Historically within the symbolism of images, “Men act and women appear.” You can see this in advertising and paintings going back to the early eras of recorded imagery.
In this light our power is our sex, our role and value is defined by our attractiveness to a man. We are not shown as strong mothers keeping families together, reading and writing, or creating music or great art. I still struggle with this issue within the music industry.
The difference between art and pornography according to Lewis Hyde in his book “The Gift: Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World” is that a work becomes pornography if it is using sex to sell something. So art can have nudity and sensuality if it exists for the intrinsic meaning and value of the piece itself, but if the musical or artistic piece is using sexuality to sell something, it is considered pornography.
I had the opportunity to travel to the Grammy’s in 2012 and was disturbed by the over-sexualized performances of the biggest acts. It didn’t feel empowering to me as a woman to watch the highest paid singers in the world perform in G strings.
I believe we are all desensitized to both sex and violence in this day and age. I also recognize that there is an element of “don’t hate the player, hate the game” and women are doing what it takes to make money in a male dominated, porn obsessed society. I love the physical beauty of a woman’s body if it is celebrated as part of her whole, creative and powerful self.