There are often songs in the charts which have some rather inappropriate lyrics and connotations. Even if the songs themselves seem perfectly innocent, they are often accompanied by overly crude music videos. Many people seem outraged by the vulgar media that we release on daytime television and radio for young children to be influenced by, while others just don’t want to watch or hear such things themselves and may even find parts genuinely offensive.
So what, if anything, should be done? I am not in the habit of listening to chart music. I watch music videos with a lesser frequency. But of those I have been exposed to, I am often surprised by how explicit music has become, even if it does not contain ‘rude words’. Part of me thinks that there isn’t an issue: children do not, hopefully, know what they are singing. When five year-old me stood in the playground with my friends singing,
“Tell me more, tell me more,
Did you get very far?”
we thought we were asking how far Danny and Sandy had walked. It didn’t do me any harm, so perhaps the same can be said for the music children now hear.
And what of the music videos? It does concern me that children and girls in particular, are so influenced and pressured by media. The pop music culture is not about watching healthy, happy people enjoying themselves. It is very much about the ‘perfect’ body images and sexual activities. That is not something that I think is okay to be showing to anyone who is not already solidly content with who they are.
Should we censor music? Do pop artists have a responsibility? In some ways, I think yes. Perhaps not a responsibility, but a moral incentive. It is not necessarily an artists fault that young people watch them, or even idolise them, but once a person idolises another, there is very little that their idol can do to stop them; they do not have control of peoples’ views of them. Therefore, so long as they have an influence over any group of people, perhaps they do need to be more wary of what they are producing.
Of course, some artists would argue that their work can be justified. To me, the song Blurred Lines screams that rape is okay. Robin Thicke reckons that the song is empowering to women. I must admit, I’m not feeling very empowered…