Category Archives: Affirmative

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

In a male dominating industry, female artists are still doing what they can do in order to stay relevant in today’s music industry. The vast majority of female artists like Nicki Manji and Kim Kardashian have become well recognized by their body assets. Both Nicki and Kim like others have enlarged their chest and butts to keep their male fan base.

In today’s society women are the most attractive when they meet a certain expectation created mostly by the media and music videos. In order to audition for any music videos you must have double D’s and a perfect ass. If not, I’m sorry you are just wasting your time. But being realistic, how many females are built to music producers and male artists expectations? Obviously NOT many, therefore, females undergo through plastic surgery in attempts to meet these expectations.  In the article, Plastic Surgery Industry Sees Increase in Butt Augmentations, “statistics released by the American Society of Plastic Surgery (APAS), more than $31 million was spent in the U.S. alone on buttock augmentation surgeries in 2010, a whopping 40 percent increase from 2009.” Publisher Straith, states that the increase of butt augmentation is a result to the “increase in curvy role models has affected his practice.”

 

http://www.straithclinic.com/blog/2012/02/plastic-surgery-industry-sees-increase-in-butt-augmentations/

All these female artists and famous video vixen have no other choice but to accept the “norms” of body appearance in today’s society in order to be successful in what they enjoy doing. For example, if you love performing in front of an audience or singing your chances of being accepted in the industry you have to fit the part. Unfortunately, looking the part does not come cheap or easy. It is not fair that women have an expectation to follow, especially when men started these expectations.

What are we teaching our younger generation if they are exposed to what to look like and what not to look like to get them attention?

Is this really fair? Why are women only treated and seen as sex objects? Can’t one be beautiful in their skin? Female artists need to put a stop to such norms and become a better role model to our younger ones. Few artists are already putting this into effect becoming successful with altering their bodies such as Kurreche Tran and Zoe Saldana. They are very petite but amazingly gorgeous and relevant.

Change is not going to come over night, but eventually with time we will see change. Hopefully…

 

-Affirmative

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How do women feel about their misportrayal in the music industry?

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Most females will agree that they are being objectified through the music industry, however not all are driven to protest and make change. Why is this so? Arguably, they are discouraged because they feel their opinions will not be taken seriously by the public. A lot of the women that agree that they are being objectified through the music industry also listen to many songs that portray women as sexualy-crazed objects. To the record company owners it appears as though the passion of these women to change the music industry is outweighed by their appreciation of songs that actually objectify women. This is an obvious contradiction that record company owners recognize. Does this contradiction influence the decisions of record company owners to listen to the opinion of women activist groups like FAAN (Fostering Activism and Alternatives Now) Mail or NOW (National Organization for Women)? Of course it does. Something must change.

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In article entitled “10 songs that objectify women (That we really love)”, author Annika Harris lays out 10 songs that objectify women that women actually “love”. The first sentence of this article states “We’d like to think we’re bra burning feminists that would be repulsed by songs that refer to a woman’s body parts or her sensual essence, but we’re not.” Annika goes on to say a few sentences later that “sometimes clever lyrics or a banging beat or melody trump our feminist ideals”. If this is true, then we’re at a standstill in our efforts of changing the music industry and making good riddance of the objectification of women. Unless the music industry begins to respect the opinion of women, nothing will change. How may the music industry begin to respect the opinion of women? Unfortunately, many women may have to stop listening to music that is objectifying and begin to convey their dismay for the objectification of women in the music industry.

Link to Annika Harris’s article:

– Affirmative

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Define: Twerking

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Twerking is defined as  a type of dancing in which the dancer, usually a woman, shakes her hips in an up-and-down bouncing motion, causing the buttocks to shake, “wobble” and “jiggle”. Now that I have your attention, we can talk about why music videos portray black women as exotic sex objects in all genres of music. From Miley Cyrus to Diplo’s known duo “Major Lazer”, pop promos have become filled with sexualized representations of minority women. The black woman’s “butt” has been considered a distinct point of fascination for centuries. Just look up Sarah Baartman. She was the most famous of at least two Khoikhoi women who were exhibited as a freak show attractions in 19th-century Europe under the name “Hottentot Venus”. Baartman was exhibited first in London, entertaining people because of her “exotic” origin. Because she had unusually large buttocks, Baartman travelled from South Africa to London and ultimately to France to showcase her body. From there, there has always been some fascination for black woman’s “butts” in the music industry today.

