We Shouldn't Care How Sinead O'Connor Looks

By , Contributor

I admit it. I was a little freaked out when I saw that new picture of Sinead O’Connor, the one showing her with hair and about 25 extra pounds.

The one form of discrimination that we’ll probably never transcend is our view of fat people, especially women. It’s sad, but frankly I can’t even argue that I’m immune to it. Every time I see an old clip of Heart’s Ann Wilson I can’t help thinking to myself, “Wow, was she hot, what the hell happened to her?” I’m not proud of it, but I have to admit it. Sadly, even really fat guys are thinking that.

We live in an age where Susan Boyle is an inspirational story just because she’s overweight and can sing too!

But Sinead O’Connor? I’m not sure if I would have gone with the sheer black belly-exposing look and that haircut, but otherwise more power to her.

Sinead O’Connor never cared what you thought of her before and she probably doesn’t now either. Sinead’s blasted so many trails in politics, gender, and celebrity insanity that she deserves to look however she wants. Sure, I’ll always be pining for the thin, sexy riot girl who sang “Mandinka” on the Grammys with a Public Enemy logo stenciled on her bald head, but she remains to me a major enough artist to get away with anything she wants.

Sinead’s big time career came to a crashing halt in 1992 when she ripped up a picture of the Pope on Saturday Night Live. After singing an a cappella version of Bob Marley’s “War” she implored an unsympathetic nation to “fight the real enemy” and started shredding.

This happened shortly after she got into a celebrity feud with Frank Sinatra, who objected to her not wanting her concerts opened with “The Star Spangled Banner.”

Personally, I was infinitely more upset about the Sinead backlash than about the stand she said she made to combat pedophilia in the Catholic Church.

Right after the Saturday Night Live fiasco, she was booed ferociously at a tribute to Bob Dylan’s 30th anniversary as a recording artist and wound up leaving the stage in tears.

That always struck me as insanely moronic. Here are 20,000 people paying hundreds of dollars to salute an artist who is primarily known for his political protest songs and lauded for his free speech triumphs, and they are booing Sinead O’Connor for actually following in his path. Bob Dylan once said that he sort of identified with Lee Harvey Oswald!

Did proto-feminist Madonna have her back? No. She was soon on Saturday Night Live parodying the original O’Connor appearance by shredding her own choice for “the real enemy,” a picture of Joey Buttafuoco.

I cry every single time I see Sinead’s “Nothing Compares 2 U” video, so she can damn well look however she wants. This goes for Aretha Franklin too. Britney Spears - she better keep exercising.

And if that’s not how Sinead really wants to look? Well, I hear that P90X workout regimen is really effective if you can keep up with it.


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Brad Laidman has been a freelance writer since 2000. His work has appeared in Film Threat, Perfect Sound Forever, and Rock and Rap Confidential. His defense of The Kinks' Dave Davies so moved the legendary guitarist that Davies labeled Brad his hero and he has the email to prove it.

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