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Young female pop stars told: “take your clothes off, show you’re an adult”

by on October 15, 2013

There’s a lot of media coverage this morning of the speech given by Charlotte Church at the annual lecture in honour of the late broadcaster John Peel. It offers insight into the pop music industry’s treatment of a particular combination of age, gender and work.

Both The Telegraph and The Independent report her concern over the way young girls and young women are encouraged ‘to present themselves as hyper-sexualised, unrealistic, cartoonish, as objects, reducing female sexuality to a prize you can win’. Her message is that this is the only role that young women can occupy in the music industry, and one where adult status is aligned to being prepared to appear in revealing clothes.

Speaking of her own experience, the singer said: “When I was 19 or 20, I found myself…being pressured into wearing more and more revealing outfits and the lines that I had spun at me again and again (generally by middle aged men) were ‘you look great you’ve got a great body why not show it off?’ or ‘Don’t worry it’ll look classy. It’ll look artistic’”.

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