Sunday, January 28, 2007

Women Today in the Music Industry: Products of Sex

Today women in the music industry are thought of as sex objects. An artist's musical talent as a reputable musician has taken a back seat to the concept of a woman's looks and sexiness. Female artists today need to be attractive and have a certain body type in order to become part of the popular mainstream music industry. Never mind the question, "Can you sing?"-that's not the issue in the music scene today for female artists. The question today is, "Are you sexy and do you have a great physique?" It's a very sad but true issue for women in the music scene today. Take a look at some of the popular female artists today-are they talented? Well some might think so, but if a good look is taken at these artists we have to wonder what is really going on here. Most of the popular female artists of today are young, have sexy bodies, and have a certain look-as opposed to real talent. Some of these artists are: Britney Spears, Christina Aguillara, Beyonce, Mariah Carey, Jennifer Lopez, Jessica Simpson, and Madonna-just to name a few. Grant it, some of these artists do have incredible voices, but without a certain type of look they probably wouldn't be where they are today.

All of these artists are expected to play a certain role or a type of sexual fantasy. If these women don't play the "sex" game then the record companies would not put as much money, time, and energy into promoting these artists. Sex sells and the record companies know it. Record companies are all about making money whether or not one has any musical talent. As long as these female artists are selling records and making money for the industry, the record companies could care less if they are talented or not. Studios today are loaded with digital equipment that only takes a push of a button to make an artist sing in key or hit the correct note. Female artists like Janis Joplin, Carley Simon, and Karen Carpenter are talents of the past. Today's female artists are commercialized packages like a product you find at the grocery store-the package looks pretty, but are you really getting what you paid for?

There is one female artist who isn't a "sell out" and is a musician of real talent-Mellisa Etheridge. Mellisa is a poet with incredible vocal talent. Her lyrics are comprised of real current issues that can have a life changing affect on the listener. Mellisa is one female musician who did make it on her talent and her talent alone. She doesn't have to strut around half-naked to sell her records. Mellisa is a breast cancer survivor and she has written songs about her battle with breast cancer, she also reaches out to women who are going through the same struggle. Melissa is also very politically active and does charitable work with many organizations.
The Hip-Hop scene is also known for its sexual exploitation of women. Hip-Hop artists speak of women as sex objects and portray women as sex objects in their music videos. Certain Hip-Hop videos are thought to borderline with pornography.

This message of female objectivity that's being sent to our children today is very sad. Young girls think they have to look pretty and sexy in order to be of any value as people. Young boys look at the way women are portrayed in music and they learn not to value or respect women as human beings, but as sex objects for men's pleasure. There needs to be a complete change in the music industry-a change that embraces talented female musicians and women in general, for their talent and not their looks. The attitude towards women as sex objects needs to change to an attitude that women are valuable individuals no matter what they look like. Women have more to contribute to the world than good looks and sexy bodies.

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