Charlotte Church Slams the ‘Culture of Demeaning Women in Pop Music’

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(From Billboard Magazine, October 15, 2013, Written by Georg Szalai)  United Kingdom singer Charlotte Church recently criticized the hypersexualitzation of female music stars in the entertainment industry. She lashed out at provocative stars such as Rihanna and Miley Cyrus for encouraging the mistreatment of women in the industry by engaging in raunchy performances. Charlotte Church is a 27-year-old British singer who was considered a child prodigy and sang at the closing ceremony for the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics. Church says the music industry is male dominated and portrays a childish view on gender and sexuality. She spoke out at the Radio Academy festival in Manchester to The Guardian Magazine and said, “What this industry seems to want of its women increasingly is sex objects that appear childlike. Take your clothes off, show you’re an adult.” Church spoke out about her own personal experiences throughout her career and tells how when she was younger she was encouraged to cover up as much as possible to maintain her young image, but was pressured when she became older to uncover more skin in order to make more money. Church was pressured into dressing provocatively in her music videos and says it still affects her career to this day. Church states performers are “encouraged to present themselves as hypersexualized, unrealistic, cartoonish, as objects, reducing female sexuality to a prize you can win.” Church criticized Miley Cryus and Rihanna for buying into the inappropriate degradation of women and referred to Miley’s “twerking” performance at the MTV video music awards and Rihanna’s new provocative video “Pour It Up.” Church believes women artists have lost their self-respect and are allowing male writers, producers, and record label artists to capitalize on the sexuality of women while pressuring them to push the envelope with being provocative. Church was asked if British radio stations were any different than American radio stations in the portrayal of women in the music industry. Church stated, “BBC Radio is notorious for misreading sexual metaphor and innuendo as innocent, but more recently, there doesn’t seem to be a decency barrier at all.”