The music videos these guys would produce generally involved things like very scantily clad models rolling around on the oiled up hoods of cars (I’m looking at you, Tawny Kitaen). Women were gleefully objectified.
I don’t particularly remember this screwing me up much as a kid, I knew I looked nothing like the girls these guys liked and never would. But since I was never meeting any of them either it didn’t really matter. And rolling around on the hood of a car while simultaneously trying not to fall off and look pouty at the same time didn’t look very comfortable anyway. Also, as I recently noticed, in my life I’ve never actually wanted for the attention of real men when I desired it.
To be honest we girls objectified those guys right back. My bedroom walls were decorated with pictures of their lip glossed faces, huge fluffy hair and fabulous abs, not their lyrics. I fully admit, I was and am still guilty. Men are pretty and I like looking at them.
However these days in music videos they push the pornographic envelope even further: girls in cages, girls wearing neutral colored sparkle covered leotards to give the illusion of nudity, girls in latex, girls in nothing at all. Some music videos (and mostly its female artists doing this) are starting to look more and more like BDSM tutorials.
The only shift I’ve really seen is it’s no longer Motley Crue’s videos that have all the naked chicks rolling around in jell-o, its Christina Aguilera’s. It’s fallen out of fashion for male rock stars to fill their music videos with female flesh, but INTO fashion for female musicians to show as much of themselves in compromising positions as possible.
Is this empowerment now because they’re the artists, not video extras anymore? Is it all just business as usual in the music industry? Was Madonna way ahead of the trend by taking her clothes off at the drop of a hat fifteen years ago? I’m confused.