To Ban or not to Ban… Nudity in Music Videos

I wasn’t going to write this blog, but one of my fellow bloggers/ author begged me to do it.

So here we go!

We’ve all seen the videos where the women are dressed in the skimpiest fashions you’ve ever laid eyes on. And every year, the fabric covers less and less.

I remember saying to myself one day, “They might as well be buck naked.”

Well… the nakedness has made its way to the videos. C’mon, we all knew it was going to happen sooner or later.

The two videos I’m going to share with you are Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke featuring Pharrell Williams and T.I. AND Tunnel Vision by Justin Timberlake featuring Timberland. Both videos are rife with boobage, which is why they have sparked so much controversy.

In my opinion, neither artist needed to go this far to draw people to their music. They are both great musicians, who have proved it time and time again.

So why take it there?

More exposure, I guess?

It can be taken many ways, which I’m sure it has. It’s difficult to be appalled by it though. Why? Women’s bodies have been exploited in this manner for years, and will continue to be exploited in years to come. It happens with men too, but we don’t make a big deal about that, since it’s not done as often.

With that being the case, does videos with topless women pull in more viewers? It apparently does. Blurred Lines pulled in over 86 million viewers. Did that improve Robin’s record sales? Most likely.

But here’s the million dollar question. When seeing women topless in videos becomes old news, or overrated, where do we go from there? Should we show it all? Okay, why not? We’re already halfway there anyway. After that, then what?

Are we headed to an era where nudity in music videos is needed to sell records? God, I hope not. If so, the new generation is in trouble. I, for one, think it’ll be a good idea to put the brakes on this now before it gets out of hand. But that’s just me.

Okay, enough of my babble. Onto the videos…

Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke featuring Pharrell Williams and T.I.

I must admit this video was fun to watch. I couldn’t be offended by the exposed boobies because I was too busy dancing along with the girls. I love the fact they were dancing and having great time.

Sure, there were some aspects of the video that stood out as odd. Like the goat, the bike, the huge dices, the crazy mask, the brush, etc… *giggle* I guess it wouldn’t have been as entertaining if they didn’t have some props in there to take your mind off of the BOOBIES. 🙂

I think Robin, Pharrell and T.I. were fantastic! I believe this is the first time I’ve ever seen T.I. dance that much in a video. You can tell he was having a blast.

The girls were beautiful, modelesque and funny. They had the right amount of energy to go along with the song. Did they have to be topless? No. BUT, I think the nature of the song and the message in the lyrics was a recipe for a little nakedness. More than a little actually.

This video successfully brought in the controversy, but from what I’ve heard, many people found it difficult to dislike it, and I see why.

Well, I guess the Timberlake camp sat back and saw all of the attention Robin got for his video and decided to give their own topless show with 3 other girls.

Though, I don’t think they were as successful. At least not in my opinion.

Tunnel Vision by Justin Timberlake featuring Timberland

First of all, this is my favorite song on the 20/20 Experience album. I play this song on repeat at the gym every day. The rhythm makes you want to move and the lyrics… they’re relatable. Everyone has had tunnel vision at least once in their life, where that person… When you look at them, they just make everyone else fade into the background, or disappear completely… The song registers to me personally.

But the video… *sigh*

Aw man. I was ready to turn it off after the first 30 seconds. It lacked energy. It totally dragged the song down and it had no direction. My biggest problem with this video is, it has nothing to do with Tunnel Vision. Yeah, JT made the hand gesture like he was holding a camera a couple of times, but that didn’t improve the aspects of the video. On top of that, there were 3 women. Isn’t he only supposed to have tunnel vision for 1?

I was hoping to see Justin dance, because he’s good at that. I mean, really good. He gave us a few lackluster moves, foot work, hands and arm movements, spun around a few times, and that’s the just of it. C’mon, JT!

And the women… *smh* They were dry as toast. Lovely form, yes. But other than that, there was nothing appealing about them.

