Sunday, February 26, 2006

Nasty Girl !!

Recently, a good friend of mine introduced me to the latest Hip-hop sensation, 'Nasty Girl' by Notorious B.I.G. For those who have been living on the moon for last 20 years, Notorious B.I.G. is considered the savior of the East Coast hip-hop scene and enjoys Elvis-like status in the hip-hop music industry. He has made an everlasting impact on the industry, but due to the 'notorious' nature of the business, signified truly by his name, he himslef fell victim to the gang violence that plagued inner-city America during the latter part of the 20th century. That's right, he has been dead since 1997 but Biggie is not to be left behind when it comes to following the latest trend of making records after death. If Lennon and Elvis can do it, then why must Biggie be left behind?

'Nasty Girl' is the first video to come out from the album, "Biggie Duets: Last Chance", featuring collaborations from all the shining stars of the 'bling-bling' industry. According to the album's master producer, Diddy (or P. Diddy, or Puff Daddy, one of those perhaps), the song is about loving women and expressing sentiments. Listening more into the lyrics it comes to the attention that its not just about loving women but all the creative ways one can employee to love them. Objectification and symbolism of women as recreational toys in the hands of rich and famous gets a new meaning in the song. And the video makes full effort in highlighting this fact so that the viewers fully understand how to treat a 'nasty girl'.

Biggie starts the song by clearly stating his point of view:


I go, on and on and on and
Don't take them to the crib unless they bon'in
Easy, call em on the phone
and platinum Chanel cologne and
I stay, dressed, to impress
Spark these bitches interest
Sex is all I expect

Not to be outdone, Diddy comes up with his own set of demands:


I need u to dance, I need u to strip
I need u to shake Ur little ass n hips
I need u to grind like Ur working for tips
N give me what I need while we listen to prince


The complete lyrics, which do make an interesting read, can be found by following this link.

The case of women's use as a marketing product is not something new, however, the growing phenomena should be a grave concern to the feminsts groups who seem very busy with pro-choice issues only. 'Nasty Girl' is simply following the industry practice of female exploitation and cruising along the freeway due to the absence of any sort of protest over such practice.

This exploitation is not simply limited to the hip-hop world. This month's issue of Vanity Fair proudly exhibits two Hollywood leading ladies deprived of all their clothing with a fully dressed male fashion icon. The ladies who chose to bare it all for Vanity Fair's Hollywood issue are Keira Knightley and Scarlett Johansson, while no one thought of asking Tom Ford, fashion designer, to disrobe. Some may call it art but it seems that talent is not the only thing that a female actress needs to make headlines in Hollywood. Both the females have been critically acclaimed for their various roles and have earned countless nominations and awards for their work. However, the prevalent social norms, four decades after the feminist movement, still demand them to remove their clothing in order to earn a higher place in Hollywood. On the other hand, the marketing team at Vanity Fair gave itself a pat on its own shoulder for correctly using naked actresses to increase the magazine's subscription by 3,000 and earning 5 million website visits since the launch on the issue.

Whether its Diddy celebrating recording industry's giant using a song called 'Nasty Girl' or the case of Vanity Fair using naked actresses for its Hollywood issue; the use of women as a marketing tool speaks volumes of the status modern society has given to the female sex. Alarming is also the mode of acceptance such practice has received from the women, themselves, who are quite oblivion to the capitalistic nature of exploitation business. While most young girls would readily sing along with Black Eyed Peas as Fergie sings "my humps, my humps, my lady lumps" and provokes men to "check it out", only few would pay attention to the words of Eleanor Roosevelt, U.S. First Lady, "Remember no one can make you feel inferior without your consent."

Nasty, indeed.

8 Comments:

At 2/27/2006 3:26 PM,

That Roosevelt quote is one of my favorites. Good post on these subjects! 

Posted by Deb`

 

At 2/27/2006 8:41 PM,

Excellent post. I am glad you found me, so I could find you!

I find ignoring the hip hop scene altogether to be the best approach to avoiding the obscenity they market. Amazingly, I know no one in my social circles who listens to the nonsense. That said, I do think more needs to be done in society (since families have degenerated to the point they aren't doing what they are supposed to do...) to teach young girls that they have more value than what is between their legs (pardon my bluntness). Moreover, young boys need to be taught to show respect to women. This is a great challenge since many youth are incredibly disobedient. Education is the key to eradicating these horrible messages from pop culture.

However, I do disagree with you on the Vanity Fair cover. I do not immediately think of objectification when I see that cover. While it's sexy, it is surely more artsy and sensual. It is decidedly NOT a Maxim cover, that's for sure! I read somewhere that Tom Ford posing in the photo was an afterthought. Apparently, young actress, Rachel McAdams was supposed to be the third nude in the photo of three young actresses, but she was having a 'fat day' and bowed out at the last minute.

I am sure next we'll see Kareena Kapoor, Preity Zinta, and Amrita Rao naked together on a magazine cover. What do you think? ;) 

Posted by Ashley

 

At 2/28/2006 3:53 PM,

Hi Ashley, thanks for your comments!!

Regarding Vanity Fair, my whole argument was the fact that the male on the cover did not have to disrobe for the picture!! What kind of message do you think that send when we would try to teach girls to learn self-respect and boys to respect women!! I think it would be a hard job with such covers which DO quantify women as objects for pleasure!

Regarding the Indian actresses, I doubt that would happen anytime soon since the Indian culture is modest in this area compared to the Western culture! Its hard to find any naked pictures of any Indian Actresses whereas you can find one nue of almost every Hollywood picture!! Maybe, Hollywood could learn something from Bollywood in this area! 

Posted by Abrar

 

At 3/07/2006 9:40 PM,

Thanks for posting this and as much as I agree with what you've said in this post, I've gone through my period of exasperation at the blatant exploitation of the female gender for sales and pleasure. It happens every single day, i hear it in the lyrics of songs by Destiny's Child and other hip hop and rnb artists (i unfortunately still like rnb and hip hop, not least because of the lyrics) and am subjected to the argument posed by many that this is female empowerment. I reccommend a book by Ariel Levy called Female Chauvinist Pigs on the same topic.Thanks for the post. 

Posted by Maryam

 

At 3/11/2006 10:58 PM,

Why dont U look at Indian advertising scene.
a) A lady wearing Men's vest to advertise Men's vest
b) A lady again in minimum of cloths and again to sell Men's briefs
c) A Lady just to sell Men's shaving gel.
...
In Maths ... means so on or continuation.
Hope U understan what am saying.
So If in a very conservative and religiouscountry like India we have all these things going on then US can be exempted.
Also there is nothing wrong in US. 

Posted by Kumar

 

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At 3/09/2007 8:49 AM,

Watiti.com
Join me and my circle of friends at http://www.watiti.com,
an online social networking community that connects
people from all over the world.

Meet new people, share photos, create or attend
events, post free classifieds, send free e-cards,
listen music, read blogs, upload videos, be part of a
club, chat rooms, forum and much more!

See you around! Bring all your friends too!

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At 3/09/2007 12:34 PM,

rate girl pic

 

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