Three Imaginary Girls

Seattle's Indie-Pop Press – Music Reviews, Film Reviews, and Big Fun

With my morning tea, I stumbled across this article about how sex appeal is just as important (if not more) as talent in today's music industry. The writer of the article looks at the Billboard Top 40 and realizes it's more like a list of candidates for America's Next Top Model. Examples listed are Avril Lavigne, Carrie Underwood, Ciara, Gwen Stefani, and Shakira. I quote "The only Top 40 who might not be considered perfect 10s: Pink, who is still svelte and appealing; and multiplatinum Grammy-winner Kelly Clarkson, who got her break only through winning the democratically elected 'American Idol.'"

The article goes on to state that this shift in beauty before talent is caused by musician of today being way more visible than musicians of yesteryear (videos, commercials, magazine covers).

Jody Gerson (executive vice president of the U.S. Creative division of EMI Music Publishing) advises the flat-chested, overweight, amazingly talented singer to chase her dream by putting out her own music and promote herself on the Web and then is quoted as saying, "As far as we've come as women," Gerson asked, "where are we really?"

The article seems to pinpoint female artists as the only target of the phenomenon. What do you think, imaginaryland? Is this a gender specific occurrence? Would Elliot Smith’s record sales have tripled if he looked like the boy next door?