This is my first blog post in 2 weeks! My apologies for the unexpected absence but I am definitely back now and alongside my return comes a little rant and rage – the culprit this time being certain departments of the music industry.
For the first time in many years I spent an entire evening where TV music channels were being played in the background – specifically the current Top 40 Chart – and it has left me feeling disturbed, angry and extremely concerned. I can honestly say I don’t think I witnessed a single video where sex wasn’t being used to manipulate people’s attention.
Yes, sex is a very effective marketing tool, no matter how much it annoyed me it was incredibly difficult to ignore whatever half naked nonsense was happening on screen, my eyes were continually drawn to whoever was dancing suggestively therefore it’s no wonder the industry harnesses sex as a selling point. It will get people’s attention and the more provocative and shocking the video will result in more people wanting to see it.
However my personal feeling is that it has gone into overload. It’s just too much and it’s progressing into soft porn. If I have to watch one more woman roll around in her underwear I think I may scream. And yes it was always women that were the practically naked ones titillating the camera – never a man. Funny that…
These music videos have got to be doing damage and what concerns me the most is the effects they must have on the self-worth of the person watching them and what it teaches young people today about sex. All I can comment on is how they made me feel, and hour after hour of impossibly perfect looking, beautiful women thrust their body parts around whilst men objectified them made me feel absolutely crap about myself.
I felt inferior; my confidence was lowered. I wasn’t sexy, I wasn’t attractive, these girls were some kind of special species I could never be. They made me feel bad about my body, I compared mine to theirs, listed the reasons why they were perfect, counted all my failures and told myself what I needed to improve so I could look more like them. They left me feeling sub-standard, dissatisfied and with the unenjoyable prospect the amount of exercise I’d need to undertake to chance looking like them.
The scary thing is I’m nearly 30 and watching these music videos made me feel this way. What about a teenage girl? What the hell is she going to learn by being exposed to this? That the only way to be attractive and seek the opposites sexes attention is to behave and dress like girls in a music video? And what, like me, their self-worth is lowered, feel bad about their bodies and learn from an early age to be dissatisfied with themselves and never feel good enough?
And just as equally important what messages are boys receiving? That women exist purely to be objectified, merited for their bodies and nothing else? That sex is the be all or end all? Sex is an important, enjoyable part of life but the pop music industry behaves as if it is the only thing that matters and I’m for one sick of it. It’s relentless, it’s completely unsubtle, literally in your face onslaught of near pornographic material is exhausting. It’s not original, it’s not creative, it’s only purpose is to stir up controversy to sell the music and I feel the industry is in danger of getting to the point where pop artists feel this is the only thing they can do to get their videos in the spotlight.
It worries me. Women have a hell of a lot more to offer than just how good they look in a bikini but if the younger generation are subconsciously or consciously learning that sex and dressing your body provocatively to get attention is of high value then there needs to be proper education to counteract whatever damage music videos are capable of.
I don’t have children, nor do I intend to but if I did I would be anxious of my child being exposed to the amount of overly sexed videos because there is no let up. Each video seemed like another copycat version of the one that went previously to it and if this is becoming normalised I dread to think of the consequences.
Maybe I’m turning into a total feminist, I don’t know, but I do know I was crying out for at least one female pop star to dare to be different and not rely on a skimpy outfit. I’m not a prude either, I’m not saying you should be covered up head to toe, what I am trying to say is that there needs to be a balance. Prove you have a brain and creativity, not just a toned body. Stop relying on sex to sell your records and realise that you are not doing women any favours by portraying them as sex objects. Or at the very least make it equal and for every half naked female there needs to be a half naked man. Somehow I think the latter is much more unlikely!