Sam Smith’s music video: Calling it ‘pornographic’ is a toxic double standard

We are watching Sam Smith arrive at the old castle. Within seconds, they’re surrounded by provocatively dressed dancers, provocatively undulating. Smith stands in the center with tassels on his nipples. A stream of water bounces off your face. In a nearby room, his BDSM lover in leather was thrusting lustfully on the bed. No wonder Smith’s latest music video for the disco-tinged track “I’m Not Here to Make Friends” got people excited. It is a filthy and unabashed display of sexuality. Some call it “pornography,” but that’s not true. It’s an accusation that reeks of homophobia.

The track itself is not the problem. The lyrics of “I’m Not Here to Make Friends” contain some pretty harmless lyrics. Smith’s video shouldn’t have been too frowned upon, either.The non-binary British singer simply embraced a positive sensibility about one’s face, gender and body that has become quite common in the modern music scene. Yet detractors poured out their anger, branding the content as “pornography” and calling for the video to be age-rated. Phillips continued: good morning england It likened the video to pornography and linked its content to the wider culture of sexual assault and “relationship breakdown.”

Now, while some of Smith’s more reactionary rebuttals to the video are not worthy of a good-faith response, it should be pointed out that video is not pornography by any real definition of the word. Mere suggestion does not equate to pornography, and such suggestion is not inherently inappropriate for children. There are deserts. deep throat When Bernie the DinosaurMusicians should not be forced to tailor their productions to the sexless whims of youth. Likewise, children should not be isolated from content that dares to acknowledge the existence of their sexuality. On top of that, the idea of ​​a 5-year-old crowd streaming Smith’s YouTube channel is, frankly, laughable fiction.

Compared to much of his pop contemporaries, Smith’s attempts to put sex at the center of his music are far from outstanding. It’s not easy to assume that the backlash has a homophobic element and a body-fascist streak. Had the Smiths been skinny and cisgender, their disrespectful displays of sexuality probably would have gone unnoticed. Includes the raunchy hit “WAP” by Nas X, Cardi B, Megan Thee Stallion, and others. It’s probably no coincidence that these singers are queer him artists of color.

Artists like David Bowie and Freddie Mercury have been widely credited for defying sexual and gender norms, boldly taking the stage, and being unabashedly themselves. People love rebels. At least they love rebels when the dust settles. when the parapet is restored. When an act of rebellion is washed clean and ruggedized by the weight of history and consensus.

The Smiths are now facing the sharp end of this double standard, but it’s ridiculous to act like they’re some kind of radical button-pusher. Musically, their work is far from cutting edge. In his three-star review of their latest album, Gloria, Helen Brown describes Smith’s singing as “the same hearing as looking at a lava lamp” – and she’s right. Smith is not a punk rocker; They’re radio-enabled crooners performing in stadiums. Perhaps it is this incongruity that worries some people. That even a mainstream and accessible artist like Smith can display queer sexuality so relentlessly is a testament to how much society has advanced in recent years. For the rude and prejudiced, it’s a scary thought.

I remembered the routine from Stewart Lee’s Comedy VehicleAnd the comedian jokes: in advertising. in fashion. in music. And above all in pornography, where it is so prevalent. ’ I mean, yes.Clearly, there is the issue of how widespread and early exposure children are to pornographic material. wrong pink flamingoIt’s a little dance. grow up.

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