Some people may argue that the music industry is slowly dying, but it seems music videos are alive and well. But are they well-mannered? You be the judge. Over the years, the commercial dance industry has produced several memorable dance-inspired music videos by notable artists like Madonna, Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson and Paula Abdul. The most recent wave of notoriety has been claimed by fan-favorites The Pussycat Dolls, Beyoncé and of late, the queen diva, Lady Gaga. Emphasis on being over-the-top has her latest video with Beyoncé dominating the Internet. The dancers in this video are front and center and have this dancer saying, “Hollywood is redefining the meaning of body-conscious.”
In many auditions, female and male dancers are asked to come dressed in appropriate outfits for the job whether it be a music video, live stage show or television award performance. In the latest music video by Lady Gaga featuring Beyoncé for the song “Telephone” the two artists are seen dancing up a storm in a take on the Thelma and Louise movie-inspired crime spree. I was particularly struck by the dance scene inside the jail where Gaga is joined by dancers scantily clad in studded bra and panty outfits. While these dancers are definitely making the most of their material, I found myself thinking about body consciousness.
Hollywood is a repeat offender on knowingly casting people based on their “look.” This isn’t the first time we’ve seen dancers in small outfits in a music video, and yes, in recent years we’ve witnessed a record number of recording artists do tour after tour in leotards (myself included on the Rihanna tour back in 2007). But I would like to point out that Lady Gaga is at the forefront of the music industry right now and all eyes are on her. It doesn’t mean that I didn’t like this video, (although I believe Beyoncé put herself in a sticky reputation quandary with this music video two-some, a place she’s never been before, even in her own music video for “Video Phone”). I loved that “Telephone” put so many dancers to work, but I do think that with the video showcasing dancers in little to no clothing in this scene puts it on my high-profile rankings of a video that will not positively influence young girls who aspire to live and work in Hollywood down the right path of height-to-weight proportion and an eating well to live well mentality. This was also not the aim of the video and I applaud Lady Gaga and Beyoncé for putting out a product that was creative and definitely jolted the industry to react with a response, be it positive, negative or neutral.