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'I cried when I saw my first Pussycat Doll costume'

(68 Posts)
WillieWaggledagger Sat 13-Aug-11 10:47:31

Interview with Nicole Scherzinger in Marie Claire (i know, a bastion of feminist ideals etc)

The bit that made me so sad and angry was in the last paragraph:

'"I cried when I saw my first Pussycat Doll costume. It was my first photo shoot, and I wasn't used to wearing clothes like that," Scherzinger says of her skimpy outfits. Remind her of the catsuit she was sewn into for a performance last year on British X Factor, though, and the former theater nerd laughs at how far she's come. "Crazy, isn't it? My friends from high school were like, 'Oh, my gosh, our sweet little Nicole!'" she says. "It's growing up, though, right? I'm a woman, and it's part of owning what you are."'

lubeybooby Sat 13-Aug-11 10:50:15

Yes I saw it and thought the same thing... her instinct, and initial reaction, sadness was only too right, then she was totally conditioned out of it.

WillieWaggledagger Sat 13-Aug-11 10:53:08

it's portrayed as a triumph (over 'prudishness'?)

KRIKRI Sat 13-Aug-11 11:37:05

This reminds me of an interview in (I think) SFX magazine with Karen Gillan, who plays Amy Pond in Dr Who. She was talking about the short skirts and tight clothing that her character wears in the programme and said she doesn't dress like that in real life because "I wouldn't have the confidence to dress like that." I remember at least twice she equated self-confidence with the ability to wear skimpy, tight, sexualised clothing without getting upset. I doubt she was even conscious of the message that was sending out to readers. Ok, my 30 something DH isn't their core readership, but young boys and some girls are.

TryLikingClarity Sun 14-Aug-11 08:18:43

I thought she worked as a pole dancer, lap dancer, some sort of sexy dancer type job before she started in PCD?

I must be wrong as this article (definitive as I'm sure it is) doesn't mention it. Plus, in that case she'd hardly gurn when she saw a skimpy costume.

Tis a pity she and the other girls didn't say, "nah, I'm not wearing that, add more fabric or a nice cardigan."

But of course, to be young and sexy in media = being stripped of clothes or frolicking around in clothes that'd catch your death.

LilBB Sun 14-Aug-11 13:28:47

A quick google of images of Edens Crush (the band she was in prior to PCD) shows her in some rather skimpy outfit. Like a bondage like bikini on the from of FHM.

KRIKRI Sun 14-Aug-11 14:13:07

I think there is something about the music industry that makes it pretty clear that if you are a woman and want to succeed, you have to take off as many clothes as possible and be good at gyrating around in a sexual manner. Otherwise, forget success.

Yes, she could have said, "no thanks, I'd prefer to wear a kaftan," but it's not like it is a completely open and valid choice.

What I think is most unsavoury about this "normalisation" of extreme sexualisation of women (not just in entertainment) is that it's peddled as a route to empowerment and it's a valid choice. If you don't feel comfortable with it, well, there's something wrong with YOU babe.

NormanTebbit Sun 14-Aug-11 14:24:52

Tell that to PJ Harvey, Tori Amos, Kim Deal, Suzanne Vega...

They are the exceptions not the rule Norman (and are marketed as being "different"). Most women in the music industry are highly sexualised. It is very sad that this woman basically had her feelings invalidated and was then conditioned to think that she was wrong and it is perfectly OK to wear next to nothing!

KRIKRI Sun 14-Aug-11 15:00:15

Exactly HDS. I think you'll also find a significant difference in the size of paycheque between say, Tori Amos and Britney Spears or Kim Deal and Rihanna.

PenguinArmy Sun 14-Aug-11 20:52:44

wearing skimpy clothes is 'growing up' sad

oddly I found the reverse to be true

TryLikingClarity Mon 15-Aug-11 08:08:41

Well, wearing next to nothing is being grown up if the singer in question is thin, toned and usually tanned.

Strange how they don't require or demand that other singers who perhaps are older, pasty skinned and a bit wobbly prance around in their scanties.

It's all about who they can market as a commodity, and in what way. Don't be fooled into thinking it's anything other than marketing.

