Igor Stravinsky’s rite of spring, to Elvis Presley shaking his hips on stage singing black peoples songs like “mystery train”, to the sex pistol’s interview with Bill Grundy, music has always skipped through time, hand in hand with controversy. As long as instruments have been played their have been shocked and horrified audiences everywhere.
The latest music to cause ripples of disagreement is from the young Ms. Miley Cyrus. Her karaoke like, moneymaking, provocative music video’s such as “wrecking ball” and her enticing dancing with Robin Thicke has divided the room. But is this just another shocking pinpoint in music history that we will laugh back at in years to come? Or is Miley’s video over sexualization seriously worth our concern?
An image that sticks in my mind, that I believe says a lot about our time, is one from Britain’s Got Talent. When Susan Boyle first entered our television screens, we weren’t expecting that she was a talented lady. Before she said a word, the crowd laughed at her and sneered. After she sang, people were overwhelmed and stood up to applaud her. As an audience we judged her, before she even sang. We looked at her, and thought, because she far from the seductive, young female singers that populate our screens, that she was going to be a terrible singer.
This is the tragedy of our time. Despite living in a society that celebrates diversity, we do not give women a chance. We immediately judge them, before they have even done anything or said anything.
This is because of videos like “wrecking ball”. We all know sex sells. I find myself peeping at FHM or NUTS in the magazine aisle all the time; despite knowing it’s full of brainless articles. As a society we are so used to have women shown to us as sexual objects, as prizes, it’s what we expect now.
If you actually listen to the Miley Cyrus’s “wrecking ball”, without the saucy and strange video, there isn’t really anything exciting to tell back home. The lyrics, and the music are at best mediocre. This isn’t cutting edge stuff. This isn’t as horrifying as listening to Johnny Rotten sing or as biting as the high-pitched bassoon in the opening of the “rite of spring”. But, when you put that video, with that song, it does become quite disturbing. It’s a telling sign that these music company’s wouldn’t able to have a number one hit, if it wasn’t for the sex appeal of there videos. The record companies rely on the video to shock and lure audiences in, because the music is so bland. Miley Cyrus is the music equivalent of FHM or NUTS magazine: You’re only buying it, because it turns you on.