You’re sick and tired of hearing everywhere you turn that ”sex sells”. True. To an extent. There’s a fine line, that if crossed, you actually LOSE a lot of credibility, and by consequence, your fans. Let’s study a real life case to make things clear. Let’s focus on the hyper-sexualized group: The Pussycat Dolls versus the much more conservative version: Destiny’s Child.
According to Wikipedia, PCD sold 55 million units worldwide while Destiny’s Child sold over 60 millions units. Not much of a difference. However, the loyalty of their fans is hugely diverse. Every stan of Destiny’s Child knows the lyrics top bottom and their albums’ names. Every admirer of PCD, on the other hand, knows… the hot chicks that dance and one of them can sing. You can NOT say Pussycat Dolls without thinking of how hot they are and how much sex appeal they ooze. Not a bad thing, BUT… it completely halted their credibility as musicians. They are show girls who put dance tracks together. And the media is NOT at fault for this. They, themselves, portrayed this brand image of being the femme fatale since they came up on the music scene. From the very title including ”pussy”, to their very naked bodies, extremely pornographic attitude, not so subliminal lyrics, and overall demeanor, we got the MEMO! Their songs are pretty average and their strongest selling point is, as you guessed it, SEX. If in an alternate universe they became chubbier and lost the 6 pack along with the ability to do splits, NO ONE WOULD CARE ABOUT THEIR MUSIC. And that, my dear reader, is tragic. As an artist you want longevity and loyalty from your listeners. Otherwise you will continuously have to push your body to sell. So you become a sort of metaphorical escort: you’re popping as long as you got the goods, the looks.
Now let’s dissect the attitude of the public towards Destiny’s Child, the general M.O. being the 3 girls who put dope songs together. Yes of course they were sexually appealing too BUT, the main focus was the MUSIC and they definitely DID NOT breathe and ooze sexuality at the level of PCD. Take a look at Survivor for example. They too, got the water, the very revealing ”clothes” or cloths at this point, and still, do not give me down-to-f*ck-anytime vibes. They don’t focus on their faces being inviting all the time, they are not afraid to show some aggressiveness, some rage, even anger in some parts. And let’s concentrate on the LYRICS too! They’re empowering and actually send a message: ”I am a Survivor!”. What messages do we get from PCD? The closest they got to an actual message was their song ”I Don’t Need A Man”, and yet AGAIN, they had to be over the top enticing and touch themselves a lot, a whole lot, actually all the time. Blah.
Another major difference between the 2 groups is that despite Beyonce and Nicole being the obvious lead singers, Destiny’s Child actually lets the other 2 girls have their moments as well, showcasing their riffs, runs, and harmonies. In PCD, other than Nicole, we only get Melody Thornton who sings every now and then, while there are SIX members. Explain to me please, how is it possible that in such a large group the public only got to know 2 members at its best? another second, big BLAH.
For my female readers who want to pursue a stable path in the music industry: do NOT showcase yourself as a SEX BOMB because it will be very ephemeral and you’ll have a very fragile career on your hands. Be sexy, yes, BUT make MUSIC your first and main focus. Make sure people listen to you because of your SONGS not because of your body.