by Terry Richardson]

Dear Miley,

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.

See Terry Richardson's controversial work below...


Comments

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Chere Di Boscio (Tue Oct 15 01:30:12 BST 2013): Unfortunately, Sinead is right. Young girls (and boys!) in the culture industries are being exploited more than ever before, not just in the music industry, but in fashion too. http://eluxemagazine.com/magazine/the-new-slaves/
Justyn Batchelor (Tue Oct 15 16:23:13 BST 2013): This video, I just think it's a bit lame, obviously exploitative but essentially just a bit lame. Maybe if it was darker and actually represented the thoughts in the perverted recesses of your mind Terry we may have something, just think you've gone in half cocked. There is art and there is a styrophone cup used as an ash tray on the floor of a bus station this work puts you at the less exciting end of this spectrum, (in my humble opinion). Don't be proud Terry your work here is awful, lets make the next one fan bloody tastic. Come on Terry put this aside and make me proud. And Cyrus, God knows, you are this moments poster girl for all that's vacuous and plastic, will it inevitably explode?