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In most music videos, women are usually depicted as objects that are sexually available for men at all times. In recent times, the preoccupation continues today by our very own Miley Cyrus at the recent VMA party. Miley Cyrus went on to be the accessory in Robin Thicke’s performance while she herself was sexualized, where she in turn sexualized the faceless black women with a strong and intentional focus on their behinds.

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A perfect example of the way black women are portrayed is found in the video for Major Lazer’s Bubble Butt. It depicts a giant alien-black-woman coming down from the sky and inflating the buttocks of three white women, via the anus, with tentacles produced from her mouth. Sounds crazy? Just check out the video here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hR-NXv5Tma0

Major Lazer produced this song featuring Bruno Mars, 2 Chainz, Tyga, & Mystic, all of whom are very big in the music industry. In the video, BME (Black Minority Ethnic) women, if present at all, become part of a homogenous ethnically ambiguous and eroticized group.   

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In many ways, inequality has thrived on social media. Gender and racial inequality continue to exhibit themselves in new ways. Now they appear to be considered fashionable, ironic, entertaining or even aesthetically highbrow. As a society, we must ask ourselves several questions. Do we care about the type of women girls grow up to become? Is their public image worth defending? Is their sexual integrity worth protecting? Fortunately, we can also use these platforms of social media to create a positive change. Campaigns such as the joint project run by the women’s groups EVAW, OBJECT, and Imkaan aims to encourage young women to speak out about racism and sexism in music videos via a multimedia website. These campaigns are the first needed steps in challenging the attitudes of the audiences looking at music videos from home.

All of the content this post is based on can be found at the following websites:

http://raprehab.com/images-of-black-women-in-music-videos/

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/the-womens-blog-with-jane-martinson/2013/sep/02/music-video-black-women-sex-objects

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Church Against Women as “SEX OBJECTS”

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Charlotte Maria Church advocates for a better representation of women in the music industry. In addition to being a singer-songwriter, Church is also an actress as well as a television presenter. This Welsh singer, rose to stardom at a very young age as a classical singer before venturing into the pop culture world in 2005. Shortly after becoming a popstar, Church sold over 10 million records worldwide, including 5 million in the United States by 2007. She has also received the honor of singing for Pope John Paul II, Queen Elizabeth II, the Prince of Wales and Bill Clinton.

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In a recent article by BBC News Entertainment and Arts, they discussed how Church attacks the “sexist” music industry. Church believes that the music industry has a “culture of demeaning women“.  She explains that this way of life in the music industry is forcing young women stars to sell themselves as “sex objects”. Church talks about her personal experiences, and how she was pressured by male executives to wear revealing and provocative clothing in her music videos when she was just 19 or 20 years old! Church says she felt “massively uncomfortable”.

ImageNow at the age of 27, Church uncovers that young female artists are consistently “coerced into sexually demonstrative behavior in order to hold on to their careers”. Church claims, that unfortunately for women, the music business is “a male dominated industry with a juvenile perspective on gender and sexuality”.

Church suggests that pop artists such as Miley Cyrus and Rihanna are not helping improve the portrayals of women in the music world but rather enhancing the negative stigma of women artists depicted as “sexual objects” in music videos. She alludes to Cyrus’s routine at the MTV Awards in September where she danced provocatively with Robin Thicke and made inappropriate gestures with a foam finger sparking a lot of controversy. While many believe that Miley was subjecting herself to the social that project women as mere “sex symbols”, the rising pop star claims she is just be being herself.

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Church highlights how record labels encourage young singers “to present themselves as hypersexualised, unrealistic, cartoonish, as objects, reducing female sexuality to a prize you can win”. She strongly believes steps need to be taken to improve how women are viewed in the media, more specially, in the music industry. It is evident, that Church’s position is that women should represented with the same respect and dignity given to their male counterparts in the music business.

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Although, Church acknowledges that women, including herself, do eventually agree to these terms they still have negatively consequences in the future. Church says she is often verbally abused on social media being referred to as a “slut” and a “whore”.  Now that Church is far past her teenage years she finds it hard to promote her music in places that it is best suited.

Church also implies that video websites do not have strong security measures to prevent young viewers from being able to view explicit videos. She advocates that radio stations shouldn’t be allowed to play singles by artist whose images are too revealing. Although it is not a big step, Church believes this can be one of the few baby steps being made to improve the outlook of women in the music industry.

All of the content this post is based on can be found at the following website: “Charlotte Church attacks ‘sexist’ music industry” http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-24528022

POSTED IN AFFIRMATIVE by Victoria Oladipo

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