Female Sexual Tendencies In Music Videos

Music today is a multimedia art. Visuals contribute to the product or art as much as the auditory element does. This causes a variety of combinations and balances. Music videos exemplify two truths. One is sexual objectification, and traditional gender constructions. The other is gender deconstruction and artistic expression through video. Music interpretation has changed with the advent of the music video. It is more of a personal activity than listening to music or watching television. The classic female objectification is true in popular music videos today, showing we haven’t made progress against gender constructions in popular media.

In popular music, although females don’t look the same, they have a similar spectacle about them. Scantily clad, and provocatively dancing, their image is the priority. It arguably takes precedence over the music itself. This holds true in music videos. When you break apart the concept of a music video, it proves that image is taking precedence over the music. The idea is to combine an aesthetic with the music, which shouldn’t be necessary because the music is the art aiming to transcend an idea or feeling to the listener. When you add visuals you activate a different part of the brain and it becomes something entirely different. A different art form altogether.


There is value in a combination of image and music, but in popular music there isn’t a balance. Females in popular music videos are about their image and the spectacle. They become known for their image more than for their music. This seems like a step backwards, but some think it is necessary. In a predominantly male industry, an easy way for a female to get record label attention could be with image. Executives have capitalized on younger markets, and they understand that sex sells. This young market watching music videos are at the age where they are shaping their gender identities and sexual attitudes. With major record labels profits are priority. It is a business, not an art, where profits are the priority. It is a business, not an art.

Works Cited

Shugart, Helene A. and Waggoner, Catherine Egley. A Bit Much: Spectacle as Discursive Resistance.
Kalof, Linda, Dilemmas of Femininity: Gender Differences in the Social Construction of Sexual Imagery , Sociological Quarterly, 34:4 (1993:Nov.) p.639