The Spoil of America- From Midriffs to Twerking

We all remember the year that Britney Spears made the video Hit Me Baby One More Time. We remember because she went from being an innocent singer to a provocative pop princess.  She emerged from her young years on The Mickey Mouse Club.  It shook our view of young women singers.  We remember her because she showed … her midriff and society went crazy for it. Whether it was backlash from angry parents or cheers from supportive fans, there was reaction. And I don’t blame her.  It put her on the map.  She was popular with the younger crowd and encompassed a genre of fun and fearless; much like Madonna transformed tunes in the 80’s with her breast cones and seductive song and dance.

As Britney grew up she needed to obtain a new crowd’s popularity to keep herself on the map, she had to up the ante.  I thought she did it considerably well.  Now less is always more, but the marketing was strategic to shift from innocent to dangerous.  And you know what, it worked.

Welcome 2014, and Miss Miley Cyrus.  Now it’s not her problem that to get the same societal attention that Britney did she had to keep with the times.  Midriffs were a thing of the past and in came twerking. She was aging out of Hannah Montana so her choices became leaving stardom and collecting from the Hannah monument or to continue a career. In a society that is saturating itself with bigger, better, stronger, faster…. we are eating ourselves.

Even in the days when Britney and Christina Aguilera were pop queens their lyrics still brought in sexual expression subtly and power to women’s voices in creative ways.  Christina was a Genie in a Bottle and you had to rub her the right way.  Take it the way you like, but wanting one last chance (hit me baby) and genies in bottles discretely sang messages.  Lyrics about popping molly and Lady Gaga‘s Do What You Want with my body scream messages that make me wonder: have we lost (pardon me) our fucking minds.  We are spoiling America. We are doing a very specific job of spoiling the women in America.  Justin Timberlake emerged from the same early TV show as Britney and Christina.  His popularity began in the boy band NSync and still continues today, but when was the last time he had to show his midriff let alone twerk to get our attention? Let me answer that for you, never.

So where did this all come from?  I rented the movie Don Jon last evening.  I got more than I bargained for but I don’t offend easily.  So my intrigue had me watch it.  I believe Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s intention when he created the film was to explore sex and porn addiction. 40 days and 40 nights explored the same kind of addiction (although it did it subtly).  He created a story line that breaks the main characters porn/sex addiction by reminding him that overindulgence is bad and pornography is not real sex anymore. The character had a better connection with porn then he did having sex with his girlfriend.  Step in Julianne Moore‘s character who is an older woman with a sense of humor stemmed from a sad situation.  (The movie was all over the place but that is besides the point.)  She sets the tone for the change.  Which brings up my next point: The problem with pornography.  The same thing that happen when shifting from midriff to twerking took place in the porn industry.  Missionary sex began with mixing it up with a new position or two. It was scandalous for the mail man to come over to a single woman’s house, enter the house, then enter the woman.  Then …. literally all hell breaks loose.  In comes the threesome.  Because when did having sex with one person at a time not sexually satisfy us? I will tell you why.  We live in a fantasy world of expectations that literally don’t exist and they are brought to you by: the media.  But we all buy into them because we are an overindulged, unsatisfied, spoiled society.  Woman may feel the need to submit to the ridiculous standards.

In a society that is saturating itself with bigger, better, stronger, faster…. we are eating ourselves.  I just hope it saturates itself at some point.  How are we going to teach our children to be conscious in a society that is so unconscious?

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