Fashion & Music: freedom of expression
“Women are making a positive fashion statement with their bodies”
Flesh-flaunting female celebrities can be viewed as either empowered or undignified. Whether we see thigh skimming shorts and nipple cresting tops as offensive, or not, we cannot deny that it works to sell records and tours. This infers that the women out there, unlike the political commentators who condemn this kind of appearance, are welcoming the opportunity to celebrate their bodies. The confidence these artists exude when performing insinuates that they are celebratory of their sexuality and turn this into a style of their own.
There was the controversy over the filming of Rihanna’s music video “we found love” on a farm in Ulster. She was ordered to cover up by a Christian farmer who took offense to her “inappropriate behaviour” while filming the video on his land. Despite the video attracting criticism from dogmatic reporters, who questioned its suggestive sexual nature, fans were not deterred and the sexy shoot helped the singer secure her eleventh number one single. Female music artists are tactically dressing to shock and gain attention.
Popular culture reporters are often quick to say that the hyper sexualised image of music celebrities degrades women and threatens the innocence of children. Surely it’s better to teach young people to love their bodies rather than hide from them. Rihanna and Beyoncé are both women who have real thighs and real bums but wear shorts that expose their natural bodies, so could this be conceived as a more modern and honest approach to role modelling?
It’s hard to deny the stimulation that the fashion industry has received because of the surge in popularity for female musicians. The current trend is all about being edgy and pushing boundaries, this has helped many items like crop tops and hot pants see their revival in magazines and on the high street.
For artists it may be about marketing their music and self-image, however, for young girls it’s about freedom of expression and fashion. One of the important lessons these celebrities can teach young females is to realise that we have the right to feel safe and confident whilst retaining the ability to wear whatever we want.
By Freya Bromley