Music videos are increasingly sexualizing and objectifying women, as research from institutes including the American Psychological Association (PDF) (802 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, scantily-clad and wearing lots of makeup. 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 TV and thinks she has to look like that,” says Jo, a parent who spoke in a recent Home Office investigation (PDF) (1,610 KB)🔗 into the sexualization 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 might just feel the same, but these videos are an ever-increasing part of young people’s lives. The Home Office investigation reported that in 2002, young people watched an estimated 9 hours of music videos each week. Fast-forward to 2010, and this had jumped to a shocking 2.5 hours each day.
Meanwhile, the UK’s Office of Communications’ research into media🔗 and children reported in 2012 that 40% of 12- to 15-year-olds watch or download music videos every week, with easy access via mobile devices.