Stylist has been a refreshing ritual of my week since moving to England. An accessible fun pick me up right before or after the stuffy soul crushing underground tube journey. I felt like every topic each week was talking to me! I used to agree and be relieved that the magazines writers voiced my opinion so clearly and powerfully. So I am a big fan and always I believe I will be.
However the last publication had an article that left me a bit confused with how I felt. There was a bad taste in my mouth. Was it the shock that I didn’t agree with the article or was it that I didn’t agree with the way the argument was presented? At times I felt the article was written more to be shocking than to be educational and an expression of a perspective. Overall I do believe that in this ‘Bum obsession’ period (for some, for others it’s always been the standard of beauty), we should not mistake it as a hard –earned freedom that women of all shapes can partake in ….it’s a rigid specific ideal that the article does a fantastic job outlining the negative impact of boys learning to objectify females and the endless commercial opportunities that are nothing but harmful to young girls growing up struggling to develop self-esteem in our world. So from that perspective, I can understand the passion to demand artists put their pants on, as a lot of female celebrity bottoms have been seen.
So what was it that set me off about this article?
Well from last week reading it, till today…I felt extremely infuriated and enlightened. I was infuriated as I felt lots of strong arguments weren’t handled with enough weight and sensitivity. I was enlightened about the Jay-z lyrics in Drunk in Love…and the reference to Tina Turner’s ex-husband Ike who was abusive. I wish those lyrics were replaced with something else. However the article points out that Beyoncé’s videos are progressively pornographic and they know they prefer her other songs such as Pretty Hurts and Flawless. The tone suggested to me, after reading the description of Beyoncé exercising agency by choosing to perform oral sex in the back of the limo in her music video, is not congruent with the feminist ideals author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie outlines on the same album.
In addition, artists like Taylor Swift, Adele, Alicia Keys, and Katy Perry who might have never had to sing about bums, but still objectify themselves more compared to men to ensure a hit… from putting on make up to doing their hair to wearing form fitting clothing. We all know male artists hardly spend the same amount of time in the make-up room and, as the article stated, hardly show as much skin. These female artists all wear form fitting clothing that males don’t wear. Yes it’s not the same as having your bum oiled up and out for everyone to see, but still it’s still relying on one’s image to sell records.
I dunno, I understand maybe the goal wasn’t to express the acceptance of sexuality, dance, and different body types but the air of superiority it was off putting. I guess that is great, having various points of view is what makes stylist great and keep me a critical reader and big fan.