Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Pop Stars and Sex Marketing

I just read an interesting article that discusses the forced hyper-sexuality of our modern pop stars. I'm glad it didn't just slam pop stars for being sexual because for some, it fits. But it did also mention most are unfortunately put under pressure to do so--even if they aren't as "sexy" by nature. The article mentions Beyonce and how she comes at her "sexy" from a place of authenticity, which is always, well, sexier!

But sometimes pop stars try to play the sex kitten when it just looks awkward on them. Now, I think we're all sexual beings, but not everyone is Beyonce, nor should they try to be. In particular, I think of people like Ariana Grande, who it seems, has recently transitioned from being the cute girl character to attempting the sex goddess role...and I don't think it's a good fit for her. It seems forced, as if her star crew is forcing her to "be sexier" just for the marketing aspect of it.

What do you think? Think some pop stars are naturally sexy and others are forcing it, or do you think they should all flaunt what they've got?

Have a good week!




  1. I have two problems with this trend.

    Firstly, as you intimate, the projected sexuality is usually fake (this is not the case, I feel, with Rihanna) and so is (usually) an older male's vision of what sexy is (or what they would want) for a young woman.

    Secondly, the focus on visual image has been detrimental to the music which has become secondary to the image. I was recently watching an episode of the X-Factor and there were some good but not conventionally attractive female singers. Not surprisingly, one by one.they have disappeared from the competition to leave a very attractive girl whose voice isn't a patch on the others. Because technology can correct any weaknesses in the voice visual image then becomes paramount. How then do you differentiate between a slew of identically attractive young women singing anodyne, over produced dance tracks. Make one "sexier". The situation then just escalates. Given that most pop music is bought by children I can see the concerns of mothers worried about influences on their daughters and the effect it has on boys' attitudes towards girls. There is a larger question about how families in countries like the US and Britain handle education about sexuality for teens but that is a much bigger subject!

    Although I am old enough that I believe that there hasn't been any really good pop music since about 1985 I do have some respect for Lady Gaga, who writes her own music and seems to genuinely control her own image.

    1. Yes, sex ed is a whole 'nother can of worms... I'm with you on Lady Gaga. She doesn't seem forced into anything, and I think part of her appeal is that genuine artist in her that's been allowed to come out. The technology is both a blessing and a curse--makes recording time a lot cheaper and faster; however, it allows for a lot of mediocre recording artists!

  2. Funny you mentioned Ariana Grande, because she was the first person that came to mind when I read the title! Not that she isn't sexy, she's one adorable, sweet, and attractive young woman, but I can't stand how forced her sex kitten image is. Sometimes, she looks clumsy and ridiculous with the lingerie wear, posing on couches, finger to pouting lip, lol, it's a bit much, and unnecessary. She's way more talented than people give her credit for. She has a vocal range that is an octave or two away from matching Mariah Carey's voice! And she can act! I get sex sells, but why can't it be sold naturally? And not EVERY artist needs to sell sex to make it big (I mean, look at Adele, for instance). I'm glad Ariana's popular, she deserves the fame and attention, but I really hope sometime soon we'll see less forced sex kitten, and just more...Ariana being herself instead of a sex sells puppet.

    1. She was on a Christmas special tonight, and she really does have a nice voice. I wonder what sort of image she'd present if she had full control over it?

    2. Her coming from Nickelodeon, I guess it's not really surprising that to break that image, she has to shatter it by being "sexy". That seems to be a pretty standard move from most pop stars who come from a humble Nick or Disney channel background. I just wish it wasn't so forced! When Ariana is just singing without strutting, bending over, posing, etc. I think that's where you really see the star shining. At that instant she starts breaking into the awkward dancing, she loses me lol. I do wonder what her image would be like if she had more control. At the moment she's too young and fresh out of the Nick circuit to have that, but she def. has a future, will be interesting to see how she'll be as she matures and has more control of her image.