Okay, yeah, I get it. They were trying to embody the art of the woman’s figure. Fabulous! But it still had nothing to do with tunnel vision. The projections were cool, and they added a little bit of a light show. Whoohoo. *sigh* That didn’t help either. Oh, and when the women tried to dance a little… OMG, they lacked rhythm and it was blatantly obvious.

No, JT… Just no!

There are so many creative things he could’ve done. He could’ve made it a story, like in the video Mirrors, and added a little artistic flair to it. The song was screaming for it. He didn’t hear it though. I appreciate what they tried to do – the art factor. It wasn’t a horrible video, I just think they chose the wrong song to do it with.

When I got to the end of the video, I dropped my face in my hands and I cried. Wahhh! This was my favorite joint! They missed out on a chance to bring a great song to life.

I love Justin Timberlake and his music. I always will, but he broke my heart on this one. I would expect something like this from someone new, someone who just stepped foot into the music game and is trying to gain exposure, but not from JT. He’s so much better than this.

All that aside, let’s cover the boobs up, guys. You don’t need to show breasts and nipples to make a successful video.

7 Replies to “To Ban or not to Ban… Nudity in Music Videos”

  1. I am in no way a prude, but after watching both videos, I think they would have been just as good–even better–without the nudity.
    I’m with you. Cover up the boobs. They really aren’t needed as far as I’m concerned. And yes. After showing boobs becomes old, then what? People getting down and dirty? LOL, we have porn for that.

  2. The funny thing is that videos are not the big thing for their music anymore. You really don’t need a hot video to get people interested in your music. You need it on the radio in heavy rotation to get people to listen. Sure, videos help enhance the experience of listening to the music, but not as much as it did in the days when MTV was huge.

    By making the videos on the point of being banned, they generate hype so that people will want to watch them just to see what all the fuss is about. The controversy surrounding the videos can then drum up more interest in their live performances. People will go not just for the music, but to see if there will be any naked dancers on stage.

    Brenda’s right. The more explicit they get, the more they’ll have to show in order to drum up the same interest. I don’t need the visuals to love a song. I have my own video playing in my head, just like I do when I read. If you leave absolutely nothing up to the imagination, then it all becomes BORING.

    My vote is for the artists to say “no more nudity” in their videos. Their fans will continue to listen and their sales will still be there.

  3. The first video was definitely better, though I’ve never heard of the group. (Alan Thicke’s son?) The second video – Timberlake’s – SNOOZE. I quit at the 2:01 mark. I would have quit watching sooner but felt sure something would happen that’d make it better. Sadly, no.

    To me, nudity added nothing to the videos. In fact, Timberlake’s might have been better without it.

  4. In my opinion, the nudity us there to spark off controversy. The more controversy the more you get noticed and if you get noticed, the more sheeple will watch and you get product placement and the more the artist gets paid per view. It’s all a money game and they are working it big time.

    Now as for nudity in general, I think we are near point break for desensitizing. Sex and nudity are everywhere and it is only a big deal here in America. Brittany has its page six girls and nude billboards, Europe has nude beaches for all age bathing, we are the only ones screaming about it so it remains a tool for controversy. You can tell we were founded by puritans. But this trend to nudity will continue intil something else more shocking takes its place. Remember when rap was spoken word poetry set to music that told stories about inner city life? Then gangsta rap and that killed most of what was good until it got boring and everyone knew the words to The Boys In The Hood Are Always Hard. Remember when diasy dukes were scandalous and only ho’s wore them? Now they are high fashion.

    Times change and the more we are scandalized the more some will use it as a selling point. So I think people will do like the women’s hemlines and this too will cycle. We are at the point of the micro mini again and soon people will get bored with this and a desire for real talent will rise again… And people will put their clothing back on.

  5. In a nutshell the nudity did not make the videos better. I think the people who created this video may need to go back to the imagination well for some new ideas.
    I think that JT’s video would have been better if the women were portrayed with the illusion of nudity for example using the concept of the fan dance.

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