get naked and sing

EDITOR’S NOTE: Before you throw bricks through my window, report me to the F.C.C. (currently closed because of the government shutdown ) or think that I have lost my mind (we can deal with that later), let me preface this entry by saying that I have nothing against the human body. It is a marvel of creation and a beauty to behold (clothed or unclothed) – and that goes for every single one.  So, when I make reference to certain stereotypic views of attractiveness, that’s all that they are: stereotypes used as examples – nothing more.

I would like to start by posing this question: who came up with the idiotic notion that in order to be considered a good singer you have to take off your clothes?

Oh, I do have some thoughts on the matter (so what’s new?) I think that the music industry started to change when MTV (Music Television) debuted way back on August 1, 1981. Case in point: the first video that they played was “Video Killed the Radio Star” by The Buggles.

This changed music.

It was no longer good enough to make beautiful music; artists now had to supply an accompanying story presented in visual form. This caused fans to disconnect music from the events in their lives, linking them instead to a singular vision created in a studio. This also forced performers to become “actors” and that shifted the focus from their singing talents to their appearance.

Things are getting worse.

Music has always been “edgy” and often sexual.  This is nothing new. Some would believe that it all started with Elvis Presley and his pelvis-shaking performances in the 1950’s, but it started way before that. Did you know that when it was first performed, The Waltz was considered immoral? It’s true.  Why I bet that sometime back near the dawn of man, a caveman noticed that, when he banged on his drum a certain way and howled, the ladies flocked around him. The music industry was born.

Some music can, and should be, radical. It should serve to entice us with its sound and challenge us with its lyrics: words and ideas to break down walls of oppression and bigotry and unite us in a better world. But when we stray from substance, when pushing through the envelope means taking off your clothes, I maintain that we have shifted to the meaningless.

Skin replaces substance.

Just think of all the great artists that might not have had the chance to treat us to their talents simply because they were not fashion models or Greek gods chiseled out of stone.

elton      aretha

janis     sinatra

Maybe I am showing my age; but I would rather look at it as using common sense. Shouldn’t the most important aspect of a song be the way that is SOUNDS? Isn’t it nice to have the ability to close our eyes and enjoy it, instead of being forced to having to pay attention to a Las Vegas floor show?

This is NOT a question of nudity!

It really isn’t.  We all know that artists and promoters will keep pushing the limits, trying to promote themselves and make the most money no matter how they do it.  And we all know where this is leading: someday we will see totally nude singers. Mark this on your calendars if you don’t believe me.

My point is this: I am sad when I think about the talented singers who will not be given a chance simply because of how they look or because they refuse to undress.  And it is certain that this will happen. The road to success will be tougher for them, and it will be even rougher if the artist happens to be female. The pressure upon them is immense, and I believe that is why we see more meltdowns among female artists.


Yes you can!

But I don’t want to end on a negative note.  Instead I would like to offer my deepest thanks to the musical artists with INTEGRITY, the ones who stay dressed, who sing thoughtful, meaningful songs that uplift our lives.

We need more people like you in the world!


About Joe

Freelance designer and writer whose goal is to help others by writing about my experiences with fear and anxiety (agoraphobia), health struggles (cancer) and my wonderfully-happy life as a husband and stay-at-home dad. I want to empower everyone to have a happy life.

6 responses »

  1. Colleen says:

    Love it Joe. This is why I like the realty show. “The Voice” at least initially all the contestants are chosen only on their vocal abilties. The judges do not see what they look like.

    • Joe says:

      I totally agree. It bugs me when they say they have to “look like a pop star” or something similar. It reminds me of the old Brady Bunch “Johnny Bravo” episode where a music producer wants to make Greg into a rock star because he “fits the suit.” (They already had a sparkly jumpsuit and needed a person to wear it — it didn’t mater what they sounded like because they would adjust that in the studio.)

  2. bpnana says:

    Music is a big part of my life. It puts food on the table, pays the bills, gives me a way to travel the world and meet wonderful people. I am fortunate enough to be married to a very gifted musician who is not a popstar, but has played on countless records with the best musicians in both the pop and jazz world. Most are famous, many are “musician’s musicians”, meaning they are known and respected by their peers.He is also passing down his musical gifts to hundreds of students throughout our county. I could list the many famous singers, songwriters, and musicians my husband has recorded and toured with and many would be very impressed. But I can’t think of one of them who has “sold out” and turned their career into a bad burlesque or borderline porn show. One of my husband’s former students became a band member of the singer/actress who is the center of media attention. It’s a sad state of affairs, but the bottom line, for me, is this: I don’t let the media dictate what I see or hear. We are being hypnotized by the media to inhale anything. Some of us were brought up to be individuals and cultivate our own taste in music. I can’t stop the downward spiral of the “music” business, or any of the media driven dumbing down of the world. It astounds me that so many people in show business call themselves “artists”, when they don’t even know what the word really means. Pushing the imaginary envelope” for just pushing’s sake, is not art. It’s manipulation. I’ll end on a good note: check out deceased singer Eva Cassidy, on Youtube. Apologies for the long-winding vent.

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