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.
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!