Charlotte Church speaking at the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Radio 6 Music’s annual John Peele lectures, at the Music Festival at Lowry in Stanford about women in the music industry cautions Miley Cyrus that she is being heavily exploited by the male dominated music industry. Church believes that the twenty years old is not aware of the real consequences of her recent onstage performances, especially the one at the MTV’s video music awards ceremony.
Charlotte Church said that the music industry is being managed by middle-aged managed men, expert in exploiting women, especially young girls, in their teens or barely out of their teens. She is of the view that these men instead of promoting music, in reality objectify these girls into sex objects.
Quoting her own example she said that when she was twenty years old, the men in control of the hypersexualized music industry made her do things that she regrets doing now. She said that the same people who were all praise for her back then, now call her a whore and a slut and refuse her work, fully cognizant of the fact that it was them that pushed her to wear flimsy dresses and sing bawdy songs, in the first place.
She believes that the same is happening with Miley. At the moment Miley is basking in the glory of her new avatar, but according to Charlotte Church she has perhaps gone too far in carrying out her “Wrecking Ball” and the twerking persona, unawares that in a couple of years time, her antics on and off the stage will come back to haunt her as the worst of nightmares imaginable.
Her warning was not limited to Miley and Rihaana, but to all the young girls in the music industry. Church cautions:
“When I was 19 or 20 I found myself in this position, being pressurized into wearing more and more revealing outfits.
The lines that I had spun at me again and again – generally by middle-aged men – were: ‘You look great, you’ve got a great body, why not show it off?’
“Or: ‘Don’t worry, it will look classy, it will look artistic.’ I felt deeply uncomfortable about the whole thing, but I was often reminded by record label executives just whose money was being spent.”
Church also endorsed Annie Lennox’s view that as the movies have an age rating system, so should the music videos, as nowadays most of what is being fed to the public is more of xx porn than music. Church , further said, that these hyper-sexual music videos are not at all suitable for for a teen audience, but are more appropriate for the mature adult viewers.
Miley, it should also be kept in mind is having an ongoing feud with Sinead O’Connors, who has even written her a letter to the effect that she is being abused by the money minting executives of the music industry, but Miley is having none of it, as she finds this advise offensive. In Miley’s opinion, Sinead is jealous of the phenomenal popularity she has gained because of her latest songs as is apparent from the praise of hundred of thousands of fans world wide. Church in her lecture highlighted this complacency as a complex that accompanies Miley’s performances and cautioned her that in the long run this complex will adversely effect her reputation as a professional.
Church reiterated that these lewd and lurid performances do charm the audience for a short time but what essentially remains with them is the singing prowess of the artist, which by the way is a prerequisite if a singer is to survive in this cut throat competitive music industry managed by perverts and con artists.
Therefore, it is in the best interest of Miley to seriously pay heed to all these possible dangers that Church cautions her of, if she is to make a lasting impression in the music world and not to run after temporary mirages and tap dance to the whims of the exploiters in this sexist (under) world of music.
An Op-ed written By: Iftikhar Tariq Khanzada