If you’ve ever thought that today’s music has become similar to pornography, you’re not the only one. In the journal article I read as a source for my paper called “Women, Pop Music, and Pornography”, author, musician, and feminist Meredith Levande argues that media-companies that profit from adult entertainment have pushed pornographic imagery into mainstream pop music. This serves as a valuable source for my research paper that deals with the effect of sexualized pop music on young girls because the author, Levande, offers me a view from a female singer-songwriter (which is herself).
Meredith Levande starts her argument by explaining how big media companies are interlaced with the pornography business. She then adds on that it’s this connection between the two businesses that brought about this overtly sexualized image of the female pop star. Companies like Time Warner and Clear Channel make profit from adult videos through means of pay-per-view, and it is these same companies that use the pop star as a human billboard for porn. Why the female pop star? According to Levande’s own source Imani Perry’s “Who(se) am I? The Identity and Image of Women in Hip-Hop” she quotes “the space a musical artist occupies in popular culture is multi-textual. Lyrics, interviews, music and videos, together create a collage…”. Levande uses this quote to assert her idea that the reason the female pop star is used is because she is seen and heard by everybody. You always hear pop stars on the radio, see them on T.V., and on the cover of magazines. This gives the female pop star power over her audience because she is a major influence to the people who follow her. This makes the pop star someone who is able to sell products, and the product of porn is no exception.
Levande mentions that prior to artists like Britney Spears, Spice Girls, and Christina Aguilera—whom are credited to starting this hypersexualized image of the artist—women were “revolutionizing” music (page 300). Artists like Alanis Morrisette and Lauryn Hill she claims were a step forward to giving women power in the industry. Levande, a musician herself, believes the game has become harder since there is a new standard to succumb to; the porn-pop image. She uses Nelly Furtado and Jewel as examples because both her folk-singer-songwriters too with a ‘pure’ image, but to hit bigger sale marks they have ‘objectified’ themselves. Levande mentions that Nelly Furtado herself has believed that she ‘bloomed’ since becoming this sexual entity of a pop star. Levande disagrees and states that such a belief is a myth. Women shouldn’t have to succumb to ‘porn-stars’ to be heard.
This is a great source read for me because it does implement many ideas of how this porn-pop imagery has evolved since the 1990’s. Levande’s ideas may seem a little extreme at some times, such as how she think the link between the porn industry and the pop music industry are as clear as crystal, I have to say they are a little more blurred than that. Something I will discuss in my paper.