Video Vixens

By now, I’m sure you have at least heard of Miley Cyrus’ new music video, “Wrecking Ball.”  I’ll admit, I had high hopes for the video after hearing the song.  I thought it was a huge step up from “We Can’t Stop.”  Then, the video happened.

Miley starts off in her underwear (panties and bra) and stomps around the set in what appear to be hiking boots.  She begins to smash down a concrete walls with a hammer.  Okay, so far.  

 But, the video takes a turn for the worst when she licks the hammer seductively.  Pretty soon, she is riding a giant wrecking ball, naked.  Granted, you don’t see anything.  But, still.

Since the videos release, Miley has gotten nothing by backlash.  While I agree with most of the critics, I would like to play devil’s advocate.  What makes this video different from Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” or Justin Timberlake’s “Tunnel Vision?”

To recap those videos:  Robin Thicke simply stands in one spot while naked women stomp around in front of him, staring at the camera.  Justin Timberlake appears to be in one room, singing while naked women are feeling themselves up in another room amid strobe lights.  So, the question becomes, what makes these videos “brilliant” and Miley’s video “vulgar” and “disturbing?”

While Miley is naked, she does not reveal any of her private parts.  Her arms are strategically placed over her breasts and the wrecking ball covers her lower region.  But, the women in Robin Thicke’s and Justin Timberlake’s videos are completely naked.  You see the women’s breasts and bottoms.

As you know, I disagree with having nudity in music videos (see my Vulgar Videos post).  However, what is disturbing me more now is the fact that there appears to be a double standard in the music video world.  The male singers can have naked women in their videos and they are viewed as “sexy” and “desirable.”  But, heaven forbid if a female singer decides to bare all.  Then she becomes “slutty,” “immoral” and has “issues.”

No one has commented on the mental state of Robin Thicke or Justin Timberlake (although, I think someone should).  Having naked women surround them is just “part of the game.”  Really?  I thought the music industry was about just that: music.  I do not care what the music video looks like.  All I care about is that the person can sing.  That is what they are getting paid ridiculous amounts of money to do, right?

So, why is Miley being viewed as the next great mental breakdown likening to Britney Spears?  My opinion is that the world is shocked that this girl was once the sweet, innocent embodiment of Hannah Montana.  Now, she is trying to “run with the big dogs” on the adult side of the industry.  And in 2013 where women want to be able to “have sex like a man,” I think that she is personifying that role to a “t.”

Let’s not forget that Justin Timberlake was once a ruddy faced youth on the New Mickey Mouse Club.  And then the baby faced member of the boy band, *NSYNC.  No one complained about his transition from boyhood to man.  And this was amidst countless tabloid stories of infidelity.  He is being haled as one of the greatest performers of all time.

While I concur that Miley’s metamorphosis from childhood star to Madonna wannabe was very sudden, I do not think that she should be labeled for doing something that her male contemporaries are doing.  Perhaps the music world truly has “Tunnel Vision” when it comes to the “Blurred Lines” of what is deemed “appropriate” for female singers versus male singers.  Maybe Miley should take her “Wrecking Ball” to them.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Video Vixens

  1. Ya'akov

    Lauren:

    I, for one, find all of the videos unpleasant and essentially misogynist. Cyrus puts on a show of “liberation” when, in fact, it appears to me to be quite the opposite: captivity. She seems imprisoned by the misogyny that passes for “artistic expression” today. She’s “having fun”, except it doesn’t look like fun at all, it looks (to me) like a cry for help.

    I find the other videos no different in this regard. I think the entire genre of pop music, particularly the hip hop which Cyrus ineptly apes in her video, thoroughly vacuous. It has no special artistic value, it has no redeeming message; in fact, quite the opposite, it promotes sexist stereotypes that objectify both men and women, and misogynist stereotypes that promote treating women as less-than-human.

    I will be quick to point out here that I know there are hip hop artists who actually try to provide social commentary and positive messages in their work, but as I said, in the popular genre, this isn’t what sells.

    Miley Cyrus, in this video, looks to me like a little girl craving attention, and Thicke (see: the VMA performance with Cyrus) comes off as a pervert, not an artist. Of course, video or no, I have no interest in this music and so may be biased, but I think all of it (the videos you’ve mentioned) is irredeemable commercial trash, songs notwithstanding.

    • I agree wholeheartedly! I do not believe that any of these videos are appropriate. I feel that most of the music videos out there do objectify women. And your example of the hip hop genre is a perfect example. Nicki Minaj immediately comes to mind.

      Personally, I do not understand why almost everything in the music industry has to boil down to sex. We already have enough of that thrust in our faces via TV. I do not want to hear about it in my music as well.

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