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Sexual Objectification in the Music Industry

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Gabrielle Scarlett

on 17 April 2014

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Transcript of Sexual Objectification in the Music Industry

Sexual Objectification in the Music Industry
Moreover, we see this phenomenon at play in popular songs across all genres of music.

For example prominent women in the industry such as Rihanna where in the video
“Pour It Up”
she is explicitly portraying semi-nudity and overtly glamorizing the lifestyle of exotic dancers.

In addition to Beyonce in her song
“Partition”
which is themed around seduction, sexual nudity and the implied idea that women serve the needs of the male.
Miley Cyrus, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj
Rihanna's Pour It Up Music Video
Nelly's Tip Drill Video
References
Sexual Objectification Theory
According to Fredrickson & Roberts (1997), sexual objectification theory holds the idea that many women are sexually objectified and treated as an object to be valued for its use by others.

In addition, Bartky (1990) expresses that this occurs when a woman’s body or body parts are singled out and separated from her as a person and she is viewed primarily as a physical object of male sexual desire.
Rihanna, Beyonce and Madonna
Additionally according to a study
Check That Body! The Effects of Sexually Objectifying Music Videos on College Men’s Sexual Beliefs by J S Aubrey et al
; critics maintain that most music videos reproduces distorted ideologies of women’s sexuality (Arnett, 2002; Oware, 2009).

Analysis of lyrical content has consistently observed that music videos place a great deal of emphasis on women’s sexual appeal and reinforce the stereotype of women as sex objects, existing pri-marily for the pleasure of male spectators (Aubrey & Frisby, 2011; Seidman, 1992; Sommers-Flanagan, Sommers-Flanagan, & Davis, 1993; Vincent, 1989; Vincent, Davis, & Boruszkowsi, 1987).

As Jhally (2007) argued, music videos are often constructed around the ‘‘pornographic imagination,’’ in which women are seen as sex symbols that simply must have sex and will submit to any fantasy that a man may have. Cultural and industry expectations motivate female artists to participate readily in their own sexual objectification.
Additionally, the music video for the song “
Ride
” by Demarco is another example of males not objectifying women but also undermining their worth and suggesting that they women are solely for sexual gratification. The artiste in justifying the video stated that the video contain nothing most ‘mature’ individuals have not seen or been exposed to in their lifetime.

In addition to pointing to issues such as rising rate of unemployment, crime among other issues which clearly has nothing to do with this music video. Ideally his reasons were fallacious in nature as it cannot be ignored that his video was explicit and demeaning to women.
Thesis Statement
Despite the fact that not all females portray themselves in a lecherous manner to make money and garner attention in the music industry, the fact still stands that they cannot gain true respect for their craft and climb the top of the ladder without subjecting themselves to objectification.
Claim No. 1
Although women claim to be victims of the sexual objectification of men in the music industry, they are the ones who portray themselves as such as a means of empowerment and enhancement to their career. This is noted in the study conducted by the two Professors Frisby and Aubrey at the University of Missouri College of Arts and Science where an abundance of sexual objectification in music videos featuring female artists was found.
Claim No. 2
According to Frisby
“It has been known that music videos featuring male artists often sexually objectify women, but our study shows that many female artists are objectifying themselves in their music videos.”

Additionally, we see in the work
“Women in Popular Music Media: Empowered or Exploited?”
by Jaime Glantz that women feel empowered by music as in his study a number of participants expressed a belief about the representation of women in popular music media which holds that sexualized media images are beneficial to women.
This was the case in the song
“Blah Blah”
by Kesha where she took on a masculine role in regards to the “ no strings” attached mentality of predominantly men.

This is evident in the lines
“zip your lips,” “meet me at the back,”
and
“show me where your d*c#’s at.”
She uses aggressive language,
“don’t be a little b*t#h with your chit-chat,”
.
However is this really empowering?
Glantz, J. (2012). Women in Popular Music Media: Empowered or Exploited?.
The Spectrum: A Scholars Day Journal
, Volume 2 (Issue No.1, Article 5).

Szymanski, Dawn M., Moffitt, Lauren B., Carr Erika R. (2011).

Sexual Objectification of Women: Advances to Theory and Research.
The Counseling Psychologist,
Volume 39 (no.1), 6-38.


Even when females subject themselves to the demands of society by being sex objects, they are still undermined when it comes to their male counterpart.
Claim No. 3
Women are the objects of sexual desire, the selling point and the figures on exhibition in the music industry.
Sexual objectification is commonplace within media culture; however, music videos provide the most potent examples of it, with viewers clearly given the message that romance, sexual desirability, and sexually evocative activity are fundamental human activities.
Claim No. 4
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