Seems like a LOT of pop music today is concerned with one thang…and that’s how you shake dat ass. Now…I’m 45 years old AND a dude so…if I go shakin’ MY booty, there’s gonna be a lot of broken parts to pick up. But there are quite a few artists that are singing about your derriere and how it should move and I understand that in order to dance you have to kinda know how to move your body but there sure is enough of it to go around these days. For example…Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda.” I wouldn’t call this a Minaj song because, quite frankly, it’s not. Sure…she adds her rap in it, but for the most part, it’s Sir Mix-A-Lot’s “Baby Got Back” from 1992. It’s not the song that concerns me but the video that goes with it. It’s mostly a bunch of scantily clad women and Nicki herself, shaking what they got in the jungle to that famous Sir Mix-A-Lot background music. Now…from an artist like Nicki Minaj, I get it. She has shot to the top of the pop charts being outrageous and has used her ample bottom to create quite a stir on the internet over whether or not it’s a real butt or a fake one. For the record, I don’t really care. I’m not a Minaj fan nor do I follow her on the Twitter, however she’s hard to miss with her fake Barbi doll makeup and day-glo outfits.
What I AM concerned about and why I’m even writing about this topic is because of the OTHER booty shakin’ song that has hit the world wide web by one of the more famous and popular artists in the world, Jennifer Lopez. Jennifer Lopez is a 44 year old pop culture phenomenon. She is an American actress, author, fashion designer, dancer, producer, singer, and songwriter. She has taken her place among the upper echelon of superstars in American & Latino cultures. She’s a judge on one of the biggest television shows in the past 15 years. She’s had countless hit singles, made plenty of entertaining movies (except for “Gigli,” which is commonly placed as one of the worst films in movie history) and has been credited with breaking racial barriers in the entertainment industry. She is on top of the world…and then she goes and releases her new single, “Booty.”
Actually…it’s not even the song that I find disturbing. The song, by itself, isn’t a great song, but I can see how it might be popular in dance clubs and why she would choose to include it on her latest album, “A.K.A.” Originally the song was with rap artist, Pitbull, but for whatever reason, she had it remixed with the latest “hot” thang, Iggy Azalea, and released a soft core porn video to go with it. It’s the video I want to put up for debate here today because I’m not sure I get it. I’ve watched the video, I’ve listened to the song and now I’m wondering…why?
Why does a 44 year old woman at the top of her game, with millions of adoring fans (mostly young women, I imagine) want to make a video of herself shaking her butt in the camera while dripping wet or covered in honey? What kind of message does this send our young ladies?
Look…I’m all for making a buck. I understand that, as an artist these days, you really have to be at the forefront when it comes to promoting yourself and keeping yourself relevant. But Jennifer Lopez? Who DOESN’T know who Jennifer Lopez is? Now Iggy Azalea shaking her butt at the camera I kinda get. She’s what…22? She just hit the scene over the last 8 months or so? So I imagine the music industry EXPECTS her to make this kind of video, much like Nicki Minaj and a slew of other popular R&B/Pop artists today. Sex sells…and Hollywood and the music industry often take every opportunity they can to market the latest and greatest booty they can find. But JENNIFER LOPEZ?
C’mon J-Lo. You can be ABOVE all of this. If YOU don’t stand up and say, “This is bullshit! I don’t NEED to shake MY butt at the camera because I am J-Lo!”, then who will?
All I hear and read about these days is how women are tired of being objectified. Tired of dealing with the over-sexualization of our culture here in America. Tired of not being equal in the workplace and in their homes and among their male friends. Women NEED a strong voice. Women need someone to set an example. I’m not saying leave your sexuality at the door. That’s not what I’m talking about. Beyonce made an excellent album last winter that included some pretty sexual lyrics and then she included videos to go with the songs and they were pretty racy. Admittedly I haven’t watched all of them but the couple I DID see I found myself blushing a little bit and wondering…why does she feel the need to put herself out there like that? In music, one can use their imaginations. But once a video is included, it kind of takes away that sexual edge. Then it just becomes an artist exposing themselves for the sake of making money. Jennifer Lopez has done exactly that with this new single and for some reason it makes me sad. Although I’m not a big fan of J-Lo, I have always found her to be an artist that I would want my daughter to listen too and to look up too. My family enjoys American Idol and Jenny From The Block has been one of the main reasons we enjoy the show. I know she has used her beauty and her body to create a niche for herself. But at the age of 44, does she NEED to be making videos like this one anymore?
I’m leaving this open to debate. I am NOT a religious fanatic. I am not condemning her to hell for it. I’m just curious…why? I hope this will open up some interesting discussion and not a bunch of hate-spewing angst but that always seems to go along with this type of post so…
What do YOU say? Here’s the video (conveniently attached to an American Idol promo). Just an FYI…it’s not safe for work. There’s no nudity but there IS a lot of gluteus maximus being thrown at your computer screen…