Sinead O’Connor has told Oprah Winfrey that she shaved her head when she was a young artist because she considered it ‘dangerous to be a female’.
The Irish star was being interviewed by Oprah as part of the American chat queen’s ‘Oprah: Where Are They now?’ series. She said that when she was starting out she believed it was very difficult for women in the music industry.
O’Connor was just 17 years old when she signed her first record contract. She quickly realised that she would need to assert herself in order to fend off unwelcome advances from male record company executives.
She said: “I got put into the record business at a time when record executives were a little frisky. Put it that way. Not in a manner that they would cross the line if you said no, but they would certainly try their very best. In some ways, you had to protect yourself straight off, you’d be better to have a bag on your head, really.”
Some of these men wanted to sexualise O’Connor in a bid to help her sell more records. However the singer rebelled and shaved her head in a bid to make herself appear less feminine. She wanted her talent to do the talking.
“They wanted me to grow my hair really long and wear miniskirts and all that kind of stuff because they reckoned I’d look much prettier. So I went straight around to the barber and shaved the rest of my hair off.”
She added: “I had grown up in a manner which… I’m sure a lot of women will relate to, where it was dangerous to be a female. So, I always had that sense that it was quite important to protect myself — make myself as unattractive as I possibly could.”
Ironically, O’Connor’s shaved head became an iconic look and her defiance actually helped her to stand out which is what the execs had hoped for in the first place.
Her extreme look, along with her talent and her outspoken views helped her to become a star. O’Connor was recently involved in an online war of words with young singer Miley Cyrus.
O’Connor believed that the American was being put under the same pressure to ‘prostitute’ herself that she had rebelled against.