Videogroan #2: Female Role Models And Fetish Porn

There, that headline should clock up the hit-count.

So in the first Videogroan I whined talked about Lady Gaga, but what made me want to write these turbomegablogs was seeing the Alejandro video and then seeing the latest videos from her competition;  Christina Aguilera’s ‘Not Myself Tonight’ (released in April through RCA) and Kylie Minogue’s ‘All The Lovers’ (released a few weeks back through Parlophone).  Both are long-established queens of pop.  Both are huge role models and idols.  Both have very dodgy new videos.  And I have a problem with that.

Christina’s the easiest to criticise, as she has been before.  Appearing as the Dirtier (I decided not to go for the two ‘r’ pun there) option compared to Britney’s clean-cut image (despite the fact she was dancing around as a schoolgirl), she courted a lot of controversy before Spears went round the twist.  Being sexy is an integral part of the pop star’s career, arguably more important than the music itself, so the video has to portray and amplify that.  To argue that such a factor is wrong would be ridiculous.  And it’s always let to controversy, right from the first time Elvis shook his hips, the filthy blighter.  But with this recent slew of tacky videos it’s clearly getting to a new level that should be making more than just the prudish very uncomfortable.

So, provided it’s not taken down, here’s the video:
Not suitable for people who think STDs can be caught visually

Mmm. How classy.
But you see what I mean in the blog headline, yeah? You can put faux diamonds on it, but it still looks like fetish porn. It should be an S&M snooker ball gag.  Shocking imagery, I must be repressed, clearly.  But again, my main problem is that it’s so OTT, it seems really desperate.
Is this what female pop artists have to do to stay on top?
I’m reluctant to admit it, but ‘XTina’ has a cracking, powerful voice, yet she has to dress in decreasing amounts of pvc and simulate sex moves to stay on top – to stay relevant, even.  This kind of thing has become so prevalent that searching the net seems to reveal more people shouting that she’s copying Lady Gaga.  The greatest similarity between the two videos is that they’re largely pointless, without any real attempt to ‘tell a story’.  Not that videos are renowned for their epic visual tales, but it’s very much a collection of (allegedly) sexy images. Musically, it’s a better effort than Alejandro.  Catchier, it’s as over-produced as you’d expect, but has less desire for retro-points.  But it still helps tick checklists, one that I missed from the previous post: Sex noises! hooray! What female-fronted pop hit would be complete without the sound of your role model reaching climax…er, of the song?

Role model.
That’s the thing. That’s what makes this such a point of contention.  These pop stars are role models not just to kids, but anyone who becomes a fanatic.  Arguments in their favour talk of empowerment, strength and independence.  So, while prudes lament that this means wearing very little and singing about being able to do what you want, the need to one-up the competition in the slut-stakes puts their role in dangerous territory.  I for one would love to hear the conversation when her kid is old enough to ask her about this video, and the hilarious arguments that would ensue if her son grew up to be a womaniser.  Women aren’t just objects, you know.
Is this video what it means to be a strong, independent woman? Wearing blinged up S&M gear? Simulating actions as close to sex as the censors will allow?  I know the porn industry is in need of a better soundtrack, but…

Anyway, my problem isn’t so much with the shocking content these videos project, because it is every woman’s right to be on all fours lapping up milk in a PVC catsuit.  To object would be tantamount to oppression!  It’s the desperation and cheapness of it all that gets to me.  There’s no class to it.  They’re all doing the same thing, but trying to out-do eachother in the controversial stakes.  How individual is it to have such similar videos – promos which are so readily compared to what’s come before whilst simultaneously ruffling feathers for showing more flesh than the last one?  And is it really being ‘independent’ by  constantly imitating Madonna?  Leave the homages to Glee tribute episodes and do something yourself!  This particular video is funny, because she’s saying she’s “not the same girl” whilst doing roughly the same thing as her contemporaries and competition.  It’s tacky, tasteless and would benefit from bing a better song to detract from the need to get attention in such pathetic ways.  She even puts in a cheap plug for her own perfume range! It’s cheap shit like that which makes it an abomination, not the fact it’s got the prudish hot under their starchy collar.

The part of me that’s been watching the football feels the need to say it feels quite wrong speaking out against near-naked women, because, well, near-naked women are wonderful.  One of my favourite things.  Anyway, the trend continues to escalate, with even one of the most respected pop icons joining in.  Yes, even part-pixie cancer ass-kicker Kylie is getting in on the smut action!

Not suitable for those who easily mistake things for Nivea skincare ads

Weirdly, in comparison to the videos of her competition, this is pretty classy.  But still. It’s a classy orgy, yeah?  That’s what it is.  It’s done it’s best to look arty, which in effect makes part of it look like it’s a car or HD TV advert, but it’s still a lot of people in their pants. Rubbing. Yummy.  Does she really need to be in a video like this? She’s been a top sex-symbol for ages, far longer than most female pop artists, who have their Logan’s Run lifeclock go off around the thirty mark if they’re lucky.  It succeeds where the competition fails by actually being a good song. Though the lyrics are as simple as pop can get, it’s catchier and manages to craft the continuing 80’s obsession into electro that puts quality over retro chic.  Anyway. She’s been wiggling that lovely bum of hers around for yonks, but no matter how classy its sheen, it’s still the girl who did the locomotion lying on a Guinness world-record attempt for biggest orgy.

But again, it all comes down to the fact that these videos are made to provoke a reaction, and negative works just as well as positive, because then it’s remembered and it’s talked about.  By ranting bloggers… oh.

But how far is it going to go?
People’s kids’ pop idols are in videos that have fetish porn imagery.
Where do we go from here?
WON’T SOMEBODY PLEASE THINK OF THE CHILDREN!


No, really, it would be kinda cool if we could do that.
But I guess we gotta get those teen pregnancy rates up…

Sex sells, it has for longer than I’ve been alive.
Being sexy is fine, I’m all for it.
I just think a little class would be great.

But what do I know, I’m probably just a prude, yeah?

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