Music videos. Does anyone else remember a time when there weren't any? When artists would perform...well, lip sync...their songs on a music show like Solid Gold? I matured in the 80's when music videos were new and I was often a bit disgusted at the portrayal of women in those videos. What I wanted to see were more sexy, strong, confident, women that were not just playthings for men, or eye candy. There are probably many videos that suit that image but honestly I don't remember seeing them.
What stuck in my mind for years was the Robert Palmer video for Addicted to Love. This one featured models with mostly sheer shirts and no bras pretending to play instruments in the background. They were expressionless and wearing heavy makeup as well. I would watch this video and think about how awful it was that women were simply backdrops for men and how this needed to change.
Funny thing...years later Shania Twain released a video for her song Man! I Feel Like A Woman spoofing the Robert Palmer video, and I loved it! I loved how the men were expressionless, wearing heavy makeup, and sheer shirts. Here were a bunch of pretty men designed to be only window dressing like the girls in the RP video. Finally someone reversed the roles!
I even liked how the camera panned the men's pecs in the ST video like it did in the RP video. Which reminded me of something else to ponder: one article I read said that men (and the media) view women in pieces. Like a chest here, legs there, that sort of thing. Even the phrasing - 'piece of ass' and the like. Then I read another article that said women also view women in pieces, but view men as whole beings. So I wonder which came first, did women always view each other in bits and pieces and the media took advantage of that or did the media create the partial view of women?
And for your viewing pleasure I bring you the two videos: