Daisy and I have been watching this Go-Go’s vid over and over (and over) lately. I’m struck by how much the women in the band, unlike most of today’s female artists, look like real people–even Belinda, whom I recalled as a sort of having an unattainable ideal of beauty vibe (maybe that came later, in the “Cool Jerk” era). And Jane, well, dang, how cool is Jane?
This vid is all about having silly fun and making music with your pals, not what other people think about how you look. Yeah, they stop at a lingerie store for no apparent reason. But they come out empty handed as far as I can tell. Because unlike today’s lady stars, if they did buy leather thongs, they are wearing them under their clothes. And who knows? maybe (as my girl Caitlin Moran might say) they just needed to stock up on some stridently feminist big pants.
Rock-&-roll is sexy, no problem with that. Love that. But somewhere along the line, for women in the bizness (as for girls across the board) looking desirable replaced expressing or understanding your desire as the definition of “sexiness.” I mean, where are today’s playful vids of girls just wanting to have fun, making music for the joy of it, letting the audience in on what it means to simply feel free? I suspect if this vid were made today it would show a band of perfectly sculpted bodies in bustiers and 5-inch spikes “owning” their sexuality by bumping and grinding in a giant bird cage. Constraint as freedom, that’s just messing with girls’ minds. Minimally, Belinda would have come out of that lingerie store carrying a stack of shopping bags.
So, yeah, there’s Adele. Of course, Adele. Maybe the Dixie Chicks? But who are today’s Go-Go’s? Whither today’s Belindas and Janes?
(Me, I blame the Spice Girls.)