Dear Justin Timberlake: Naked Ladies Don't Make Your Music Video Art
The latest way to "shock" music video viewers? Nope, it's not making gazers feel like they're tripping out on drugs while they're watching, a la Miley Cyrus and "We Can't Stop." It's putting not just scantily clad ladies, but fully nude women, all over your video. Yep, that's a naked lady in Justin TImberlake's "Tunnel Vision."
She gets nakeder.
And it's one way to immediately lose the respect of your fans, too.
While Robin Thicke was the first guy to start the "dapper guy in a suit surrounded by clotheless models" trend, with a March YouTube video that was banned then later restored; Justin Timberlake's "Tunnel Vision," which debuted this month, features even more naked ladies -- this time, they're not just topless, they're doing the full monty. Forget claims by Rape Crisis that the lyrics in Thicke's clip reinforce victim-blaming in rape cases. Pairing lines such as "I hate these blurred lines / I know you want it" with images of naked women prancing around wasn't just acceptable to Thicke -- his wife, Paula Patton, also has called the video sexy. Score one less for the ladies -- maybe she was just trying to seem more secure with her "I'll look all I want" husband.
Right now, we're left to wonder how Timberlake's other half, Jessica Biel, is feeling about "Tunnel Vision." The song talks about how Timberlake is enamored with only one lady, so the juxtaposition of several hot models wearing nothing seems odd.
Despite all the hotness surrounding him, Timberlake is still dedicated to Biel. Okay. But there are a hundred better ways that message could have been conveyed than objectifying women.
How can videos like these be considered artistic? In "Blurred Lines," the naked ladies are dancing for the enjoyment of a group of men; "Tunnel Vision" has them dancing over Timberlake's face. These guys are superstars and they feel entitled to gorgeous harems of ladies who are paid to stay thin. Not only are the ladies horrible role models for young women viewing YouTube, the clips also help perpetuate unrealistic views of how women should be.
Sure, porn is accessible anywhere, but integrating naked models into music videos just for the heck of it only helps solidify stereotypes, hurt self-esteem, and devalue the work of the artists.
Lots of men will love these videos for the eye candy on display, but some viewers will think that expecting sexiness is the norm and ladies who aren't willing to show off their skin are just prudes.