Thursday, January 29, 2015

Usher, I DO MIND!

What is going on!? I mean, REALLY?  
Please remember, whether you like it or not, you are a role model to our youth!  

There are a lot of songs on the radio that are pushing the limits with their lyrics. Yet, I admit, I still enjoy listening to them and even allow my girls to indulge a bit as well! We have had many dance party moments where I let my girls shimmy around the house shaking it off as they sing and borderline shout, "It's all about the bass, bout the bass" in their adorable, only a mother can love, shrieks!
Obviously there are songs I have come across via radio and Pandora that are a little too hard core (mainly of the rap genre) and I change the song instantly. However, this Usher song seems to have really triggered a nerve with me. And, I'll tell you why. I grew up listening to Usher! Some of my favorite songs and sweetest teenage memories are from Usher's songs. "My Boo" with Alicia Keyes, "You Got it Bad" featuring his then girlfriend Chili from TLC, "You Make Me Wanna" --to be honest,  I have most of his albums and there isn't a song I DON'T like.
Then I hear "I Don't Mind" on the radio and, as a mother of 2 young girls, I'm now mad at Usher. Not just disappointed, but mad. Usher, I don't want to change your song when it comes on the radio. But, I don't want my girls listening to what you are telling them. Maybe as a father of 2 BOYS, you don't mind. But, in this world of boys being pimps and girls being pimped out, I mind and I mind A LOT! I know there are way too many songs out there like yours, but your lyrics are so direct in promoting girls as strippers that it's the basis of the entire song! Let's have a look, shall we: "Shawty, I don't mind/ If you dance on a pole, that don't make you a ho.." Usher then goes on to encourage his lady to go and "make that many, money, money" before adding "You can take off your clothes, long as you coming home."
This is not what I want my daughters to be exposed to. To think that it's okay to sell their body as a means to earning an income.  The thing is, if it's on the radio and people are singing to it on the streets, my girls are not only being desensitized by the message that being a stripper is an admirable profession, but they are going to think it's cool and hip and it's what they should be doing too. Then there's this verse that really pushed me to the edge, at this point Usher is really into his song and he's singing fast, "You can twerk while in a split, you racking up them tips/Your body rock and your booty poppin'/ I'm proud to call you my bitch." Needless to say, at this point I'm livid. It's one thing to be a sexy, beautiful and healthy female with a respected, profession that was earned through years of education, experience and hard work. It's quite another to be fully naked and exposing your private parts to dirty, perverted men so that they will throw dollar bills at you. This is not a profession to be glorified. Most strippers are strung out on drugs and they age fast because they are living fast. There is no dignity in stripping and selling your body. And the fact that you are calling your girl a bitch, implies that you also have no respect for her.
What's sad is that women are faced with fine lines on a daily basis. It's a fine line to wear make up and fix our hair to feel pretty and be perceived as beautiful by others, but doing that while also wearing skimpy, barely there clothes automatically sends the message that we are slutty. By dressing sexy we have crossed the line between acceptable beauty standards and ventured toward the unacceptable. Then there's not doing any of it at all, which can turn into us being labeled as gay or butch, and a word I really hate the most, dyke.
However, men can wear gym clothes, work clothes, everyday clothes, nobody ever judges them.
So you see Usher, life for a female, especially in this day and age of We Can Do It and Lean In and the continued pursuit of equal pay and equal opportunities, is quite a difficult one, and you my long time friend, are not making it any easier on our youth!  

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