So I am putting my two cents in on this issue that I first paid attention to thanks to http://feministified.com, another lovely blog that I follow on twitter. I wanna talk about Rebecca Black’s Friday, but more importantly about women in the media and how dangerous it is to be both a woman and a public figure.
This chick is obviously not the best singer. But if bad pop music was actually an issue we’d be hurling insults at half the Billboard Top 100. I mean I know art is subjective, but talent has long been dropped off the list of must have’s for pop artists. And its a moot point, because mostly people are talking about her makeup, or her rich parents, the fact that she didn’t write it, the fact that she didn’t earn it.
But what is this whole idea of earning fame? We are infatuated with the rags to riches story, but how often is that the case? Who really knows how much work she put into this, and who are we to critique her and her parents for using their money (which may in fact be very hard earned) to do something she obviously has a lot of fun with? I’d argue that we are obsessed with lots of people who never truly earned fame (heiresses/royals/the outrageously wealthy, sex tape stars, criminals…)
So is she too sexy or not sexy enough? Teen girls are fed an awful lot of images that reinforce how easy it is to use your body and sexuality to gain power or get what you want. We have a real problem balancing childhood innocence with our hunger for images of sexualized girls. And it never really ends. Remember the whole Clinton/Palin fiasco? Hillary is a bitch (a word for which there is no male equivalent, which you can say on television, which we have tried and failed to reclaim) and she isn’t cute, but Palin is stupid and spends too much on shoes though at least we can all agree she’s a MILF. I’m the last to agree with Palin on just about any issue, but the media was just as unfair to her as to Clinton, who at the end of the day was probably the most qualified.
Politics aside, I think it’s clear that we just can’t get enough of women in the media, but mostly because we love to criticize. Is she a good mother? Is she skinny enough? What is she wearing? We hold women under vastly more pressure than men. This girl, at the tender age of 13, is getting fired at from all media and social networks for starring in this silly video, and her very moral fiber as well as her talent is being called into question. Chris Brown beat the shit out of his very famous girlfriend, and the response was lukewarm at best and now he’s back with a new album in the number one spot.
Our priorities are so skewed, it baffles me. I wonder how this girl is holding up, how she is going to deal with the harsh fame, how other girls are going to learn about fame and their beauty and their body and their freedom. I wish we weren’t so fascinated, so quick to criticize, so eager to tell one more girl that she’s not pretty enough or worthy of her accomplishments even as we crave what she’s peddling. I hope she makes it out alive, heart intact, ready to keep working towards whatever goals she still dreams of achieving.