I was at the gym yesterday (see my earlier post about not blaming my arse), and this Beyonce/Sean Paul clip was on:
Not being a fan of top 40 music, I hadn’t seen it before. And I was surprised at how sexual it is. Not sexual in a good way, but sexual in a writhing-woman-possibly-tied-up-possibly-having-an-orgasm-for-your-visual-pleasure way. Sexual, but not sexy.
Which got me thinking: why is this Beyonce clip is too much, whereas Duran Duran’s Girls on Film is fine? (Sorry, can’t find one with the embed code.)
It’s not just that the Duran Duran one is quaint/retro. It’s even more explicit – check out the woman sliding along a cream-covered pole, followed by nipples, and kissing, and pouring champagne on each other’s breasts. Then the wrestler’s breasts, the nude woman with the hairdryer, the ice cube on the nipple, and more boobs for the mudwrestling. (Although, the woman cleaning her male horse’s g-string-clad arse makes it not all about women’s bodies.) Granted, this is the long uncensored version which wasn’t played on the tv all time, but you can still see it in pubs. At my local in fact, along with Warrant’s Cherry Pie.
So, why is the ruder one ok and the other one not? They both have a narrow definition about what a “hot chick” is. Perhaps I’ve simply justified it in my head because one is the kind of music I’d listen to, while the other is most definitely not.
Perhaps, but I think it’s about who is writhing. It used to be that the only women writhing in video clips were the ones paid to be there in the background. Now, if you’re a female singer, you have to do it. It’s odd that popular culture is highly sexualised, but not sexy. I know this was a big issue a few years ago, but I’m still surprised that we haven’t progressed. If I had this blog three years ago, this is what I’d be writing about. So, is there any way of fixing things? Of putting a few centimetres of clothes back on, once we’ve flashed everything?