7 Open Letters I’d Actually Read


So, what’s been your favorite “open letter” of the past couple weeks? One of Sinead O’Connor’s five letters to Miley Cyrus? Miley’s terse responses? Sufjan Stevens’ cheeky, generally supportive grammarian letter to Miley? There are plenty of options. But if open letters are going to remain a fad, I want them to be much more interesting. Here are seven open letters we’d actually read, with proposed samples inspired by Sinead’s/Miley’s/Sufjan’s work.

Meryl Streep to Glenn Close (thanks to Billy Eichner for the idea)


“Whoever was telling you to crossdress in Albert Nobbs absolutely does NOT respect your talent, or you as a young lady. Your movies are good enough for you not to need any shedding of Cruella de Vil. She’s waaaaaaay gone by now … Not because you dressed as a jaunty hotel butler but because you make great movies.”

Tilda Swinton to Lady Gaga


“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 — telepathically. You bombard me with psychic electricity. The message you keep sending — through whispers I rescued in the soil — is that it’s somehow cool to love applause … it’s so not cool, Gaga … it’s dangerous. Women are to be valued for so much more than their vanity. Women should be valued for how they spend weeks at a time in the woods, screaming at trees, forming alliances with leaves, and exchanging thousand-year-old secrets with squirrels. Yip! What was that? Sorry, a squirrel just made fun of me.”

Madonna to Lourdes Ciccone


“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 recognize those who do not. Also: Your ’Material Girl’ headband line was underwhelming and you obligated me to make appearances at Macy’s. Do not waste your youth or mine this way.”

Sufjan Stevens to Ke$ha


“Ke$ha, technically speaking, you “ARE” who you are, not “R.” “R” is a letter of the alphabet that should only be used when spelling other words, i.e. “carnival,” “dinosaur,” and “$izzurp.” Whatever. I’m not the best lyricist, but you know what I mean. #You Are Who You Are.”

Jo Anne Worley to Adam Lambert


“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 Laugh In encouraged me to do what you have done — cover my glorious black mane in glitter and wear leather jackets with spiky epaulets. I felt I would rather be judged on my kooky bellowing and not my looks. I am happy that I made that choice.”

JK Rowling to EL James


“Real empowerment of your characters as woman would be to, in the future, refuse to exploit their bodies or sexuality in order for men to receive pleasure from spanking them.”

Kate Middleton to Naomi Watts

Kate-Middleton photo

“Kindly fire any motherf*cker who hasn’t expressed alarm at your choice to play Diana, because they don’t care about you.”