Respect Yourself


I read this article on the Guardian Music Blog by Michael Hann last month about Miley Cyrus Wrecking Ball video 

I like Miley Cyrus, especially as Hannah Montanah, I even have a little set of draws with her picture on somewhere.  But we all have to grow up and she’s a year older than me, her Dads the same age as my Dad so I can only imagine what my Dad would say about the video and the surrounding publicity!  Apparently her Dad is cool with it.  I hope she isn’t being manipulated as some people suggest but she certainly has created something of a media storm and lots of sales of her singles and 15 million views of her risqué video in just 24 hours, is it Miley and her record company that gets a fee for those video views and that’s why they do it? Or does she just want to show people’s she’s grown up?

Last month I saw topless photographs of Kate Moss for an exhibit she was promoting but there was no condemnation because that was considered to be “Arty”.  I think the shock is because Miley, as a child star, was portrayed with such a squeaky clean image which impressed girls like me and parents are wondering if she still has influence over other impressionable teens.

Artists draw and paint pictures of the naked form and these images cause those that view them to reflect on their composition and beauty. However that does not excuse vulgarity which can be excessive but it’s hard as you can’t rein in art and expression otherwise the meaning is lost.

Charlotte Church has waded into the discussion yesterday, she claims it is a male-dominated industry with a juvenile perspective on gender and sexuality and she thinks music videos should be age rated, but with internet access so widely available to teenagers I’m not sure that would be effective.  I can see her point about age rating but as with many things in life if you try and ban such videos you could increase the curiosity surrounding them and end up actually increasing awareness.  But music is an art form involving the freedom of expression and as musicians we seek to connect with our audiences.  In a world where pop music has reached saturation level we can expect the marketers and publicists to dream up even more outrageous ways to connect with their prospective audiences as they scurry around chasing the elusive “Next Big Thing”.

It is such a shame that the music industry feels that it is necessary to market artists in such a provocative way rather than allow their music to speak for them.  There must be other ways to grab the attention of an audience and say “Here I am, listen to me” .  I had a think about it and here is my mini promotion video …… LOL

83 thoughts on “Respect Yourself

  1. You bring up some great points, Charlotte.

    It is a shame that some really talented musicians use their gifts to rake in as much money as possible, instead of using their gifts to bless their listeners (and viewers).

    You, on the other hand, will, of course, use your gifts to bless your followers.

    Thank you for stopping by my blog.

    You are a blessing to me.

    By the way, I LOVED your promotional video!!!! Very, very good work!

    Also, I enjoyed reading about your making paper roses and wall art over the summer.

  2. It is, of course, tremendously encouraging to find young artists such as you who are truly dedicated to their artistry. You are creating art for the ages–not for the moment.


    (Whoops: Looks as though I need to dial in the meds again . . .)

    And I am quite serious about the wonderful example that you are setting.

    1. Hi Dan, 🙂 I’ve never heard the word ‘rawk’ before. I love that line ‘creating art for the ages – not for the moment’ I’ll use that again at sometime, thank you.

      All the best

  3. Nice video.

    The pressure to be sexualised is everywhere, even in the classical field, though it does appear to be a bit more tasteful among attractive, young, female classical singers and musicians. Be yourself – you’ve a very good self to be.

    I’m not going to comment upon Miley Cyrus or her video, she’s not someone whose music is intended to appeal to me, save to say that I did view the video once, and it did inspire me. It inspired me to immediately find a clip of Emmylou Harris singing the Neil Young song Wrecking Ball: an incomparably better song from an incomparably better singer, who’s incomparably better looking. Give your ears a treat, Charlotte, and listen to that.

  4. I think the mindset is: even if it’s negative publicity, it’s still publicity. So, marketers (or whoever is in charge of this car accident waiting to happen) simply look at dollar signs. Her early career work gave her a huge following. Unfortunately, now that she’s going the wrong way, a bunch of people are still following her. To which, I must say, I’m disappointed by their apparent lack of discernment. One would try to point Miley to older role models with more experience in the industry, but often times, it simply gets worse.

