(Featured Photo: Robin Thicke, T.I., and Pharrell Williams surrounded by three women in basically undergarments in the “Blurred Lines” music video. Retrieved from the censored music video.)
Discussing women’s sexuality has always been an awkward topic for me, because I honestly don’t know how I feel about it. Many popular culture icons and references seem to have women presented in a way that, in my opinion, hypersexualizes women. While I think that many of us can agree that Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” music video and lyrics are extremely derogatory to women, these comments aren’t reciprocated when females sexualize their bodies in music videos. Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda” music video has garnered a lot of attention primarily because of how scandalous the music video was, yet many women contend that she’s embracing her femininity and taking her sexuality into her own hands. Where I get confused is that while I think she is embracing her body, Minaj still seems to be hypersexualizing her body. Minaj isn’t the only one who is victim to this, because our popular culture is full of it.
As a female, I want to empower women as much as I can, but I always get confused about how we should present our body and sexuality. I don’t want to say that certain outfits are “asking for it” because issues like rape should never be defined on what a woman was wearing. I don’t want to say that we aren’t given the freedom to wear what we want because women should be allowed to express themselves in however they choose. But I don’t understand how it’s empowering women to continue to present ourselves in ways that I feel is continuing to degrade women. In my opinion, feminine icons in media are and should be appreciated for their craft, not their bodies—but is this the effect of societal pressures? I admit that my opinion may contradict that of the feminist movement, but I have difficulties finding how continuing to present oneself sexually can be empowering to other women? It may make some women more empowered to not care what others think about themselves, but personally, I still feel that these presentations of women just continue this sexual oppression these same women are fighting.