As a dystopian writer, I think it's super important to be constantly observing the world around you. I mean, it's a major theme in what I write. Question everything. Think outside the box. So, as I was watching music videos, earlier today, I decided to ask some questions. Of the many that came up, some of my favorites were:
1) Why is she wearing entirely too much make-up and stroking that strange guy's leg?
2) Why is she practically making out with a statue?
3) Better yet, why is she half naked in an elevator?
4) Why is she wearing that under a waterfall in a...fountain??
5) Why are they humping a large mammel?
Alright, I think you get the picture.
What you may notice about all of these questions are that they all involve female pronouns. Regardless of the singer or group or their gender, putting women in strange clothes and in stranger locations, and having them commit some very strange acts to some very interesting people/things/animals(?) seems to be the in thing to do.
Now, I guess, maybe it's wrong for me to judge. As a fan of 80's hair metal, (yes, that lovely old relic), it has been pointed out to me that my statements may sound slightly hypocritical. However, there was something about that phase of music (the too tight pants, the poofy hair, the choreographed headbanging, the cheesy stunts, the tawny kitaen's doing splits on hoods of cars) that I could just never take seriously. It was "just for fun" music. It was guys being guys. It was the music you listened to if you wanted to have "nothin' but a good time."
But the problem I find with the videos today is that the sex is EVERYWHERE. Instead of growing into adults, teens are growing into sex kittens. Sure, a song may be about war or politics, but if the singer is a girl, then she better be both angry and sexy. Even the so-called role models for the younger kids, Miley Cyrus, for example, are tarting it up for the cameras.
Being part of the generation that saw Hilary Duff and Britney Spear's transformation, it makes me wonder, what is the fate of our young female talents? (If, I guess, you can really call them that, these days. ....Though Hilary Duff wrote a novel...so as a fellow writer, maybe I shouldn't...never mind...) It seems that the track for young female stars is to start with kids' television, then move to music or the bigscreen, and finally, most importantly, to become grown up sexual wonders. Of course, those who choose not to follow this track are hardly publicised enough.
The other thing that brought more questions to my mind is the names that women have adopted for themselves and that singers and bands of both genders feel comfortable slinging around. Slut, ho, bitch, whore. I'm certainly not conservative, but there has to be better words than that to describe the "fairer sex."
I guess the truth is that I am worried. I am worried that "growing up cultured," as one of the main characters from my book would call it, may be worse for women and girls' self-esteem than if they just stayed inside and listened to some classic Beatles records and watched some Rocky and Bullwinkle, all while innocently dipping the chocolate chip cookies that (hopefully, to make this image even better, their father made) into their nearly full glases of milk. Is rewinding better than letting this whole mess unfold? I don't quite know anymore. What do you think?