Today’s female pop stars are embarking on a new wave of sexuality. With each new video, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for the top female performers to stay relevant. So, when being sexy and talented no longer makes the cut, they must achieve grander exploits to meet their fans’ twisted standards of entertainment. As a result, female pop stars are reaching epic levels of sexuality in order to keep their fans interested.
Fans are no longer entertained by blond sex icons like Britney Spears and Jessica Simpson, or the moody lyrics of Avril Lavigne. This is not enticing enough for today’s desensitized audiences. The girlish teasing and flirty lyrics that once filled our hearts with delight is now incredibly stale! We now embrace a world of mind-numbing commercialization filled with fanny-flashing, pseudo-lesbianism and subpar voices — the trademark of our current female pop stars. And so, we enter this radical wave of sexual sensationalism where Popstars like Rihanna, Lady Gaga and Miley Cyrus seem to state a clear motto: Why simply seduce your fans when you can shock them?
Lady Gaga knows this motto all too well. Since being sexy and talented is not enough, she needs to become outlandishly provocative in order to entertain her fans. After Lady Gaga’s MTV performance this past summer, a critic by the name of Aunt Jemima tweeted to Entertainment Weekly, “someone is getting….boooooo-ring !” This was tweeted despite the fact that Lady Gaga wore a G-String during the finale, underwent four costume changes and had intense choreography. Another tweeter by the name Ballerina wrote, “She doesn’t have the X-factor or wow factor.” These tweets just reinforce how female pop stars are puppets for today’s easily-unimpressed fans.
We have to take a moment to consider how “far” we’ve come. When Madonna released the video, “Like a Virgin” in 1985, people nearly dropped dead from shock. All around the world, people watched Madonna as she pranced around in a wedding dress, singing suggestively about virginity. Even though the singer was 26 at the time, people still considered the performance incredibly racy.
As Madonna passed the torch to Britney and the flame flickered out she was replaced by the new sensationalist Miley Cyrus. And the 21 year old singer has taken this role very seriously— simply ride a wrecking ball in the nude or make-out with some phallic-looking construction tools and you’re all set!
However, there may be some method to Miley’s madness. As she is arguably the ringleader of this new wave sexuality, Miley’s exploits can be viewed as modern and, dare I say, feminist. Her new crotch grabbing trademark and shaved head is a testament to this new wave sexuality. She has a bizarre and sometimes androgynous style of shock. Miley makes this very clear in her Arizona Iced Tea Ad as she mannishly holds a can against her crotch, and wears a red bodysuit which barely covers her lady business. This mischievous persona seems to blatantly confront stereotypes around the classic female pop star. By making it clear that she is not a Katy Perry, Miley is setting out to make herself an object of spectacle as opposed to one of clichéd sexuality. Therefore, Miley is more than just meat for the male spectator — she’s reaching for an image that’s difficult to categorize — a symbol of unbridled extremity.
But Miley is not only shocking us, she’s setting a standard. As we eat up these exploits, we are also establishing norms for our female pop stars.
And why are men not subjected to these outrageous standards of behavior? Male singers still seem to be doing the same old routines that have always been popular among the masses. Justin Bieber is still romancing with models in his videos and Usher is still swaggering in his sunglasses . Yet, fans do not place the same pressure on these male artists to deliver mind-blowing entertainment. On the other hand, if female pop stars gave classically girlish performances, they would be sent deep into the abyss of irrelevancy and low YouTube views. For this reason women must work hard to push the boundaries to keep their fans interested while male Popstars can simply cruise along with the same old tricks.
At the end of the day, I believe we are the problem.