It isn't just marketing. It is sexualisation too. Male artists aren't marketed in this way. They get to wear t-shirts, jeans etc not hotpants and skimpy vests.

mskatemc Mon 15-Aug-11 11:47:27

Nice that the top albums recently have been by two women who don't conform to this. They are still the exception but perhaps will encourage new performers starting out - or even the venal music industry itself.

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Mon 15-Aug-11 12:28:29

What NormanTebbit said.

Although I'm not bothered by people leaping about in their vest and pants on stage. I would do so happily if I could dance. I'm an adult. I'm sexual. I don't see the problem with that. Which isn't to say I've never thought "oh for goodness sake put it away " (about performers of both sexes) when it gets a bit daft.

I't's growing up, though, right?... it's part of owning what you are. The fist bit seems really sad (as if being a woman is all about wearing hot pants and that's it) but only if taken in isolation.

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Mon 15-Aug-11 12:31:00

<ahem> first bit.

I disagree btw that sexuality isn't used to market male performers. It absolutely is.

Quodlibet Mon 15-Aug-11 12:38:16

Yes but there's an embedded message that we should all aspire to being 'able' to take our clothes off so we can run around in public in our pants being 'sexy' <Gok Wan, I'm looking at you> which lots of women don't question the logic of. I'm thinking of that recent thread where a woman was asking if she should pose nude for a photographer and lots of the responses were 'if you've got the body for it, why not?' or 'I would if I had the body for it'. I think it's a horrible thing that we get taught that if we're lucky enough (or work hard enough) to be thin then lucky us! we get to prance about for the boys to ogle. Eugh.

Yes sexuality is used to sell men - they just don't have to take nearly all their clothes off to do it (although I am sure you can come up with some examples where they have).

And I agree with Quodilbert.

Btw I don't think it is particularly healthy selling any person's sexuality.

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Mon 15-Aug-11 13:15:26

I kind of agree with Quodilbert, too.

Popular music though has always been about sex. The two go hand in hand. I'm not sure it's unhealthy.

As a rule, men don't prance about in hot pants (Andy Bell would be an exception) but they've long leapt around bare chested.

joaninha Mon 15-Aug-11 13:38:16

Yes men do sometimes around bare chested, however I'm sure if you did a study you would find that women are usually required to show more skin, from music videos to tv presenters.

Additionally men who show off their bodies are not judged in the same way that women are. The media encourages women to strip off. Yet when they do so these lose respect in our eyes in a way that men don't, IMO. We have a plethora of words for women that go out into the street scantily dressed but not so many for men who walk around with their tops off showing off tattoos across their bodies (and why should we?). Certainly no one ever believes that they are "asking for it".

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Mon 15-Aug-11 14:29:19

You're right joaninha - they're not judged in the same way.

But often imo (not on this thread, but elsewhere on MN) objecting to the way some women dress is another manifestation of that.

gapants Mon 15-Aug-11 14:34:39

www.fanpix.net/0081567/012657966/eden-39-s-crush-picture.html

picture of edens crush, modest!

KRIKRI Mon 15-Aug-11 15:52:07

Jenai Marr, I think sexuality is an inherent part of popular music. The majority of pop and rock songs since the late 1950's have been about relationships, so directly or indirectly about sex. But whether you are talking about Elvis and his swaying hips, Prince mimicking sex acts on stage or overtly sexual "styling" of male artists today, it was never about their objectification.

Conversely, with female artists, their sexuality is portrayed as objectification - much like female actors on pornography. Their style of dress, actions on stage, etc., is styled to "compliment" their voice or playing with an image of a woman who can be possessed, used sexually and is willing to be used sexually.

Even in music videos for male artists, more often than not, you see them fully clothed alongside very scantily clad female actors or models and the interaction is one of power and control (e.g. man is powerful, woman is controlled.) Heck, even Beyonce's video about women ruling the world (as if) ends with all the women saluting the (clearly superior) men. Gag.

Yes, there are exceptions, like Adele for example. But for every female artist who doesn't don the uniform of a Times Square New York Circa 1970 stripper/prostitute, you'll fine dozens, maybe hundreds who will - because they know that will improve their chances (all be they still slim) of success in the industry.

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