Sexualization in Music Videos
It seems that music videos lately accumulate the top views through the sexualization of women and their bodies. This action has been repeated consistently and not questioned in society, thus resulting in this sexualization culture to be accepted. Oversexualization in music videos is problematic because it can and has negatively impacted the self-esteem of many women.
Many current mainstream music videos contain lots of salacious lyrics and sexualization of women. Women are portrayed with “close-ups pouting lips, wiggling bottoms, shimmying cleavages and bare, toned stomachs feature heavily too”, thus emphasizing a certain unrealistic look for many women to feel pressured to achieve in order to feel attractive (Dove 2018). Music videos contain sexualization because this is what captures an audience and creates the most revenue for the artist. Unfortunately, due to the focus on wealth, music videos fail to recognize how its imagery can negatively affect any viewer.
For instance, based on a study done by the American Psychological Society, “girls who are exposed to sexualized content are more likely to endorse gender stereotypes and place attractiveness as central to a woman’s value” (Coulson 2014). Additionally, boys who are constantly exposed to sexualized content, such as music videos, create unrealistic expectations of women and have a higher chance of sexually harassing women (Coulson 2014).
A common counter to the sexualized music videos is that the portrayal of sexualized women is intended to empower women and feel liberated in expressing their sexuality; however, “the reality is that often these women and their actions are managed and directed by men” (Lodhi 2016). Another problematic issue with sexualized women in music videos is the double standard for women and men in these videos. Many male artists that partake in this culture tend to dress in casual or formal wear, while the women in the videos are wearing little to no clothes. This commonly used concept reinforces the “male sexual fantasy and portray a masculine-ordered beauty imperative [and] are so only as part of a bigger patriarchal superstructure” (Burbidge 2015).
Women are so much more than just sexual bodies to be used to make money. Hypersexualized music videos “go on the stereotypes that women are hypersexual and are only around for the propose of receiving attention from males” (Pettis 2013). Society fails to question these problematical sexualized content and continues to celebrate these forms of music videos. Due to such a high acceptance in society, hypersexualization of women in popular music videos will continue to grow.
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