Friday, November 22, 2013

Charlotte Church Comes Out Against Sexualized Record Industry

The soprano has an estimated net worth
of $15 million, mostly earned from her many
recordings made during her tween years.
"It is a male-dominated industry, with a juvenile perspective on gender and sexuality. From what I can see, there are three main roles that women are allowed to fill in modern pop music. Each of them restrictive for both artists and audience. They are mainly portrayed through the medium of the music video, you’ll find them very familiar. I call them One of the Girls’ Girls, the Victim/Torch Singer, and the Unattainable Sexbot. The One of the Girls’ Girls role is a painfully thin reduction of feminism that generally seems to point to a world where, ‘so long as you can hang out with your girls it’s possible to sort of wave away the evils that men do.’ This denigrates women and men equally, and yet is commonly lauded for being empowering. The Victim/Torch Singer can be divided into the sexy victim (ie, Natalie Imbruglia in the ‘Torn’ video) and the not-so-sexy victim. One female artist who does not use her sexuality to sell records is Adele. However, lyrically, her songs are almost without exception written from the perspective of the wronged woman, an archetype as old as time. Someone who has been let down by the men around her, and is subsequently in a perpetual state of despair. But to me, the Unattainable Sexbot is most
commonly employed and most damaging, a role that is also claimed to be an empowering one. The irony behind this is that the women filling these roles are often very young, often previous child stars or Disney tweens, who are simply trying to get along in an industry
Age of Innocence: Charlotte at the start of her career
glamorized to be the most desirable career for young women. They are encouraged to present themselves as hyper-sexualized, unrealistic, cartoonish, as objects, reducing female sexuality to a prize you can win. When I was 19 or 20, I found myself in this position, being pressured into wearing more and more revealing outfits. And the lines I had spit at me again and again, generally by middle-aged men, were 'you look great, you’ve got a great body, why not show it off?' Or, 'don’t worry, it’ll look classy, it’ll look artistic' I felt deeply uncomfortable about the whole thing, but I was often reminded by record label executives just whose money was being spent. Whilst I can’t defer all blame away from myself, I was barely out of my teenage years, and the consequence of this portrayal of me is that now I am frequently abused on social media, being called slut, whore, and a catalog of other indignities that I am sure you’re are also sadly very familiar with." [Source]

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