Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Promiscuous Girls

For some time, it seemed like there were finally empowering, mainstream female singer/songwriters who sold their music rather than their sex appeal. Take for instance Nelly Furtado who first burst onto the scene as an earthy, pixie, girlish singer whose catchy lyrics were untainted by vulgar references to sex. However, a few years later, that all changed when she opted to sex up her music and lyrics and wardrobe with the release of "Promiscuous Girl."

Alaskan-born, folk singer Jewel first appeared as the hippie girl whose ernest and socially conscious lyrics seemed to empower young girls and women. We came to know her as a simple, rural girl who was seen as beautiful but not necessarily for her looks. And then, her single "Standing Still" came out and Jewel was no longer the Jewel we had come to know. Overnight, it seemed like she went from folky to floozy, using her womanly curves and raunchy wardrobe transformation to sell more albums.

Both of these examples illustrate how, at first, "in the early 1990s, music was a primary site in which women were challenging the roles that the industry had constructed for them" ((14) however, after realizing that our current pop culture is saturated in sex and glamour, many female entertainers/artists choose to use "their most important quality: their looks" in order to succeed (16).


  1. I definitely remember hearing Promiscuous on the radio for the first time and thinking it was really good and then not believing that Nelly Furtado had sung it.

    Although her fans view this sexified image of her as stepping away from her roots, it ultimately made her more popular and more successful as an artist. In fact, that song became her first number #1 in the USA!

  2. Oh god, I loved Jewel so much when she was just known as a folk singer from alaska who lived out of her van.