Sex sells -and its cheap

Posted by Farzana on Fri, Apr 12 2013 20:08:00

We are in the 21st century and I’m sure we can all agree that yes, women have come along way.  Fear not, I’m not about to launch into a tirade about women and how long we have had the right to work and blah blah blah.  However, what does still make my blood boil is the ‘sex’ that’s attached to us. 

Some may be aware of the recent uproar surrounding the resident advisor episode with Nina Kraviz: Between the beats.

Playing on your looks

There has been a lot of attention surrounding this interview with her.  The dancing is more “showy” than it is eccentric.  It’s the bath interview that is borderline pornographic and I really do not see the need.  What happened to good old-fashioned table and chairs?  Oh the bath and bubbles are more interesting? So are you saying she has no personality? No depth? Nothing interesting to talk about?......

Greg Wilson wrote a article surrounding this and what struck me was his comment stating;

“but I think it’s a serious misjudgement to assume that she’s some poor little lamb lost in the woods who doesn’t know what she’s doing, all naïve and ripe for exploitation.”

To think that Nina “knows” what she is doing and playing up to her provocative side is even worse.  She has come this far without publicly having to sell her “sexiness” and had great success.  This bubble bath episode I feel may have stolen some of that well-earned success.

He also states

“she’s causing a reaction and sparking debate. I find it refreshing that she often doesn’t do what people expect her to”

 Well actually Greg for us that are in the industry and are constantly battling off this “sexual image” that comes with a “female DJ” when actually, we just want to be recognized as DJ’s.  We don’t find it refreshing! In fact it’s so stereotypical and has sparked debate because most thought we were past this cheap form of PR stunt.


What’s really on offer?

   Nina Kraviz is a naturally stunning lady.  It’s the same as a male DJ being good looking as well, he can’t help that and I’m sure he will gain some sort of following because people find him attractive.   As a fashion lover myself, I am in no way inferring that women should not dress up. However, dressing up to sell “you” is a different matter.  Yes we are women and we should celebrate that 1000%!! But there’s celebrating it and then there is using it as the main tool over any other talent and intellect.

We recently played with a long standing, and well-respected DJ, Lynda Phoenix in Camden.  Lynda expressed her annoyance at colleagues leaving one of “those” magazines, which was a “bang the DJ” edition on her desk as a little joke. Let’s just say the DJ’s in the shoot were not wearing much at all.   Now Lynda has a great sense of humor and we all had a laugh about it.  But this “light banter” does hold some weight.   Women are still being seen as sex objects as opposed to a DJ first.  And therefore the sexual stigma has to be dealt with by the more serious artiste.  Which means having to work harder to prove yourself.   But who’s to blame here?  The media/industry? Or the women who go along with it?

Lauren and I did not go down the whole sexy attire avenue because to be honest what relevance does it have with house music?  That’s not what DJ-ing is about.  Now don’t get me wrong, we both love dressing up, EVERYONE does (even men out sparkle us from time to time)!!! That being said, it’s not what music is about for us.  We want people to follow and book us for our music and that means listening to our mixes not looking at our pictures.  It’s also about self-respect for us.  We haven’t ever had anyone book us on the basis of our image and that feeling itself is empowering.  Lets face it, male DJ’s are not booked as long as they have their six pack on show, or asked to dress up as firemen…….oh wait hold up there’s a thought…

We feel sexy, yeah, for sure when we are playing a set - in fact the feeling goes beyond that, one that’s hard to articulate.  When people are enjoying the sound you are playing in a club it’s a real buzz.  It would be weird to play in a club and to have people just stare at you – because essentially by selling yourself as a sex object that’s what you are aiming for, right?    Being in a predominantly male environment is not intimidating for us but has definitely bought to light how hard it is for women to be seen as DJ’s before being seen as a woman.  Women are starting to hold a stronger presence within the whole industry becoming managers and so on but there is still not enough presence behind the scenes. And there are a few respectable females we admire like Lynda Phoneix and Tini who have kept it about the underground music and nothing more.

The Bathtub saga continues







The title reads “serious” but the image says something else all together.  If she were a serious lawyer would she be in the bathtub wearing stockings? I think NOT!  If she were a serious financial advisor would she be in the bathtub wearing stockings? Again I think NOT! 

Why is she not shown with anything referring to music, even a cd at the very least?  Because sex sells, it’s the cheapest and quickest avenue for attention.

Because even as a straight women all I am left with is a sultry looking 20 something year old in a bath ready for a bit of the other. Not a musician.  Is it not enough that she is only 23 and already making waves with an online station or better yet has had two releases??  

So who’s to blame here? I am assuming the media/metro is. But this artiste has a voice and a choice too.  So is she as much to blame for this degrading image to DJ’s?

Images like this don’t only cheapen the value of female DJ’s, it has an all round effect on the profession across the board.  Being a DJ takes time, dedication, research and constant housekeeping.  You are in a sense running a business; handling bookings, buying material and for producers, making material.  You don’t just rock up looking cool and press play.  Images like this say that all DJ’s be it male or female do just that.   Also for me it sends out a disturbing message to the younger generation that it’s all image, and no depth. Subconsciously young girls who are aspiring to get into music may see things like “bang the DJ” or provocative images of girls in headphones and think “oh, I will have to go down that road and be sexy to get in to this industry”.  And so she has her photos done in heels and a mini, does an ok mix, sends it to a promoter and more than likely (he) goes “yes love, come dressed like that though - our punters will love it” and probably doesn’t even have a listen to her mix.  And now she is in this cycle where she has to “dress the part” as opposed to play the part.  And so it continues.   It becomes a cabaret show more than anything else.  And this kind of cabaret has had its day!!

I am so passionate about this and feel it is so important for artistes to really think about how selling themselves to get quick/visual recognition in turn sells themselves short in the long run.  Now again don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying dress like a man!  Celebrate being a woman! But don’t give others any reason to undermine you and other women by just baring all and relying on that to get your foot in the door. It is cheap and easy. It doesn’t really offer anything new to the table and when you are faced with sleazy promoters/events organisers/booking agents etc; you only really have yourself to blame, because you sent out “that” image for “them” to buy.


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