Is there a double standard amongst music fans that makes it ok for Janet Jackson to disrobe and simulate sex on stage, while artists like Rihanna and Beyonce get slack for doing far less? This is the question that I have found is being asked on this site and many others. And though I am a longtime Janet fan and supporter, I must admit that the answer is YES! Why? I don’t know.
One commenter on this site says it is because Janet’s fan base is much older and thus impressionable teenagers are less likely to see and thus be influenced by what Janet does. Other commenters simply think Janet is being true to herself, whereas they see artists like Rihanna and Beyonce as using their sexuality for the sole purpose of selling music.
If I had to take a wild guess as to why I personally think Janet can get away with things that many younger artists would be criticized for, I would say it is because sex never ruled Janet’s image. Janet is still seen very much as the tomboy she has always claimed to be. Let’s face it, if you weren’t a stone cold fan who kept up with Janet’s career and attended her concerts, you wouldn’t even know she did some of the risqué things she does.
Janet has shown BALANCE in her career. When you think of her you think of dance and great video. Sex or her sexuality never crosses your mind because it has been woven into her songs and outside of her music she never displays it. Janet’s freakier side has always been hidden and something only her most die-hard fans knew about. Janet has managed to balance the tomboy side of herself with the woman she is and has done so without allowing her image to become all about her looks or the sexual things she does in concert.
Janet has a 30+ year career behind her and so the public knows what she has to offer and they know it is more than just cover girl good looks. Unfortunately, many of today’s artists are seen as having only “the look” and little else to backup them being called musicians.
On the upside- should many of todays hot young divas be around 10 years from now, I think this argument will become moot.
Image via @angelonfire