I opened www.billboard.com for my weekly dose of trying to make sense of what music Americans love and hate. It’s sad, but I can’t help myself. I need to know where my favourite artists are ranking in the epicentre of music. I love music that much. Silence is noise.
What I didn’t expect is this: (Well not this specifically but another version of it)
Thoughts filled my head like a hot air balloon sending my blood pressure into the stratosphere. The image conjured a range of words included, but not limited to: Slut. Shameless. Sad. Provocative. Blatant. Controversial. Offensive. Nipple. Slut. I know you’re tired of rants about the-girl-who-can-not-be-tamed so take a deep breath this is not one of those posts.
It’s about how perception change dramatically with age. How something three decades ago would be defined by yours truly as hot and sexy, and now words like sad and slutty is used in the same context. How the Internet reminds me daily of how our lives have changed, how we are getting older, how different things are today, how things that used to be unacce…. Wait. That’s not true.
In 1988, Cher covered her breasts and other crucial places in this black number when she collected her Acadamy Award. She wore the second Borat-inspired piece of crap for her hit, yet controversial video “If I could turn back time” in 1989. (So controversial that MTV banned the original version).
This might seem odd, but when these images flashed across our television screen for the first time I didn’t flinch or criticize it at all. I soaked it in. I was a 15-year old hot-blooded boy with excessive testosterone flooding my system. This raging hormone clogged my good sense of taste, and twisted my perception to the point of me thinking “Is there anything more sexy on earth?” I played and rewind that VHS recorder over and over and over. Which is proof that teenage boys do not cope well with exposed skin on woman.
Now comparing Cher and Miley would be sacrilegious, just because Cher is a phenomenal star. But there is some logic in reflecting on them with my new found maturity. Like the guy rocking on the porch seeing the sluts walk by. From a technical perspective, these outfits reveal/cover the same amount of nakedness. It’s two artist pushing the boundaries of what is acceptable. Not even pushing boundaries, just trying to shock and entertain. The question is: Why did I have a fanboy-obsession with Cher those many years ago compared to utter disgust seeing Miley? Aren’t they basically wearing the same thing? It is my age? Is it possible that I have changed so drastically in less than three decades?
Pictures like this
never used to bother me. I wouldn’t put these pictures on my wall, but I never felt disapproval and condemnation like I do now. I never understood why woman wanted to expose themselves that blatantly in the name of art, but my opinions were less aggressive, more solemn, more accepting. So why do I despise this will all my soul?
Why do I interpret these outfits and the things that they portray as the degradation of morality, a degenerate social standard we are living by, a sickness and obsession with sexuality, and a twisted perception of freedom. Why do I feel so strong about the image of woman now, when it’s only a new generation exposing controversy? Did I suddenly grow a conscious?
I am the guy who’s filled with disgust by the overtly sexual image of young woman. I want to vomit thinking about how effectively sexuality sells. I want to scream my frustration at what the perceived role models are doing and the images they’re enforcing. It’s even worse contemplating that my gender might be feeding this bull shit. (When did I turn into such a prune?)
Then it dawned on me. It’s not about my age, it’s not about the fact that my personal preferences has changed, it’s about growing up. It’s about becoming a parent. And more importantly it’s about becoming a father of a woman. The reality check to see how woman are portrayed or portray themselves. An utter disbelief of what they will do to grasp attention, to get another record sold. And we are eating it up. We are blogging, tweeting, ranting about it, providing the much needed oxygen that is keeping this monstrosity alive.
In the end, the answer lies in a new found reality. I am older. A little bit wiser. And I’m a husband. But more importantly, I’m a dad, of a little woman…And I’m the guy who needs to protect and guide her through all this shit. That’s why I hate it.