    “Someone” needs to break this shell of “lust sells” (where women are more like objects than people with value and worth). Yes, success is good. But why must so many pay a price of giving up their integrity, dignity, and self-worth to get it?

    As for art, I dropped out of my “Life Drawing” a few years ago on the news that I “had to” draw people without clothing on in class. Ugh. Of course, my Art History professors have told me the song and dance (no pun intended) of how painters of old thought the human figure was beautiful and so on. Yeah, I can tell that with their clothes still on. I say, they just needed a “socially acceptable” way to see women and have their consciences clear in the process. Art! Okay.

    Anyway, I will conclude with this: ten years from now, none of this will matter (in terms of Miley Cyrus, that is). Studios will find new, younger talent…always new, always younger. And Miley very well may look back on today and ask: “What was I thinking?”

    But for now, I simply wait and pray for this change of heart to happen quickly. I sent a message to Miley on Twitter which read something like: “You always have a choice to make the right choice.” The trouble about rising to the top the wrong way, you fall. Everyone falls. And the higher up you are when it happens, the harder the impact will be when you hit the ground. 🙁

    1. Hi Eric, thanks for your comment it’s given me more to think about 😉 and that is what I love about blogging. My Mum reminded me it’s all been done before with her pop favourite Madonna and Cher was very risqué in a video but she was older at the time.

      I was interested that Charlotte Church made a radio recording about the music industry, after being a child classical musician transferring over to pop in 2005 at my age. There is a lot for a woman to consider about her image.

      Best wishes

  5. I completely agreed with your opinion. Once the materials are out in the wild then it is going to be difficult to stop them effectively. The more we talk about it the more the subject is being amplified and in a way we are indirectly advertising the product (IMO).

    We are in multimedia age, not only sounds but also visual are part of the product. Very good post.

    Your flashy video is cute 🙂

  6. I saw Miley on the Ellen Show the other day. Arty is one thing, I’m not sure here videos and also her life perfomances lately are that. She seems to have some issues, which is understandable in a way, but really, we all have issues, we can’t just run around offending people in an effort to be arty. Cute little video by the way, made me smile 🙂

    1. I’d love some hologram business cards like the video with the pink image but when you turn them you can see the stars, if someone copies that you saw it here first 🙂

      Best wishes

  7. I think the difference between Kate Moss and Miley is that miley is doing it for attention and money. Whereas Kate did it for the beauty of art and the underlying meanings associated with the artwork

    1. There are very confusing messages for girls, lots of problems with girls sending photographs on phones they later regret when they fall out with their boyfriend etc. I just hope that this was Miley’s idea and image she wants to project, all her own ideas.

      Best wishes

  8. Beautiful photos 😉 and yeah, it will really increase curiousity for teenagers and I think it will have a big impact. Even then, theres still a lot of teenage moms now a days, so.. anyway, For those who doesnt really have enougj confidence with their talent will do that. I think maybe Mileys self esteem crashed somewhere. I am a very big fan of her as well..

  9. You make this dress fabulous !!! and my english is to bad to comment, so , I just can say that I’m agree with you !! You’re one the good way !!

    All th best for you

  10. One of those proverbs in showbusiness was “You have to shock, otherwise no one will notice You”. We can judge Miley and her video as vulgar, but it worked its way. It makes money for her, for her manager and lot of people in the background. I do not approve this way of showing the art, but its a matter of opinion. And people, they already made a choice.

    1. Hi Lukas, Yes what is done is done, and yes it did work for her in the short term. If you shock, people comment. I just hope that’s not the only way to start conversations 🙂

      Best wishes

  11. What a great mini promotion look beautiful! 🙂 I agree with you that the music industry should allow the music and talent of its artists to speak for them; and I think you are on the right track in promoting yourself through your talent and music!! ^^

  12. You look great. I agree with the letter sinead oconnor wrote. I don’t think it was an insult to her, it was more about what was being done to her and what she was was doing to herself thinking that people would like her more. Hollywood, Nashville, etc. What a sad place to grow up.

