MONDAY MYSPACE MEMORIES VOl. 8: POP MUSIC SUBSTANCE OVER IMAGE

by - October 15, 2018




Standard Intro: This is a series where I go through my Myspace blogs from 15 years ago and examine what I was thinking at that point in my life and see if I've had any personal growth.  Lets pull back the lever on the internet time machine and hop back to the wonderful year of 2005. (Disclaimer: I do go through and correct typos from the original postings. Other than that, all posts included all original text. No censoring or editing.)

bject Old is new
DateCreated 1/1/1900 12:00:00 AM
PostedDate 7/13/2005 10:28:00 AM
Body Since I can't think of anything to write about, has that become a running joke yet?.....I decided to pull out an old writing to post. The best thing is this has very little relevance or much of anything to do with current musical happenings, so it's like a trip back to the glory days of the summer of 2003. Oh what a summer.  Anyway, sit back and enjoy.

What A Girl Wants What a girl wants, what a girl needs Whatever makes me happy and sets you free What a girl wants, what a girl needs Whatever keeps me in your arms. -"What a Girl Wants"

Let's get dirty (that's my jam)/I need that, uh, to get me off. Sweat until my clothes come off.-"Dirrty"

Christina Aguilera exploded onto the pop music scene and into Billboard's record charts a little over three years ago.  Shortly after Britney Spears topped the charts, and while bubblegumpop was hitting his peak. Her self-titled debut album sold over six million copies. Christina was riding high as an Mtv poster child and won a Grammy for Best New Female Artist. But as anyone who has watched VH-1's, Behind the Music can attest to, a smiling face on the television is usually hiding a frown on the soul. And Christina was no different.

But it wasn't the "are they or aren't they friends" rumors about fellow pop-tart and former Mouseketeer alum, Britney Spears that bothered Christina.  Nor was it the lyrics, "Christina Aguilerra outta switch me chairs/so I can sit next to Carson Daly and Fred Durst/listen to them argue bout who she gave head to first"by bad-boy rapper, Eminem that had Christina crying into the bathroom mirror.  The "œproblem" that plagued poor Christina was a secret that she didn't want to keep hidden. Beg and plead as she might with her record label representatives and managers, they advised her to keep the secret to herself, for fear of a public backlash. So Christina stay silent and only let out hints of the dark terrible secret. Until fate stepped in and handed her the cards that would finally set her soul free. 

In the fall of 2000, film director, Baz Luhman was busy putting the final touches on his musical, Moulan Rouge and was looking for the perfect singers for the lead theme song.  With help from his soundtrack supervisor, they pulled together a quartet of female pop stars to sing the 70's classic, Lady Marmalade a song about a woman trying to get paid for sex.  Yes, this was what Christina had been waiting for, for three years.  After the critical and commercial success of, Lady Marmalade, Christina could finally scream out the one sentence she knew she had been born to sing:

I AM A WHORE.

Now with her new album, Stripped about to be released, Christina has gone all out in an attempt to make the world see her for the whore that she has always been.  In a recent interview with Mtv, Christina explained her willingness to expose her whore ways like this;

"Whenever you're new to a label and 17, as I was at the time, you're kind of told what to do," Aguilera, now 21, explains. "I just get really bored with sticking to the norm and having the proper conservative image. That's just so not me. When 'Lady Marmalade' came out, so many executives were like, 'She can't do this.' 'It's too Rockwilder and Missy.' 'It's too urban.' And I was like, 'I'm doing it.' Even with certain outfits that I wear, or speaking openly about my past ... I'm not going to sit there and lie. Whether you like me or hate me, that's me."(mtv.com)

While Britney plays the slut on stage and the nun off stage, Christina is flaunting her sexuality and her sexual needs twenty four-seven. 

As  to whether fans like her or hate her, a recent street poll conducted by Mtv.com showed that most people had the same opinion..

Alex Castro said. "Seriously, she looks like a total ho ...
"She's practically wearing nothing, but I like it," Matthew Morris said
She seems cooler, more of a party girl now," Donald McCarver said. "That's hot."

Given the male population's general consensus, it seems Christina should have come storming out of the gates as a full blown whore three years ago. Even though Christina claims her whoring ways are all natural and her way of keeping it real, one has to question if this is really true.

As the year 2001 winds to a close, album charts that were ruled by boy bands and pop tarts just  a year ago are being dominated by a new wave of  bands with a stripped down rock sound.  Britney's self-titled last album sold only a little over half as many copies as, Oops, I Did it Again (Billboard charts) and recent albums by Mandy Moore, Jessica Simpson and boy band 98degrees have barely made a whimper on the charts.  So with sales down across the board for her style of music, and her career seemingly on the line with a new album, what better way to guarantee some attention and hopefully some albums sales then to stir up some controversy.

It worked for Elvis. It worked for Too Live Crew, and it worked for Ice-T's thrash band, Body Count, so why shouldn't it work for a 21 year old female from Pennsylvania.   Since the release of the, Dirrty video a little over two weeks ago, references and comments have popped up on programs as diverse as The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, to, The View,and œSaturday Night Live.  Nothing like free publicity to get the masses aware of your product. 

This strategy becomes even more suspicious given the answer Christina herself gave when asked on the English program, Live Daily,  if she's the whore she portrays in public, at home;

No, I don't walk around my house in these pants and underpants with 'Dirrty' on them. (laughs) Y'know, I go around my house like everybody with sweatpants or whatever, but I'm an entertainer and, y'know, some of what I do comes out of my work.

So in one interview, she claims that her new image is who she really is, yet in another she says her image is part of being an entertainer.  So which is it Christina, are you a whore, or are you a lady?  While the argument could go either way, the simple answer seems to be that Christina is no more a whore than those girls on the Girls Gone Wild videos.  She knows guys like the way she looks and will use her sexuality with no apologies if it means getting just a little bit of attention. At the same time she is in the transitional faze between being a girl and being a woman who knows what she wants and what she has to do to get where she is going.

The sad part of the whole "is she or isn't she" whore debate is the fact that in this day and age, a talented young singer like Christina Aguilera would have to resort to such lows as wearing leather chaps over a skimpy bikini briefs to get people aware of her music. Given Christina's lyrics, once has to believe she is fine with the sexual ploy just as long as, "you rub me the right way."

I'm starting to think at one time I had even more free time than I do now. *insert catchphrase here*

First off, I guess maybe I should say that use of the word, whore, might have been a bit too much.  The sentiment I was trying to make though, I think is even more relevant today.  We're in this age of powerful women and striving for more equality. While Christina Aguilera's popularity isn't what it was in 2002 when I wrote the initial piece, she's still popular.

After several seasons as a coach on NBC's musical competition show, "The Voice," Christina is currently out on tour supporting her eighth studio album "Liberation." This is her first album in six years. Over the last decade, several new female singers have stepped up to fill the void while Christina was in between albums.  The most popular would include Taylor Swift, Demi Lovato, Katy Perry and Lady Gaga. 

One of the common traits of the above mentioned artists is even while their music is critically and commercially successful, a lot of attention is put on their personal lives or image.  I remember seeing Lady Gaga on the Fame Monster tour. At one point in the show, she performed a song with no band accompaniment; just her at a piano.  She was dressed in a leather bikini. I made the comment to my friend that it was a shame she had to resort to such theatrics as she has a phenomenal voice and should be able to put the focus solely on the music instead of using sex to garner attention.  Not that such thing is new.

Hopefully the day will come when a female artist can stand on the quality of her talent and not have to flaunt her sexuality in order to garner attention. I won't hold my breath but I'll keep waiting.

You May Also Like

0 comments