Has anyone else been getting catatonically bored of all the ruckus surrounding the music videos of Miley and her merry (where merry means naked) little pals? Popsh*t has really hit its apogee in the last few months: Rihanna chair-humped her pudendum off in 'Pour It Up'; Miley revealed mecanophiliac tendencies in 'Wrecking Ball', by fanny-friending said 'wrecking ball' (likely to be next year's newest OED entry); and of course, in veritable music video myth by now, mega-babe, Emily Ratajowski (now enjoying an impressive wave of success) gyrated around an asexual Robin Thicke in 'Blurred Lines'. Just on a side note, if anyone was *concerned* that Miley might disappoint at last night's EMA Awards, just Google her outfit. I think she delivered.
There's been a slew of articles written on the subject of these overworked and underdressed popstars in their early twenties. Should they be role models? Or is it wrong to heap pressure upon them, just because they are in the public eye. Is it time for them to cover up? Or are they entitled to their freedom of expression, sartorially or otherwise. Are they on the precipice of a Britney-style meltdown? Or are they in full control and manipulating us, not the other way round. I mean good lord, the sheer volume of debates. These opinions have been vibrating around the media with the same sense of urgency as a new pair of breasts on The Only Way Is Essex.
Opinions may be divided, but the one universal truth appeared to be that as a parent (which I'm not), you are never ever going to yearn for your pre-pubescent child to learn how to simulate sex with inanimate objects c/o MTV - "Hey, Mummy, look what I'm doing with the remote control!" they trill, whilst you look on with horror. It's natural for a child to discover their sexuality, but it should be at their body and their mind's own discretion, not force-fed upon them like some sort of underage Tinder foie gras.
Finally, this week, something seemingly sensible was pitted as a solution; something which didn't condemn every popstar with Madonna-like aspirations and a penchant for jiggling her giblets, whilst also protecting a future generation who are already dangerously susceptible to hyper-sexual sociopathy as it is, thanks to the internet's emotional abyss. The solution seems simple: graphic music videos should now have a cinema-esque ratings system. Rewind&Reframe - lobbying the music industry about videos which are sexist or racist - is one of many pressure groups, including former popstar Annie Lennox, who are imploring the government to create legislation to this effect.
There is a glaring problem, though. The problem is two-fold. Firstly, this is not the first time it's been suggested. Back in 2011, the BBC reported that a review commissioned by David Cameron had revealed that music videos should have ratings. And in those two years since..... nothing has happened. Ho hum. Videos weren't anything like as explicit in 2011, either. Nor in 2012, infact. 2013 has truly been *THE YEAR* for cinematic sexifiers. (That said, I will never forget the impact of Xtina's chaps-laden 'Dirty'.) Sony's music video platform, Vevo (YouTube bans a lot of the explicit content) has had the horn big time this year. The second problem, of course, is that you cannot stop under-18's viewing material that they wish to see. It is literally impossible to track what they are doing outside of the familial home, away from firewalls. Gather enough determined kids with smartphones and somebody will crack the code. Plus, don't you remember the days when ratings just made you even more desperate the see the film? A film rated 18 was enough to make you pant with excitement, fidgety and saucer-eyed ahead of the inevitable rumpy pumpy and gore hiding behind that sexy little rating. I fear that official rating censors will just make kids more determined to see Ri Ri with her keks off.
Let's also remember that Instagram has no age limit. Your kid may not be able to access MTV, or Vevo, but even before she's out of her trainer bra, or his Spiderman Y-Fronts, s/he's probably seen Kimmy K's bodacious ass in a barely-there white swimsuit. If s/he felt like it, s/he could then click onto Twitter and see Kanye respond to said Insta-tease "I'M COMING HOME NOW", leaving him or her with little doubt about how Nori was born. That ass had something to do with it, your little darling thinks sagely. Meanwhile your little dude thinks that in order to get a hot pre-schooler, he has to sexually objectify her -- after she's posted a picture of her bottie, of course.
That's the thing. The modern world is a total minefield to bring up kids in. The technological developments have all but destroyed parental trust and the ability to bring your children up in an innocent, non-judgemental world. We know this, we know this - of course. We talk about it enough. Rating music videos, as honourable as that solution sounds, can't change any of that. I strongly believe that our only choice is to educate the future generation, so that they can make empowering choices, armed with the knowledge that there are a myriad of ways to express themselves. We can't - and shouldn't want to, unless we adhere to a prescriptivist version of society - stop the future Mileys' and Rihannas' of the world from twerking into public consciousness, but perhaps we could try and redress the balance. After all, Katy Perry is currently the most successful popstar in the world and she's about as kitschily non-humpy as Taylor Swift. There's something to think about, kids.