    1. Hi Deb, when I first started up my blog and Facebook etc. my parents said, don’t post pictures or write anything you wouldn’t want on the front page of a newspaper. I hope I always manage to stick to that advice.

      Best wishes

    1. Thank you so much Janice. It is so encouraging to have so many people share their thoughts with me and in the way they show their support for what I am trying to do. It makes everything so worthwhile 🙂

      Best wishes

  13. I commend you Charlotte for staying grounded with your amazing vocal talent. I wrote a blog called Freedom, Resposibility and High Expectaions for as a middle school vice-principal I see the impact our sexualized society is having on our youth both male and female. We all have a responsibility to be role models for our youth and from what I see anf read about you I wish our young girls would see they way you represent yourself and young women.

    1. Thank you James for your message. I was asked by one of my teachers to deliver a motivational chat about my training, my goals and what motivates me, to the younger students at school and I really enjoyed it. I sang in a completely different style to the majority of students at school and girls in the earlier years did take advantage of having a classical singing coach at the school too. I was also the first student that applied through the CUKAS Conservatoire system so we were all on a new learning curve. I have got an awful lot to learn, I’m just at the start of my second year of a four year undergraduate course, to pursue a full career there is also a master’s program to complete and then after that Opera school and i can’t wait 🙂

      Best wishes,

  14. i love miley even thought i am not live in there but i know miley so well.. i love her song but i love more hannah montana and i also agreed with your opinian about miley.. i can’t say if i’m not disappointed and i like you, you know how to promote to your video i appreciate it.. *hhaha even with take advantage of her changes, good luck for your career and sorry about my language cause i can’t english well 🙂

      1. i am from Indonesia exactly in East Kalimantan… my language is simple if you know 🙂
        are a singer? you look beautiful

      2. Is Syuliant your name? My college has fabulous language opportunities, last year I studied Italian for the first time and this year I study German (I did three years of German language study at High School). Next year is French, there are so many students of different nationalities there is a rich environment of world sounds. My main study is voice (singing). I also have an acting module this year which is fabulous.
        Best wishes

  15. First off you look awesome in that dress. A real lady you are. Secondly I love the title of this post. It is so appropriate. I did two blogs on this fame thing: “There’s always a book…” and “If life is so short, why do we get so many chances to screw up” ( Seems to me that if Miley Cyrus wants to be considered an adult performer, she’s going to have to give up these juvenile antics. And some of this may just cost her followers. I can think of several performers who have made the transition with grace. Two being Taylor Swift and Leann Rimes. Miley unfortunately is taking the Britney Spears route.

    1. Hi Don, another singer I really loved listening to was Britney Spears it was such a shame to see her world collapse around her.

      Following this path I’m on I’ve been introduced to so many beautiful, fabulous female singers I just wish these younger female singers were more confident in their natural appeal without having to resort to antics to get noticed.

      Best wishes

  16. Real men prefer a bit of class and decorum to be honest. You have it right when compared to Ms C. As you say, it’s a shame some parts of the industry, and the people themselves believe it’s the right thing to do.


      1. Oh noooo… a woman says I sound like her dad, that’s it, I officially feel old now 🙁

        Tbh, he’s probably younger than me anyway!

  17. I couldn’t agree more. We are in an age where we seem to miss the point, if someone has talent that talent should be nurtured and sold on its own. It is like the X factor so many people on that show sell themselves through a story. If they can sing, they can sing, there should be no need for the extras. I loathe vultures who try and manipulate someone into doing something they may later regret. Each and every artist has to promote themselves as they see fit, if they feel the need for a raunchy video etc that is their decision, I only hope it is their decision. But I would like to think we as consumers would respect the artist for promoting their art without the need for such measures. I love your promotional video, was laughing my ass off!!! On a side note, we as women do live in testing times, we have to remember to be strong, confident and true to ourselves!

    1. Glad you liked the video, too much Derren Brown! Linking Charlotte and star repeatedly I’m going to brainwash you all “mwha ha ha” (only joking).

      Superb last line we must be strong, confident and true to ourselves.

