Friday, September 08, 2006

Another PeaceBang Puritan Moment

I like to think of myself as a kind of hip gal.

I am definitely pro-sexuality and ain't nothing prudish about me.

But I happened to run across the Black Eyed Peas video for their new single, "London Bridge" the other day, and I stood there with broom in hand and mouth wide open. The entire song is about, if I may be so bold, oral sex. I mean, it's not even subtle. It is super, duper skanky.

That Fergie person is just ... well. Definitely un-Christian terms come to mind.

So it occurs to me to add it all up and suddenly feel sick to my stomach for young girls today. According to pop culture, they're supposed to be absolutely plastic-gorgeous: skinny, booby and muscular in a way that no previous generation has ever expected (remember the 70's, when a pretty girl could have frizzy hair and big thighs and bushy eyebrows?). They're supposed to be amazingly successful with their own mini-empires, like Beyonce or Lindsay Lohan or Jessica Simpson or that bizarre parasite, Paris Hilton. They're supposed to be aggressively, confidently sexual man eaters like Fergie or Angelina Jolie or Lindsay Lohan (again). This is what they see. They should be fit, super-hard-bodies until they're 50+ years old (Madonna) and they should definitely put child-bearing on hold while they pursue their glamorous, lucrative careers. Age-related fertility issues ? No problem. They can just adopt adorable foreign babies a la Sharon Stone. They'll be able to have it all, and look great while they have it all. In fact, they had BETTER WELL have it all and look amazing and have gobs of money while having it all.

I know I'm being a crusty old Puritan goodwife waving my bony finger from the door and yelling at the pretty girls walking by, but seriously. I'm just sorry that pop culture is so egregiously glamorizing total skankiness and even in this supposedly post-feminist era, promoting insanely unfair expectations for women's lives.

This is to say nothing of the absolutely atrocious treatment of women in the hip hop culture, whose videos and television shows should sicken all of us. Ever seen "The Flava of Love?" It's one of the most amazingly tasteless displays of sexism you will ever lay your eyes on.

I realize that this isn't a terribly organized or coherent social critique. And I know our girls are too smart to let their life choices be guided by, you know, FERGIE or Paris Hilton. It's just that I thought that by now, we might have traveled further away from the Inflatable Doll image of female strength and beauty, not be moving ever closer to it.


Blogger LaReinaCobre said...

Just want to clarify that London Bridge is not a Black Eyed Peas venture, but a solo Fergie venture (she just released her own album, I think).

That being said, I've never seen the video or heard the song.

Blogger Berrysmom said...

Time to re-read Reviving Ophelia. I am a HUGE fan of Mary Pipher, and I think she's a very smart lady.

Blogger Jess said...

Nelly Furtado had a song out this summer that she "sang" (lip synched) on "So You Think You Can Dance" that gave me the same kind of heebies - "Promiscuous."

I hate, hate, hate these images. Especially when my almost 6 year old daughter is exposed to them. And even though we don't let her watch or listen to this kind of stuff, the other girls in her kindergarten class may not be as sheltered and she'll pick it up anyway. I celebrate my almost 19 year old sister who didn't give in to any of this crap and I hope my daughter follows in her footsteps.

But it's definitely enough to keep me up worrying at night!!

Blogger Magdalene6127 said...

When my daughter was in the 2nd grade, there was a talent show at her school. She and her best friend choreographed a fabulous dance to the Jars of Clay song "Flood." However, the preponderance of "talent" consisted of girls lip-synching to songs such as "Genie in a Bottle" (I'm a genie in a bottle baby/ got to rub me the right way honey) in full on I Dream of Jeannie outfits. I'm still having nightmares.

My daugher (14 tomorrow; see my blog!) read your post and proclaimed, "Right on PeaceBang!"

Blogger PeaceBang said...

Happy Birthday, Magdalene's daughter! We wish all great things for you! Blessings, PB

Blogger LaReinaCobre said...

I just saw the London Bridge song performed on Fashion Rocks. The first half hour of the show was really awful, but there were some good performances by Beyonce, some dude named Bentley, FaithTim McGrawHill, and a few others.

If you hadn't said so, I wouldn't have known what London Bridge was about. That was really awful.

I am strangely intrigued by the Pussycat Dolls, however. I never saw them before, either, but I think it's because they're so aggressive. I was scared of them. They were like the murderesses in Chicago.

Television is so weird.

Blogger RevThom said...

Destiny's Child had something to add to the conversation 8 years ago:

"The shoes on my feet
I've bought it
The clothes I'm wearing
I've bought it
The rock I'm rockin'
I've bought it
'Cause I depend on me
If I wanted the watch you're wearin'
I'll buy it
The house I live in
I've bought it
The car I'm driving
I've bought it
I depend on me
(I depend on me)

"All the women who are independent
Throw your hands up at me
All the honeys who makin' money
Throw your hands up at me
All the mommas who profit dollas
Throw your hands up at me
All the ladies who truly feel me
Throw your hands up at me."

Who knew you could dance to Reagan-omics?

Blogger PeaceBang said...

I know, Thom, but then remember that song Beyonce recorded about pretty much being a slave for her man? It was APPALLING!! Does anyone else remember what I'm talking about? You have GOT to see these lyrics.

Blogger LaReinaCobre said...

I don't know that Beyonce song ... was it Naughty Girl? It started with "Love, love to love you baby." But then there was a Britney Spears song called "I'm a Slave 4 U" which is pretty annoying.

I try not to get too discouraged about things like this. Both of these women are barely 25 years old. Beyonce actually can sing (Britney, not so much). And it really wasn't that long ago that rock and roll was considered by many to be the devil's music, and dancing to Chuck Berry was tantamount to cavorting with demons.

It's hard to believe that some of the music videos of today will seem tame or just plain goofy in about 15 years.

I do wish there was more on the radio than just club hits. I only listen to Oregon Public Radio and occasionally the alternative station these days.

Blogger Magdalene6127 said...

PB, I've been blogging-up this topic/ related topics a bit at Magdalene's Musings. The whole "beauty" thing. (It's showing up in the lectionary. I can't help it.)


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