This is an outrage. I realize that sex sells. Unfortunately. But there is more to a song than the cover girl singing it. I have recently posted a blog about the sexual objectification of women that could only be termed a diatribe on this subject. Music producers are no longer marketing talent. They are no longer unveiling the hidden gifts of unknown wonders whose work often changes the face of music. Rather, they are changing the faces of those who make the music.
Oftentimes it isn't even really music that's made... it's computerized garbage. Put a hot sexy chick on the stage in shocking and revealing attire, hand her a microphone and turn the computers on. This is music now. And you can't play if you don't look like a Bratz doll or a Barbie.
Many of the performers today are hugely lacking in talent, morals and worse than this... common sense. Need I mention (with a disgusted groan) Britney Spears or Jessica Simpson. I also hate that most of 'their' songs are not written by them and are mostly about sex. Get over it already. Sing about something other than how hot you are, or how you could turn his world inside out if he sleeps with you. You're worth more than that. I think. I may be wrong about that with the two names mentioned above.
But I digress. Music means so much to us because it defines those moments in our lives that are significant (quick... song from your first dance, song that was yours/your first loves, song that you played a hundred times and you still aren't sick of it, song that you got married to, song you sing to your kids/mom sang to you... ) and the list goes on. Music is the voice of our souls... of our lives. It reaches into our hearts and clarifies that which we do not understand, or sometimes expresses those sentiments or thoughts that we cannot get across, or that we want to revel in. I love many kinds of music. But none of it is the computer generated trash being sold to me by a tawdry tramp who doesn't have the capability to draw an audience unless she is flaunting all of her goods to them.
No thank you. So Shakira's hips don't lie... I could care less what her hips are doing, and I was sick of the song the first time I heard it. Do I gather from the song or her lackluster video that she's got talent? That she is conveying emotion? (Stay with me here guys, I'm not talking about physical urges... I'm talking about emotion... two feet higher... ) What about respect? How is any of that supposed to play in when music is being mass marketed to hormones instead of hearts and minds?
The promotional fools and music hustlers... excuse me, producers, who try to make us believe that this is what we want, what is hot, and what is good... are all waaaaaaaaaaaaaay off in the dark corner of left field. It's a quick buck. A flash in the pan.
That is not what makes a legend, nor is it what legends are each made of. It takes so much more than that. Want to know what a real legend is? Want to know what real talent is? Check this out...
Miss Aretha Franklin
photo courtesy of Palacetheatrect.org
Miss Ella Fitzgerald
photo courtesy of msnbcmedia.msn.com
Miss Judy Garland
photo courtesy of musicals101.com
Miss Patsy Cline
photo courtesy of heavens-gates.com
Miss Barbara Streisand
photo courtesy of facade.com
Miss Bette Midler
photo courtesy of mtv.com
The following site has an important message from Miss Midler about the tragedies going on in Darfur right now, and as I feel very strongly about the horrors happening there, I would ask that you visit the site and support the efforts to stop those waking nightmares.
Back to it...
The women shown are legends. Real, talented, amazing legends who have changed music history with their work... and some of them have gone beyond the music arena to display incredible talents in other works. They did not allow themselves to be portrayed as worthless sex objects only to be forgotten when the next hot chick stepped up to the stage.
The women shown have not cheapened themselves to further their careers... they have not been a poor role model for all the young girls idolizing them and aspiring to be like them someday. Do you want your daughter looking up at the TV with adoring eyes that are focused solely on Ashlee Simpson and sighing reverently... "I want to be just like her when I grow up!"
Don't get me wrong, beauty is great. Most everyone likes beauty. But it does NOT define a person, nor does it determine the greatness of their talent, or the future of their success. Beauty does not equal quality by a long shot. Not by a long Nevada highway mile. Neither does age... one of the most stunning talents of our time is little Holly Stell... you might remember her having sung a duet with Andrea Bocelli.
I say to those producers who believe that normal looking young talent won't make it because they don't fit into your perfect little molds of silicone and botox... get a clue. You want to produce a legend? Look deep. Look further down than skin deep. Make a difference in the history of music. Take the likes of Melinda Doolittle and LaKisha Jones and change the way we look at the world.