This is something that has just always bugged me and I was recently reminded of it and I realized I hadn't written about it and I thought it was high time to just get to it. Would you like me to stop wasting time at the beginning of my posts and just get to the point already? That's not up for discussion. What is, however, is the still prevalent misogynist objectification of women in male artists' music videos.
I thought Queen Latifah had cleared this all up when she told everyone she wasn't a "'b!tch' or a 'ho'," but no, the problem persists, but I do have to say that the severity has been reduced. Rock has changed so considerably that the idea of Tawny Kitaen making love to the hood of a car would seem less sexy and more hilarious nowadays (actually it was kinda funny back then too) and even hip hop/rap/R&B, while never completely abandoning the "video chick" mentality, has also managed to incorporate other conceptions of women.
The problem is far from solved, however, and I wanted to discuss one, I think, creepy form of this objectification in music videos. Below is Asher Roth's (which is not a brand of linens from J.C. Penney contrary to what you may think) video for his second single "Be By Myself." You don't need to watch the whole thing.
A minute or two will give you the basic idea.
What annoyed me when I saw this video on the MTV Hits, and what you may have guessed by the title of this post, is not the use of the scantily clad ladies in his video. Look. I'm sexually attracted to men, and often objectify them on this blog. My problem is the fact that so very often, like in most of the above video, the girls being objectified aren't even allowed to show their whole faces!
Sure, I understand. You want the hot girls in your videos. Fine. But can they at least have faces not covered up by gigantic sunglasses or simply not shown on screen at all. Are they not worthy enough of even being identifiable, or is that the point?
Luckily, in Roth's video, the girls do (briefly) get to show that yes, they are humanoid, but I see this pretty often in vids and it always bugs me. What kind of message does this send to young women about self-worth? What about men?
As I said, Roth's video is by far not the worst example I've seen. It just reminded me of the issue. The WORST example of The Faceless Woman I've seen recently is that video from an artist named Lloyd with Lil Wayne called "Girls Around the World," (video above) where the girls dancing around in the video, get this...
WEREN'T ALLOWED TO HAVE EYES!
It was literally as if someone said "We devalue you so much that we are literally gonna take away the Windows to Your Soul and replace them with beams of light. Now get in the corner and prepared to be oiled down." The most annoying part is that I actually kinda like the song, but I could never. No eyes!
Seriously! Well, enough me. Discussion Question Time: Do you agree that there is nothing particularly attractive about a Faceless Woman? Why do you think that concept is appealing?
For me, I need to see a guy's face to consider him attractive. The sunglasses have to come off and yeah, his eyes can't emit beams of light. Unless he's Cyclops (right), in which case, I make one exception.
And I understand there could be some artistic merit in disguising parts of the face to maybe make a statement about humanity, but I don't think these and other male artists (and their music video directors) are thinking that. I just think they want a bunch of toned bodies to stare at. How then can we get upset when young boys watching these videos treat girls like sex objects? Is that too far or not far enough?
(p.s. so ends my week of exploring gender discrimination. Have a great weekend!)
J. Hyde Crawford: 1930-2013
1 hour ago