demi lovato: formerly unbroken, now simply undressed
Whilst scrolling through Facebook the other morning, I came upon a semi naked photograph of Demi Lovato with the heading “Are you digging Demi Lovato’s sexy new look”? Intrigued, I opened the article only to discover that, oops, another teen starlet went nude for fame. It was then that I realised that not only were the majority of aspiring young artists in the pop industry a vulnerable pile of ambition and insecurity, but that they were also a ticking time bomb into eventual sexualisation.
The vicious cycle begins with an insecure young girl realising that with the media wanting to demolish her younger image she must sexually re-invent herself to distinguish her as a ‘mature’ young adult. The Lovato photo shoot consists of three to four photographs mainly depicting a seemingly naked Lovato licking a lollipop in a suggestive manner, and sporting lashings of make-up and Photoshop. The final photo however, shows her smashing a mirror, the symbolism almost overwhelming of her destroying her former ‘image’. Horribly enough the photographer behind the nude pieces goes on to quote that: “I think people have a very specific vision of her [Demi Lovato]. No one has seen her doing anything remotely sexy. But she’s a grown woman now, and she wants to be sexy and feel sexy” – by appearing half-nude to thousands of people of course.
What this idea of nudity suggests is that if you want to be recognised as a mature young woman you must bare your body, throw away your integrity and use your sexuality to display your maturity, rather than your intellect.
Many will, and have, argued that inevitably sex does sell, but what the various and former teen stars should certainly realise is that this decision to embark on nudity must influence the generation of younger women reading that very same article at home. What does it project to that insecure girl wanting to be taken seriously in a world ridden with nudity, mass media and obscene sexualisation? What did it do to Nicky Webster (The Olympic Games sweetheart, Strawberry Kisses, yeah?) when she decided it would be a wonderful idea to pose for a men’s magazine, because she just wanted to feel sexy.
The idea of being sexy as opposed to feeling sexy is intrinsically linked in this example. The idea of needing to become a sex object in order to be mature and desired overruns the latter; being sexy because you feel sexy from the inside. In this example Lovato, could only feel sexy by first becoming a sex object, thus depicting the physical body as the primary obstacle into feeling desired. What ever happened to becoming a confident and empowered woman who in turn feels sexy from the inside out? This girl, who so openly spoke about her struggle with depression can suddenly only feel sexy by sprawling her legs in front of a camera and leering seductively? Can women only feel sexy nowadays in a skimpy outfit, covered by the haze of their vulnerability? Furthermore was it even her choice to undertake this foray into pop’s most predicable faux pas? Or was it the work of media pressure?
By re-focusing the attention away from the hard work, talent, and inspiration young women are taught to hold onto in order to break into the pop world, we inevitably give birth to the vapid starlets that we see so frequently these days. What will the standard eventually be in a world that regards sex to be greater than talent? Demi Lovato was formerly Unbroken, but is now merely undressed.
Feeling sexy ultimately is the confidence you build within yourself, as intelligent women – the body we live in is just the final touch, the real sexiness comes from the way we feel about ourselves, devoid of what the media projects. Feeling sexy to us humble beings shouldn’t involve obtuse sexualisation but instead should embody intelligence, humour and beauty from within. As a growing society young women shouldn’t feel the need to sexualise themselves in order to be taken seriously.
What do you think? Is there only one form of feeling or being ‘sexy’ that is acceptable in women? Is there anything wrong with pop starlets using their bodies to garner more publicity? Comment below, and let us know your thoughts!
I remember this beautiful photo and quote from Mandy Moore when she was about 21ish (after having been a tween queen) speaking about how to her sexiness was a bit of lace bra peaking out from a shirt or sweater. Years on, I still think it was a gorgeous way of showing she had grown up and was comfortable with her sexuality, without seeming desperate to prove it. Like her, I’m definitely a believer in sexy being a ‘suggestion’ instead of being overt, but I know others feel differently. I think it’s important to primarily do what makes you feel secure and sexy, and not be pressured into others ideals. And like what was mentioned in the piece — confidence is sexy, and it’s pretty hard to be confident when you’re manufacturing something.