I am in the habit of turning the tv to VH1 as soon as I shut off the alarm. The noise and light reminds me that I need to get out of bed, and since music videos have an average length of four minutes, I can calculate what time it is by counting how many songs have played.
This morning, Gavin Degraw’s “I’m in Love With A Girl” was the song that woke me up (translation: got me into the shower). It’s one of my favorites – peppy, easy to sing along with, and slightly romantic.
While I was dressing, I noticed a very different song playing. At first I wasn’t sure if it was a song or a commercial for atonal exhalations. This was the first time that I’d seen part of the video for The Pussycat Dolls “When I Grow Up”. For those of you lucky enough to not have seen this piece of crap, here is an excerpt of the lyrics:
When I grow up
I wanna be famous
I wanna be a star
I wanna be in movies
When I grow up
I wanna see the world
Drive nice cars
I wanna have boobies
Be careful what you wish for
‘Cause you just might get it
Yeah, you just might get it
Yeah, you just might get it.
The video itself didn’t have a concept, but if your group’s main theme is “We can’t sing, dance, write music or play instruments, but if you buy our cd’s, I’ll take off my shirt” then the bar is admittedly set low. There are about 6 of them, chosen so as to fulfill all of the stereotypical male fantasies – redhead, blonde, exotic one, etc. Only one of them sings (and her solo career was a spectacular flop, so she’s not star material individually either).
I wonder if the Dolls have any self-respect. Sure they can lip sync to lyrics that state that they are ‘hot’, ‘raw’, and ‘fun’, but when it comes down to it, are they satisfied with the career they have chosen for themselves? Do they think about the fact that somewhere is an eight year old wearing leopard print and singing about wanting to have breasts? Do they want children to look at them and think “Being in Hollywood is the best thing that I could ever do with my life”? Do they know that they are contributing to the cheapening of sexual behavior?
People say that the Dolls aren’t doing anything wrong. I contest. They are not doing anything illegal. They are doing things that are morally objectionable. They are teaching kids that it is fine to sell your body to get money and fame. They are showing women that if you are pretty, it doesn’t matter what’s inside your head. They are teaching men that it is a good thing to be subjugated by a pair of breasts. They are teaching those same men that those same breasts are the only two things worthwhile about a woman. (Unless you’re an ass man, and in that case, look at Doll number four!)
I admit to some questionable taste in music. In middle school, I was a huge *N Sync fan. Earlier than that, one of my first cds was Hanson. (Yes…MMMBop.) However, I would like to offer a differentiation: Some bad music is just silly (boybands, Hannah Montana, and almost everything you see on American Idol). Other bad music is downright harmful, and this qualifies.