Rashida Jones slams what she calls the ‘pornification’ of female pop stars and the ‘oversaturation’ of the pop music industry with sex in a new essay for Glamour.
The Parks and Recreations star says she was ‘shocked by the responses’ she got for saying back in October that female celebs should ‘stop acting by whores’ … and her essay did not offer any kind of apology for that.
Instead, Jones writes:
My hashtag was “stopactinglikewhores.” Key word, acting. Like I said, I’m not criticizing anyone’s real sex life; as George Michael tells us, “Sex is natural, sex is fun.” But the poles, the pasties, the gyrating: This isn’t showing female sexuality; this is showing what it looks like when women sell sex. (Also, let’s be real. Every woman’s sexuality is different. Can all of us really be into stripper moves? The truth is, for every woman who loves the pole, there’s another who likes her feet rubbed. But in pop culture there’s just one way to be. And so much of it feels staged for men, not for our own pleasure.)
She then went ahead to use Miley Cyrus and Nicki Minaj as examples of ‘pornified’ pop stars:
What else ties these pop stars together besides, perhaps, their entangled G-strings? Their millions of teen-girl fans. Even if adult Miley and Nicki have ownership of their bodies, do the girls imitating them have the same agency? Where do we draw the line between teaching them freedom of sexual expression and pride in who they are on the inside? Are we even allowed to draw a line?
Some people think not. Sinéad O’Connor got blowback after writing an open letter to Miley Cyrus, warning her of the dangers of her constant sexual imagery: “The music business…will prostitute you for all you are worth…and when you wind up in rehab… ‘they’ will be sunning themselves on their yachts in Antigua, which they bought by selling your body, and you will find yourself very alone.” Miley responded by basically calling her crazy.
Jones goes on to request that ‘as we say goodbye to 2013 and wish for a slightly more clothed, more original 2014,’ music executives should ‘please try to apply some of your own personal moral parameters’ while marketing young pop stars. Also, women should ‘at least try to discuss the larger implications of female sexuality on pop culture without shaming each other’ while men should ‘please talk to us about how all this makes you feel’ instead of sitting around to ‘let women beat one another up while you intermittently and guiltily enjoy the show.’
And finally, Jones addressed pop stars like Miley Cyrus, Rihanna and the like who claim they are no role models:
Please stop saying you don’t want to be role models. Because, guess what: You are. You want to sell millions of albums? You want to sell out a tour? You depend on the millions of people who adore you. So maybe just consider some sort of moral exchange program, in the same way that carbon credits make people feel better about driving an SUV. Go ahead and make videos in which your ass cheeks slap water around in slow motion; go ahead and tweet pictures of your undercarriage. But perhaps every eleventh song or video, do something with some more clothes on? Maybe even a song that empowers women to feel good about some other great quality we have? Like, I don’t know…our empathy, or childbearing skills, or ability to forgive one another for mean tweets?