      Best wishes

    1. Thanks Michael, Sam took it. I try to get the balance right. I did take on board some recent advice to get some context in my photos like musical props, stage lights etc. I know you always put a lot of thought in your compositions.
      Best wishes

  18. You make some good points. Though I’m not prudish (honestly), it does worry me the impression celebrities like Miley Cyrus are leaving on young girl’s minds, especially my daughter’s, who seems to be particularly impressionable. She loves Hannah Montanah, and I’m only hoping she doesn’t want to grow up just like her…

    1. Hi Sally, I think there is room in the media for some more female role models, women that are making it in the business world, design areas, art, music etc, so that young girls can see there are more choices than reality shows and shock tactics. I actually found it a bit easier from the age of 14 because I knew what I wanted to do, it’s much harder if there are no targets to guide you 😉
      Best wishes

  19. I love your promotional video! 🙂

    You bring up some interesting points in your post. Points I have been thinking and re-thinking about a lot lately. The music industry IS male dominated (sadly) and I wouldn’t be too surprised to find out that the idea for Miley’s “Wrecking Ball” video was not her own. I think it is a weird video and I think it sends the wrong message to young girls, but at the same time I have a hard time seeing why this video is worse than any other music video. Lady Gaga radiates sex in her videos, same thing with Rihanna… and in almost any male rapper or r’n b singer’s video you can see a bunch of scantily clad girls snaking around the singer, radiating sex and seemingly -wanting- to be objectified. What kind of image is THAT to give to a young girl, or boy for that matter? That you need to be sexualised or objectified to be worth something? That you need to objectify and sexualise someone to be cool? It’s wrong on so many levels!

    I realize that my post and opinions may seem fuzzy and not entirely clear, but I’ll try to write up a coherent post about this topic at some point. 🙂

    Keep it up Charlotte!

    1. Hi Cecilia, I think you’ve added brilliantly to the post, I couldn’t agree more. I like R&B music but some of the videos make uncomfortable watching. I love Lady Gaga but I like to be happy to watch her videos alongside my grandad and Nana without squirming. At least she’s more mature and seems well able to handle the media storms she creates.
      I think it’s time more classical female singers were seen otherwise there’s no choice ;). I’m hoping the media cottons on to this say in about five years time :0 lol
      Best wishes

  20. Excellent conversation starter. I feel artists have a right to be paid for their work but they shouldn’t make art for the pay. Beautiful and CLASSY promo.

  21. Love the promotion video. It says it all without you lifting a finger. I suspect the pressure to be ‘brave’, and do whatever your publicist reckons will sell you or your product, must be very difficult to resist. I am glad you are well-armoured by you own self-respect and your family.

  22. “Beauty is truth and truth is beauty” said the famous poet. You certainly reflect that. Your classic elegance and talent will bring you to your goal. What is happening to Miley will take its toll. Part of growing up is having the wisdom to make positive choices. Keep up the great work. Your parents must be very proud. Loved the photo of their wedding day in last post.

  23. I am thrilled you liked my blog. Good luck with your singing. At one time I was with Harod Conservatory in Boca Raton. It had prodigies from around the world. They did classical pieces and ballet.

  24. I was going to scan back and read the comments on your perceptive take on the Cyrus tragedy, but it doesn’t matter. I think what I think and see what I see.

    The fact is that she IS a great songwriter with a good voice. She’s pretty, but not stunning, and can’t dance.

    Now hearing that Billy Ray is ok with this video makes me sick, and cause me to wonder more about him that her. In my opinion he needs an alternative achy breaky anatomical feature.

    Miley’s video wasn’t risque – that’s a word that describes the Moulin Rouge spin-off hit with Christina, Maya, Pink etc. It was soft porn. Although the imagery was pertinent to the lyrics, that’s exactly what it was, designed to give the release a gee-up in the ratings.

    Both nude photography and classic nude paintings are precisely the same, irrespective of what arty twit paid to critique says. They are for titillation.My old Art Teacher basically put the likes of Renoirs ‘A Seated Bather’ in the same category of the contemporary page threes.

    In Touchstone’s “ConAir” there’s a character called Cyrus the Virus. He’s been overthrown in reality.

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