Advertisements, magazine articles, tv shows, and movies display women’s sexuality have continued since the 40s. The messages presented in these mediums have hardly changed, instead, they are adapting as our society and culture adapts. It is hard to wrap my brain around the question of “why”? There are plenty of ads comparing women to a disvalued product if she is not smelling good, cooking correctly, etc.
Today, one area that has boomed is the productions of music video. In today’s mainstream music videos women are dancing in revealing outfits, playing dead, thrown around, and dancing and inappropriately to guys while objectifying lyrics are sung. It is no longer women just put as the background noise and visual, now women are even becoming submissive to this. I want to bring up two different examples. One music video is “Ride” by Ciara ft Ludacris. In this music video, Ciara’s main body attributions are covered except her midriff. This is not the thing that catches me off guard. It is her moves. Her movements showcase her ability to move so smoothly and beautifully, but on the other hand these movements are focused on her pelvis and hips. Ciara bounces her butt and points during the part “booties look like this size” along with talking about the perfect size of a women (23 waist) with a pretty face. Keep in mind this is within the first thirty seconds of the music video. Continuing with these moves, Ciara proceeds to roll around on her knees and hump the ground with her own lyrics “I can do it whenever or however you want”. These moves and lyrics mirror and continue these expectations of women are good for pleasing men and being sexual all the time. One thing that Ciara adds is that she is sexually confident and in control. This is where I can see our discussions on the mindset of controlling our sexuality like the women at the CAKE parties. Ciara is not denying she is sexy, instead she is presenting she knows she is good at what she does because she compares herself to a gymnast and her sex is fun and fulfilling like a circus. To me, this message demonstrates that Ciara sees she has control of her sexuality instead of trapped, motionless, and treated like plastic by male figures.
A second video I want to bring up iss “Candy Shop” by 50 Cent. First off there is no candy and no shop! 50 Cent opens his music video to him driving up to the “shop” which is a mansion to see the different pieces of “candy”(a.k.a women). The lyrics are talking about licking a lollipop, and girls singing about what they got. Not only do the lyrics demonstrate sexual messages, but the women wear scandalous outfits. These outfits exhibit and highlight their boobs, legs, waist, butt, etc. The women sing “one taste of what I got, I’ll have you spending all you got” reflecting and enforcing these beliefs that through the parallel of candy, women are worth the money and can taste just as good (even better).
As a whole, music videos are defining the expectations of women in our society. Producers control this image by selecting specific moves, lyrics, and ideas that are presented to our society. Whether or not these videos are appropriate enough to show up on MTV, VH1, or any music television network, they are hard to manage. People can easily post inappropriate videos on vine, instagram, Facebook, or even Youtube. Another danger is due to technology itself. Technology is still on a rise, young children have easy access to these videos while in elementary school and start to generate ideas on how they should act. These imaginations can lead them to dress and act older than they are. Both of the videos I looked at objectify women as sexual objects. What was the most disturbing was that women followed. They did not disagree to do certain moves or abide lyrics. Is this for pure entertainment purposes? Or do they really not see a problem with what they are telling women to act and think like?
Here are the two music videos so you can see the truth.