Music videos are increasingly sexualising and objectifying women, as research from institutes including the American Psychological Association (PDF) (821 KB)🔗 and the UK’s Home Office has shown. So we’ve put together an action checklist to help you start a conversation with your child about how women are portrayed in music videos.
Objectification of women in music videos
Watch any music channel and you're likely to see stars singing suggestive lyrics, dressed in few clothes and wearing lots of make-up. Close-ups of pouting lips, wiggling bottoms, shimmying cleavages and bare, toned stomachs feature heavily too, reinforcing the idea that women have to look – and behave – a certain way to be attractive.
"My daughter sees stuff on telly and thinks she has to look like that," says Jo, a parent who spoke in a recent Home Office inquiry (PDF) (1.6 MB)🔗 into the sexualisation of childhood. "It’s the music videos for her – they’re half naked – do they really need to do that to sell a song?"
If you’ve watched any music videos recently you may well feel the same, but these videos are an ever-increasing part of young people’s lives. The Home Office inquiry reported that in 2002 young people watched an estimated nine hours of music videos each week. Fast-forward to 2010, and this had jumped to a shocking two-and-a-half hours each day.
Meanwhile, Ofcom’s research into media🔗 and children reported in 2012, that 40% of 12- to 15-year-olds watch or download music videos every week, with ready access via mobile devices.