Music/Music Videos and Sexualization

Word of Warning: I’ve decided not to link to the videos because of how bad I feel they are. However, I especially plead with men NOT to find and watch them. Just trust me. K?! 

I recently posted an article on the sexualization of young girls, it got my mind rolling. Recently, a friend was pretty upset that her 9-year-old daughter’s jazz class was being taught a dance to Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance. (As well she should have been.) Really? At nine years old? And she said that while her daughter had never heard the song, that the other girls not only knew it but knew the words!  Wow.

So I began to wonder… Who would have been this type of sex symbol when I was nine? Madonna. So, in 1989 what would have been one of Madonna’s top songs? Cherish. Here are the words to the chorus:

Cherish the thought
Of always having you here by my side
(Oh baby I) cherish the joy
You keep bringing it into my life (I’m always singing it)
Cherish the strength
You got the power to make me feel good
(And baby I) perish the thought
Of ever leaving, I never would

So, the words are not provocative at all, but the video made me a bit uncomfortable. (Granted she may have more risque songs that I just don’t know about. This is just a snapshot.)

Then, I thought about Brittany Spears and how she had once been a child star and tween idol. Then, at barely 20, in 2001 she released I’m a slave 4U. I was told the song was about her feeling like a slave to the industry and wanting to break out of being seen as a tween’s role model and wanted to be counted as a woman. My question would be: Do you want to be seen as a woman or a sex object? Here’s the chorus to her song:

Get it-get it, get it-get it, what?
Get it-get it, get it-get it, what?
Get it-get it, get it-get it, what?
(This feels good)

I’m a slave for you
I can not hold it, I can not control it
I’m a slave for you
I won’t deny it, I’m not trying to hide it

Baby, don’t you want to dance up on me?
(I just want to dance next to you)
To another time and place
Oh baby, don’t you want to dance up on me?
(Are you ready?)
Leaving behind my name and age

Trust me the rest of the lyrics aren’t much better. The song begins as though she may be talking about being a slave to her fans, but um… well, then it’s about wanting to dance with a guy. Trust me the video is worse. Can a music video get more sexual? Can a woman be more scantily clad? Surely not.

Enter Lady Gaga and Bad Romance. Her one redeeming quality is that she was never a role model for young girls. At the same time, I hope those girls in my friend’s daughter’s dance class have at least never seen the video. Here are the lyrics to what seems like the chorus:

I want your love and
I want your revenge
You and me could write a bad romance
(Oh-oh-oh-oh)
I want your love and
All your lover’s revenge
You and me could write a bad romance

Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh
Caught in a bad romance
(x2)

Ra ra-ah-ah-ah
Roma, roma-ma
Gaga
Ooh la-la
Want your bad romance

Basically the song doesn’t really make sense to me. I don’t get it. Maybe it’s because I’m blessed with a pretty “clean” mind. Maybe it’s because I’m completely out of the pop culture loop. Regardless, it just doesn’t make sense to me. And the video? Let me just say: PLEASE BLOCK MUSIC VIDEOS FROM YOUR HOMES. YOUNG OR OLD YOU DON’T NEED TO BE PUTTING THIS TRASH IN YOUR MIND MUCH LESS WANTING IT IN YOUR CHILD’S!

The last thing I have to say is, “Thanks mom for being a good, proactive mom and not allowing me to watch MTV even though I didn’t understand why you wouldn’t let me watch it at the time. Even when I thought I was old enough to watch it. I appreciate the punishment you gave me when you caught me watching it. A million times over, thanks mom!”

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Published in: on April 10, 2011 at 11:31 am  Leave a Comment  
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