Picture this: The year is 2008, school is nearly out for the summer. My mum has just announced we’re going to be having pay TV/Austar/Foxtel over the summer holidays, and once it’s installed, I find my new happy place. Its name? The Disney Channel.
Back in those days, Miley Cyrus was still Hannah Montana and her pals the Jonas Brothers were right alongside her in terms of being “teen idols”, worshipped for their pop music and squeaky clean images. For a while there, they were on a path to world domination. Some might even say that they achieved it, between movies and worldwide concert tours for those movies and all that fun stuff. However, it’s been nearly four years since the Jonas Brothers have released an album, and it would seem that they’ve nominated 2013 as the year of their comeback.
Now, you all know by now that I enjoy a good pop song as much as the next person, and of course I understand that the Jonas Brothers weren’t going to stay squeaky clean and Disney-friendly forever, but however, I was not expecting this when I went to watch the music video for their comeback single, Pom Poms.
Ahem. I know that they say sex sells, but with this video, my respect for the Jonas Brothers went out the window. I wasn’t naive enough to think that they’d be a polished, purity-ring wearing band of brothers forever, but I was hoping that at least I wouldn’t have to suffer through the disgusting pop music video formula of scantily clad women dancing beside unsurprisingly fully clothed males. Where’s the equality in that? I can understand trying to get as far away from the bubblegum pop scene as possible, but there are SO many ways you can do that without resorting to this kind of stuff.
Then, there’s their new video for the next single, First Time.
It’s fair enough that they’re changing musical direction and the theme of their lyrical content, but there surely has to be a more effective way of demonstrating growth, maturity and development from their younger years than a music video of them partying in Vegas. I get it. You’re grown up, sex appeal and partying is a thing that you do now, apparently, which is absolutely fine, of course.
Most twenty somethings would be the same way, and those who were fans of the JoBros back in the days of Disney, like myself, are certainly older now and this shift in music and lyrical content could definitely be attributed to the Jonas Brothers accommodating a shift in the age of their fanbase & target audience.
HOWEVER, there is still a large majority of the Jonas Brothers’ fanbase that is young girls, especially those in their early to mid teenage years. Women can wear whatever they want, whenever they want; control their sexuality in whatever way they choose and just live however they choose to live; but the fact that the Jonas Brothers have decided to convey an image of women wearing next to nothing and dancing provocatively next to themselves, who are fully clothed (THEY’RE WEARING LONG SLEEVES, FOR GOODNESS’ SAKE), is I think an image of inequality and not perhaps the best message to be sending out to their fans and the rest of the world.
At the end of the day, it’s only pop music, but its influence can stretch far beyond a catchy tune. In this day and age of supposed “Blurred Lines” (Link NSFW), we need to be as brutally honest as possible and call things as we see them. My beloved Jonas Brothers, I call bullshit. Lift your game.
Have a nice day! x