I found myself irritated this morning when I saw the new Rihanna and Shakira video. I appreciate, especially judging by the millions who’ve already viewed it, that I may be alone here. But before opening the link, I knew what was coming. At a guess-Rihanna wearing lycra dental floss dancing provocatively; Shakira the same-with maybe a slightly more ‘latino’ edge subtly letting you know that they are really sexy attractive people who have sex and look really good at it. I am, by no means a prude. It’s just that it’s SO PREDICTABLE. Ooooh now we’re gonna do something really revolutionary… we’re gonna writhe about on a bed touching each other, implying that maybe we slept together?! Imagine that thought guys! Well you don’t really need to because we’re basically showing you. Without having to do it of course, because technically we’re not porn stars, although evidently we’re quite clearly qualified. Oooh now you’re smoking a cigar suggestively, you rebels! For a start-I bet you don’t smoke them, we all know they taste rank. And also, thank you for the subtle symbolism. Maybe you could’ve eaten a banana at the end in your lingerie though in case some missed it. The fact is, you’re not lesbians. You’re a pair of very attractive pop stars who seem to lack so little imagination and creativity, the only way you can promote your pretty average pop song is to sell it with your bodies.
I’m not being naive, we obviously all know that sex sells, the music and entertainment industry is moulded by it and these are hardly the only pop stars to do this. It just feels like it’s getting so much more graphic, so much more obvious, to the point I feel like I’ve pretty much seen the majority of female pop stars genitalia. Miley Cyrus-I’m not shocked, just grossed out. It’s not sexy because it’s SO obvious. Yes, you have a vagina, congratulations. We did, however, already assume this, although thanks for pointing it out in that lovely, albeit, painful looking leotard. I appreciate I’m not their target audience and pop stars like Rihanna claim to ‘not wanting to be a role model’. But come on, for a start-grow up and take responsibility because you are whether you want to be or not. And if you can’t do that, do you not have any personal pride? Does it REALLY make you feel liberated as a woman to know that you are seen as a sex object or are you just a puppet bowing down to the pressure of competing for who can be the most sexually daring pop star? Because it seems to be down to who can push the boundaries the furthest.
This is where Beyonce has really disappointed recently. Admittedly she’s always been pretty provocative, but I think she always remained tasteful and her talent shone through more than her sexuality. Until this recent batch of videos and performances. It seems like she’s seen Rihanna and thought ‘right, I need to up my game, borrow one of Miley’s leotards for the Grammys and get Jay Z on stage so I can show everyone that despite being married and a mother I can do it too!’. She was the undoubtable Queen of pop stars before this, she didn’t need to be overtly sexual, but it appears that she’s buckled under pressure. Like she’s intimidated by the likes of Miley and Rihanna and has to compete.
There’s nothing wrong with being sexy and it’s always going to be inevitable in pop stars videos, but if you’re gonna do it, just try and do it well. It’s just got boring, predictable and in my opinion, quite frankly embarrassing. Plus you’re really doing feminism no favours. When I was a teenager I wanted to be Gwen Stefani or in All Saints or The Spice Girls. They loved a pair of combats, give it some thought.
To this day I think this is one of the sexiest music videos ever made. Yes, admittedly Helena Christensen is running about a beach in her pants, err ‘contradiction alert’ I hear you say! However it’s done with such class. I remember seeing this as a teenager and being mesmerised/obscenely jealous that I didn’t look like her or was on a beach with a man with a really high pitched voice. But she had such an allure about her, I was really quite mesmerised. I’ve been talking about Helena Christensen too much again haven’t I?
If that’s still a little too steamy why don’t they take a leaf out of Imbruglia’s book. If they want the male popularity vote, the boys at school became obsessed with her after this vid and she’s wearing combats and a hoodie…