Women's Music

Powerful Essays
For nearly thirty years, popular culture has been an ever transforming mosaic of human flesh, or more specifically female flesh. While it has been known for decades that ”sex sells”, this statement has taken on bizarre, and at times offensive aspects. It seems that the more modern we become, the more sexually explicit and objectifying media content becomes. This fact remains true across multitudes of media formats; today everything from vacuum cleaners to toothpaste is madly exciting by sex appeal. Ask any senior citizen about the content of television in past generations and you will likely hear them describe modern programs as inappropriate, even vulgar. Perhaps the perversion of sexuality and the objectification of women in the media are made most clear in a format of a few brief minutes of ‘scenery centered on a musical narrative. I speak of course of modern music videos. While there is not as much material available for analysis in music videos as there is in other media forms (due to the fact that music videos are a relatively new media format), examples of increasing objectification of female bodies are everywhere. In order to best illustrate this point I have selected sixteen music videos to dissect and study. These videos vary both in their genre and era. In an attempt to cover all bases, I have selected several videos from pop and rock as well as rap (hip-hop).

Pop music is named as such because it is what is considered the most popular musical genre. Because of the large potential audience for pop music, I will deal with these videos first. In order to show just how far the sexualization and objectification of women has gone, I have selected four pop videos, two from Grammy winner Mariah Carey and two from platinum re...

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...assive (never even shown speaking in most of the videos) and especially in the case of Lil’ John’s song, women’s individual body parts (almost always breasts and buttocks) are highlighted almost exclusively. Get Low is the most extreme examples of female objectification in the video. Women are only shown dancing or dry humping men, alcohol is poured out on their chests, and their bodies are slapped and prodded. Not surprisingly, one can scarcely count the few times you actually see a woman’s face.

While modern rap provides the worst example of female objectification, this review makes it clear that it is far from music’s only example. Stranger still it seems that music has gotten exponentially more explicit. As sad as it is to say it may be possible that one could no longer distinguish the art form once known as music video from pornography. Goodness, I hope not