This isn’t a new thing. Madonna who pioneered the pop slut look has been doing it for quite a while now. Of course when Madonna started doing this she was pretty much the only one and copped a lot of flak for it. What the industry learnt from Madonna is that sex and controversy sells. Madonna however actually had catchy songs and talent to go along with her sexual image. It seems that today all that is required is a sexual image -don’t worry about talent.
A good example is Mariah Carey. Whether you like her or not, the gods definitely blessed her with golden vocal chords. She starts off her career fresh faced with a lot of talent. She is marketed in a sexy but not overtly sexual way as shown on her first album cover.
Fast forward a number of years and she has abandoned singing for some pop track that barely requires any singing (“Like that y’all”). Her new image is ultra-sexy with next to nothing clothing. It had me wondering why someone with that amount of vocal ability needed to resort to the tactics employed by girls like the Pussycat Dolls (who let’s face it are pretty and can dance but that’s about it).
|Mariah after her reinvention|
Take Christina Aguilera as another example. She irritates that crap out of me, but I can acknowledge that she has a phenomenal voice (when she stops all that vocal acrobatics crap that she carries on with). I just watched an interview where Christina talks about her latest video clip for “Not Myself Tonight” as “empowering to women”. For those who haven’t seen the clip here is a summary:
Christina is in PVC black bikini and rubs up against men and kisses women
Christina is tied up on a chair with a diamond ball gag in her mouth
Christina advertises a mobile phone
Christina rips off Madonna’s Express Yourself video
I don’t how the writhing around, scantily clad, sexually explicit video is “empowering to women”. It seems to me that this is just an excuse to get your kit off in a clip and get away with it.
Rhianna has a song called “Rude Boy” here is a sample of the lyrics:
“Come here rude boy boy can you get it up
Come here rude boy boy is you big enough
I like the way you touch me there
I like the way you pull my hair
Babe, if I don't feel it I ain't faking, no, no
I like when you tell me 'kiss you there'
I like when you tell me 'move it there'
So giddy-up; time to get it up: you say you a rude boy: show me what you got now
Come here right now
Take it, take it, baby, baby, take it, take it, love me, love me"
I have a feeling that when Rhianna sings "Get it up" that she isn't talking about his drooping spirit.
Rhianna has also joined the ranks of all the other celebrity faux lesbians with her latest track “Ti amo” and her simulated masturbation onstage.
Let’s not forget in all of this Lady Gaga and her perpetual lack of clothing. Beyonce who appears in the track “Video Phone” in a black and white bikini while the track has groans of orgasmic delight in the background.
The reason I mention this is not to make a list of sexually explicit female pop stars but rather to examine what has happened to exhibiting pure talent without the need to make it sexual.
I can’t imagine watching Fleetwood Mac on stage and then during the song “Rhiannon”, Stevie Nicks rips off her flowing dress to reveal a tiny bikini while she rubs herself up against a male dancer. The point is that Stevie Nicks didn’t have to make herself overtly sexual because she could write great songs and sing her lungs out.
So what has happened to the female pop star that is NOT sexual? I think that she is a rarity. The only one that I can think of currently is Taylor Swift. It’s interesting to note that Taylor Swift had the highest selling album for the last year. This is a very good example that the sexual component is not required, or maybe the public is just getting sick of female popstars using their sexuality to sell more albums.
I actually long for the day when female popstars do not need to resort to the Popsluts route for their career and just rely on song writing, star presence and innate talent. I imagine that I shall be waiting for a very long time.