We Like Big Butts, But We Shouldn't Sing About Them
If you haven't been following the music video scene, in which case good on you, then you may not have seen Jennifer Lopez and Iggy Azalea's new music video for their song Booty. The video, which aside for being an affront to the feminist cause and humanity as a whole, features J. Lo and Iggy popping their posteriors for the cameras in outfits that blur the line between beachwear and lingerie. While women shaking what their mother's gave them on film is nothing new, there seems to be a rise in the disturbing trend of successful female artists debasing themselves for the sake of views.
Jennifer Lopez is a successful artist to say the least. Songs like Waiting For Tonight and Jenny From The Block helped to build her reputation, while I'm Real and If You Had My Love gave her chart topping success with her first five albums having gone platinum. She's acted in over thirty films and while not all of them have been great (we'll never forgive her for Gigli), she brought Selena Quintanilla-Perez to life with talent, beauty, and grace. She's been a judge on American Idol, and she's the executive producer of the show ¡Q'Viva!: The Chosen, which seeks out the best undiscovered talent in Latin America. An idol to women of all ages...
...Who's now singing,
"All the sexy girls in the party,
Go and grab a man,
Bring him to the dance floor,
Go and light them jeans,
Don't you worry you're dancing,
It's his birthday,
Give him what he ask for."
while having her million dollar insured behind slapped by Iggy Azalea, and shamelessly advertising advertising EOS lip balm while slipping around in what might be oil, but looks like a disgusting combination of slime and phlegm.
This isn't the first time either this year that a song dedicated to a woman's ass (and we don't mean burro) has been released. Only a few months ago Nicki Minaj's song Anaconda glorified women's butts. Although the song does address Minaj's desire for men with large junk, the chorus of the piece is all about her behind while women in black bathing suit/spanx combos giggle their booties to the lyrics,
"My anaconda don't want none unless you got buns, hun."
Although Minaj may not be everyone's top contender when it comes to her being a talented musician, with her lyrics often leaving something to be desired, but it's hard to deny her rapping skills (have you ever tried rhyming that fast?) or her strong personality. She's wildly known for being a strong woman in a genre saturated by men. With a unique style and an in your face attitude, one can't help but wonder why she's electing to debase herself like she does on film. Minaj has been nominated for four Grammy Awards, and has won four American Music Awards (in addition to the sixty other accolades she has to her name), but yet chooses, like Lopez, to perform for audiences like an exotic dancer without a pole.
Now let's be clear. The point of this piece isn't to slut shame anyone for their choices. If Minaj, Lopz, Iggy, or any other female artist out there genuinely enjoys wearing revealing rompers, popping their backsides, and singing about the merits of having a large ass, then more power to them. If it's something you love to do, something you want to do, and something that makes you happy, then we at IX Daily say go for it! However it seems less likely that they're singing about their butts out of passion, and more likely that they're singing about them thanks to the pressure being put on them from inside the music industry.
Take the open letter from Sinead O'Connor to Miley Cyrus. In it she tells the young woman how the pressure of the music industry, from the other artists to the very team managing your career, can influence female artists into making decisions that they'll eventually regret. That your managers, your staff, even your friends will drive you to debase and objectify yourself for the sake of selling albums. All going three times platinum will cost you is your integrity and self-respect. Other internal pressures from the industry include the works of other artists, whose songs may be filled with sexist and degrading lyrics.
T.I.'s song No Mediocre, for instance, is essentially one big checklist for prospective bed mates of the rapper to follow. He tells listeners,
"I never fuck a bitch if she don't do her hair,
No more, you won't get no dick if there's a bush down there,
Girl, I should seen nothing but pussy down there."
Really? We hate to be the bearer of bad news, T.I., but you should stop worrying about the women around you and start focusing on your own mediocrity. Maybe do some serious manscaping, stop being such an asshole, and women might consider letting you sleep with them. Other songs like Blurred Lines and Party Girls continue to push sexist lyrics whose sole aim are to demean and objectify women.
Pair the pressure of the music industry with our sexist, rape culture approved society, and it's no wonder that talented female artists are feeling pressured to shake their booty's like musical prostitutes. However these songs, and the attention they get, present the perfect opportunity to have an open dialogue about women in the music industry, and give us the chance to change how we see female artists.
And I think that's really something to sing about.
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