Opinion: Stop Sexualizing Musicians

By Sian Last

Musician are sexy, I will concede that.  In fact, I will whole-heartedly agree with almost any other girl who swoons over the band of their choice, but there is a limit.  So often members of the “indie music scene” look down on the sexualization of stars like the Pussy Cat Dolls, Usher, or Shakira or make fun of the idolatry practiced by the screaming fans of Justin Bieber and One Direction.  But, let’s be real—we are no better.

By even commenting on the physical attractiveness, or in some cases, unattractiveness of a musician, one only serves to disregard the talent of musicians, reducing them to their physical appearance.  In short, it should not matter. Yet more and more I find myself in surrounded by girls uttering the same words you would hear at any Twilight show: “He is so sexy.” “I want to marry him.” “I would have his babies!!” Let’s be real…would you?

And for that matter, would it even be attractive to hear these things shouted at you by faceless strangers in a dark club whilst you are trying to perform songs that actually mean something to you?  Though I cannot say I have ever had the pleasure of experiencing such an onslaught, I would imagine the experience would be a bit disconcerting.  Of course, many musicians, I’m sure, appreciate the flattery and take it in good fun, but it always seems to me that newer acts have a harder time responding to such comments from the crowd, often just ignoring the shouts all together.

And groupies.  Oh, the groupies.  Any viewer of Almost Famous cannot help but pity the life of groupie.  I cannot speak too adeptly on the issue (due to lack of experience) but I cannot help but to think the whole living situation to be physically and emotionally degrading.

So, girls, why do we do it?

Is it because we expect our rock idols to pick us out of the crowd, whisking us up onto stage only to make sweet, sweet love to us on their super swanky tour bus after the show? Do we just want to fall madly in love?  Do we hope to somehow share in another person’s fame?

And for that matter, what makes musicians so damn attractive in the first place?

Honestly, I think it has something to do with the envy of musical talent—the ability to connect with other human beings through the magic that is music, sharing in a bond that no other art form seems to have the capacity to provide.  And, being accepted and cherished for what you, as an individual, can conjure from nothingness.  So then even though me or you may not be able to sing like Bing Crosby or play guitar like Keith Richards, if you are loved by someone who can, it somehow makes you equal in worth.  Doesn’t being desired by someone valued make you valued, too?

If I am in fact right in this reasoning, I almost feel a bit sorry for the stars we lust after with such fervor.  For, it is not the actual members of this upper echelon of artistic society that we desire, it’s the idea they represent.

And screaming at an actual person because of an outdated persona we place on them seems a little wrong to me.  How about you?


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