Has anyone else noticed the increasing number of bum videos? Videos whose protagonist is someone’s arse? I can’t for the life of me figure out why. I mean, of course I know why; sex sells. But what I mean is, I can’t understand why women are doing it. If I made a couple of hundred-thousand pounds by touring, I sure wouldn’t be whapping my glutes out for a music video. And it’s not even an insecurity thing (I have a perfectly acceptable behind), but to me it just seems needless.
Also, it triggers my skillet-yielding inner feminist. “Down with this sort of thing” she yells, inexplicably in Father Ted’s voice. I hasten to add that we shouldn’t take women in the music industry for granted; it wasn’t always such an even split, and I suppose this might be where the confusion lies. Whereas men completely understand their position in the media, women are arguably only just starting to come to terms with it. And, as far as I’m concerned, we’re doing horribly. What’s the point of being a successful business woman if the pre-requisite is you’re naked on tv lots? Yeah, the money would be great, but aren’t you selling yourself short? You don’t see Adele getting all jiggy in a bikini. Why? Well 1. The media industry is afraid of overweight women (the moment we decide we like our wobble, whole industries collapse). And 2. She doesn’t need to, and she knows it. Adele will sell on her voice alone. Though you may not personally like her, there’s a market for her music, a market that will remain even if she keeps her clothes on.
I think the best test of whether something’s sexist is to ask “are the men doing it?” (Thank you oh glorious Caitlin Moran). And are the men doing it? No. And therein lies the problem. Much to the disappointment of myself and a swathe of gay men, Justin Timberlake has not created a video of his arse “chatting” to Macklemore’s. (You might be thinking of LMFAO’s “Sexy and I know it” video right now, but it was done in irony so doesn’t count) You see dear reader, I am not morally against musicians getting their kit off. Fundamentally I feel women should be able to wear whatever they like (and men too, for that matter. Even if some do insist on wearing those stupid neon sunglasses. Jeeze.) But my issue with videos like Booty by Jennifer Lopez featuring Iggy Azelia, is there is no male alternative.
That’s the thing you see. If the whole of One Direction got their arses out, the West would say “now just hang on one cotton picking minute, isn’t that a tad inappropriate!?”. And yes, it would be.But only because we’re used to seeing young, female, semi-talented pop idols transitioning into sex objects, and not men. And I think that’s the way to fix it – everybody, and I mean everybody, needs to make bum videos. After seeing the gyrating derrière of Bob Geldoff, Meat Loaf, Eminem and the whole of (excuse the pun) Bullet For My Valentine, we might start saying “Hey, why can’t we have other stuff in videos? You know, less bums, more dogs acting like people and You’ve Been Framed clips. Wouldn’t that be great?”
And yes, Dear Reader, it would be great.
Image by Christopher Simon