Naughty videos and PoRn publicity

Robin Thicke, pushing the envelope a bit farther

Robin Thicke, pushing the envelope a bit farther

Just a few days ago MTV celebrated its 30th anniversary, and those born before its debut remember that the fledgling cable network featured music videos 24 hours a day.  Every performer on the rock/pop scene rushed to make artistic and sometimes provocative representations of their music.

Back then, some of the sexiest videos came from artists including Robert Palmer, whose “Addicted to Love“, or Van Halen’s “Hot for Teacher“, or Whitesnake’s “Is This Love?” pushed television’s sensuality envelope.  Videos got hotter and more misogynist when rap videos took center stage.  Now, far more flesh-exposing videos from major pop artists have surfaced, but they won’t air on MTV or anywhere on basic cable; they’re R-rated and (to date) Internet-only because they show near-full female nudity.

For example, Robin Thicke and Justin Timberlake released videos this summer featuring themselves surrounded by topless models dancing provocatively.  They’ve gotten lots of publicity.  In “Naked women in pop videos: art, misogyny or downright cynical?“, The Guardian’s Peter Robinson wrote, “It’s true that some genres, such as hip-hop, have thrived on dementedly sexualized and unambiguously degrading imagery for decades, but this trend for explicit nudity from mainstream artists definitely represents a line being crossed.”  Top music producer Mike Stock added, “Trying to outdo your competition with a better tune was once the ambition of the creative forces working in the music business.  Nowadays it is a competition to see who can sink the lowest, which has the effect of driving pop into pornography.  A real fight to the bottom.”

For parents trying to protect their children from misogynist and/or nude images, life has just become that more difficult.  Because it’s not just about what they can see on TV that’s the problem; it’s what’s readily available for viewing on the Internet.  “And while the counter argument is that in 2013 (a teenager) is three clicks away from actual pornography, the fact remains that pop videos are in the peripheral vision of anyone on social media,” said Robinson.

Is this a publicity-getting trend worth fighting?  Your thoughts?

2 thoughts on “Naughty videos and PoRn publicity

  1. Lindsey

    Even though it cannot be denied that these celebrities influence younger audiences to which their music is marketed, where is the line that is to be drawn in terms of how much censorship is to be placed on that is for better or for worse, art? I don’t believe seeing Robin Thicke’s video will make a teen go out and have sex any more than it will encourage the purchase of foam fingers at sporting events. If a child is that impressionable, the music they listen to is the least of their worries.

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  2. Krista Giannak

    The biggest problem with the availability of these videos is not the nudity. It is that teenagers are too easily influenced by celebrities. My concern is that easily swayed teams will see these videos and later pressure each other, or feel pressured, to have sex or show provocative pictures of their own. Pop stars need to remember that what they do, for better or worse, influences teams. Parents, teachers, and less impulsive teens need to send messages of confidence and independence from peer pressure. As a society, we need to make it cool to say no to peer pressure.

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