A lesson in sexy from ‘The Bangles’

23 Aug
Stuck for something (decent) to watch on TV last week, I flicked onto a music video channel playing top 100 party hits of the ’80s. The video was mega hit ‘Walk Like an Egyptian’ by all-girl group ‘The Bangles’. I stopped for a minute to watch. You can watch the video by clicking here. A few things struck me..

1) The women are fully clothed
2) They can sing AND they play all the instruments
3) There’s no simulation of, or reference to, sex either in the song or the clip

Despite being around 20 years old, it was a complete breath of fresh air. Even though the song is basically a load of light-hearted nonsense, the girls absolutely rock it out. They’re so confident – and to my mind – sexy, without trying to be.

Now, let’s compare them to the current crop of female talent topping the charts – Katy Perry, Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, Madonna, Christina Aguilera. Now, let’s look at the similarities between the current crowd.
1) They are rarely fully clothed
2) They can sing but don’t play instruments. (with the exception of Gaga – she plays a mean piano)
3) They constantly refer to, or simulate, sex in their songs and their videos

Where did it all go so wrong? These days, the content on music video channels verges on soft porn. What happened to the strong, confident, talented women like the girls from ‘The Bangles’ who didn’t have to rely on overt sexuality for success?

Of course, there’s one big exception to the current ‘sex-sells’ rule – and that’s Adele. Her hit ‘Somone Like You’ has spent weeks and weeks at number one. She’s comfortable with her curves and doesn’t resort to revealing clothes to sell her songs. She just relies on her awesome voice, lyrics and melody. And isn’t that what music should be about?


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