How far will an artist go to achieve the title of sex goddess? Women are bombarded by images of “beautiful” female pop singers daily, whether in the news, in magazines or on the television. It seems that sex appeal is all that is selling lately, not the music itself.The representations of women and how their image is sold to the public irks me not only because I am offended when people sell their bodies for the betterment of their musical success, but also because some day I want to raise children and I fear there will be a lack of good, moral celebrities for them to look up to.
What happened to the idea that an artist’s music alone can keep them afloat? When did most every female singer buy into the sex image that has seemed to overwhelm the industry?
I only bring up this topic because of the recent hypocrisy that I have seen with the rise of female pop singers and their message. They say one thing and then do another. It is the oldest trick in the book.
Britney Spears began as a good singer in her own right, then sold out when she released her third album self-titled Britney. Her song “I’m A Slave 4 U” was a big excuse for her to make a music orgy video. She solidified her stance, objectifying herself even more with her latest single “Toxic” in which the video had to be pulled off the air due to its explicit nature.
Not only is the princess Britney easily swayed by wanting to be bigger and better with heightened sex appeal, but also her competitor Christina Aguilera works her way in also. Christina had her own “fest” in her music video “Dirrty,” but she, in my opinion, went far out of the realm of her musical career when she posed almost nude on the cover of Rolling Stone. I guess they thought she was talented because she had a guitar covering her body. I’m still stumped by this one.
A recent contender to the old school artists I have already mentioned is the lovely Beyonce Knowles. She had class, she had a group, but most of all, she had a voice. Now this voice is paired with straight up sex. She has completely gone away from her roots with her recent album, pairing with other celebs and rolling around on the floor like a “professional.”
Her album should be retitled dangerouslyinlust instead of dangerouslyinlove. She isn’t selling love, but rather eye candy for sexual desires. Her voice is not even an issue anymore. I don’t know how she can make videos and sell her body like that and go back to her hometown and sing in her church. She seems to be falling into the trap most women artists find themselves in: to sell my music, I must sell my body.
This ideology fails to value the artists talents and focuses on what they can do for the listener.
To briefly touch a subject which has gotten way to much publicity, Janet Jackson is a prime example of how a female artist used her body to sell her voice. She had to do something to compete with the younger up and coming artist, many of which I have mentioned.
My last example is of a singer who was left behind, but is now coming into her own fashion of selling her body for the betterment of her singing. This is none other than Jessica Simpson. Ah, yes, the girl who was not accepted into the Mickey Mouse Club along with Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera because her chest was too big. Well, now she is making up for that, displaying her desire to be seen much more than her desire to be heard.
On the MSN Web site, Jessica Simpson stated that she was glad that she was finally being recognized for her voice. How much further from the truth can she be? The photos on her Web site are far from decent and her barely dressed figure might have something to do with it.
Maybe I am wrong, but all these female artists are not merely selling their music, but selling themselves in a distasteful fashion. This kind of publicity is not necessary in the world of music right now. There are plenty of other female artists who don’t sell out to sex and they have much more of my support than the ones who value their image over their talents. A couple to name are Norah Jones and Jaci Valasquez. There is such a thing as a fully dressed vocalist.
Kimberley M. Tolson is a student at Oklahoma State University.