Sexual imagery and iconography is a subject that is rife within the music industry at present. With such scandals as the Miley Cyrus VMA performance, gender domination has become a subject of worry amongst many.
Charlotte Church is the most recent to voice her concern on the objectification of women in the industry. The Welsh singer is the embodiment of innocence when thinking back to her teenage years. She melted hearts with her angelic voice and coy nature. Later on in her career we began to see another side to her, a side that she tells she was not at all comfortable with. She compares her experience of fame with the transition that Cyrus is currently shocking with.
“When I was 19 or 20 I found myself in this position, being pressurised into wearing more and more revealing outfits”
“The lines that I had spun at me again and again – generally by middle-aged men – were: ‘You look great, you’ve got a great body, why not show it off?’
When we think of child superstars we are always shocked with their explosion into womanhood, Britney Spears, Miley Cyrus and Charlotte Church are but a few examples of this professional direction.
Church put forth her disgust with the blurred lines video using topless models, claiming Thickle to be “indefensible”.
She also spoke of her disappointment that the “crass and misogynistic” video was directed by a woman, Diane Martel.
Charlotte, whose speech is to be broadcasted at midnight tonight by BBC Radio 6 Music, coined these products of the industry as “unattainable sexbots” who have been steered towards a seedy sexual image that has become more important than actual talent.
“There are countless examples from the last few years of songs that have been in high rotation, that have little to no artistic worth, but are just plain rude.”
“Whilst I can’t defer all blame away from myself, I was barely out of my teenage years and the consequence of this portrayal of me is that now I’m frequently abused on social media, being called slut, whore and a catalogue of other indignities,” she said.
She feels that female artists are led to believe that this is the only way to cling on to a successful musical career being “coerced” into a role of the sexualised figure. This feminist approach to music theory is a loud voice of rejection that many will tune into tonight to
hear more of. In the show Charlotte says that stars such as Rhianna are made “to present themselves as hypersexualised, unrealistic, cartoonish, as objects, reducing female sexuality to a prize you can win”.
“The irony behind this is that the women generally filling these roles are very young, often previous child stars or Disney-tweens, who are simply interested in getting along in an industry glamourised to be the most desirable career for young women”
She however understands that sexuality is a massive part of artistic expression but feels that it is only suitable is a certain context where it holds a message , she says “Sex can be art.” When thinking of the work of Bjork and Prince this is the case.
“To my mind what this industry seems to want of its women increasingly is sex objects that appear child-like. Look at the teddy bears everywhere, the Britney Spears Rolling Stone cover with a tellytubby from 1999. The terrifying thing is that the target demographic for this type of music is getting younger and younger.” Church concludes.