The music industry is such a large part of our society. We all listen to music, and there are always plenty of artist who are putting out new content every week. And with new songs comes new music videos. But how has society influenced how people are portrayed in these videos? Let me give you a perfect example.
Here is the music video to “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke. This music video, released in 2013, has received a lot of hate for the way women are portrayed in the lyrics and in the video. In the video, the girls in the background are wearing little clothing–sometimes it is even made of a clear plastic–and revealing much of their body. They are seen dancing around and rubbing up against the men in the video. This just goes to show you how our society has turned a woman’s body into a sexual object. Now look at the men in the video. They are fully dressed, even wearing nice suits. Why are men completely dressed and shows as able to wear nice and expensive clothing while women get to wear practically nothing?
Another example is the music video for “Anaconda” by Nicki Minaj. With very sexual and suggestive lyrics on top of practically naked women dancing around, this video doesn’t do anything to help women. In her article “Selling Hot Pussy,” hooks writes, “Contemporary popular music is one of the primary cultural locations for discussions of black sexuality. In song lyrics, ‘the butt’ is talked about in ways that attempt to challenge racist assumptions that suggest it is an ugly sign of inferiority, even as it remains a sexualized sign” (hooks 123). In “Anaconda,” all the dancers are black women who are being oversexualized. And, as hooks says, the black body is tended to be looked down on in our society as not as beautiful.
While the music industry is an amazing place with many talented content creators, there is still misrepresentation of women in music videos. Women do not need to be sexualized all the time to sell songs or to get views on YouTube. I hope that in the future our society takes the pressure off of women to treat their bodies as sexual objects that can be used to sell products.
hooks, b. Selling Hot Pussy: Representations of Black Female Sexuality in the Cultural Marketplace. Black Looks: Race and Representation. 122-132.