FADastic: Sex Appeal Doesn't Really 'Appeal' Anymore

Real Classy...
(image source: http://radiocontraband.com/)
Out there in the vast wasteland of popular culture Sex Appeal is almost strictly the main selling point. I wouldn't be too shy claiming, without knowing, that more then likely more money is spent on outfits and photography then the music itself. Hell, some artists don't even really rap or sing anymore and instead opt for whispering or talking through a song. There are tracks out there that have absolutely no chorus - not even for 'experimental sake' (as in the case with a lot of metal tracks) but instead for some lazy screeching computer nonsense. And, okay, there are exceptions where this works but in most cases it doesn't really. Instead, your real treat is within CD books (or online images and videos) full of nothing buy gawking material. I absolutely don't get when music shifted from a auditory to a visual medium at all.

Don't get me wrong though, I love metal and we all know it has its vast share of culprits that rely on visual goods. Heck, Black Metal - the so-called KVLT genre - is so reliant on visual shock that its almost just a shade of what popular culture represents, only with more clothes and makeup.  However I'm not going to bash down on Black Metal too much - everyone knows what goes on there (or you should). What I am going to go on about is the vast stupidity that is trying to pull people closer to metal bands through sex appeal.

Recently I saw a video by Butcher Babies called 'Mr. Slowdeath' where the, already over-sexualized, dual-leads opt or pointlessly having their breasts out with tape on their nipples. Why. Why is that there at all? The lyrics don't pertain to this at all. Actually, some of their songs deal with people like that being refereed to as filth and scum. And it isn't ironic, the rest of their attire is just sundresses and odd makeup. This was clearly a decision to rake in a bit of a 'Bro' audience. Especially considering the two singers arch down and rub their legs and thighs - again, pointlessly.

The most upsetting example i can think of is In The Moment. Once, back in the day, me and my wife had taken a liking to the small 'metalcore' group. Maria Brink had edge and power. Her hurt within lyrics made sense and she could actually back up what she was talking about (having had a son while young and expressing a lot of her emotional traumas and desires through her lyrics). Every album brought something seriously new to the table - until 'Blood'. And, it wasn't even the album that made everything go sour. it was the fact that the band totally pushed Maria Brink to be portrayed as basically a massive whore. I'm not even kidding, her live shows resorted to her wearing a dunce cap with the bold letters 'WHORE' on it. In This Moments videos from there ranged from her basically having orgies on screen all the way to her being part of a drug induced peep show. Wonderful.  It didn't even stop there. Brink went on to further enforce this by appearing on the front cover of several magazines completely nude - with her 'WHORE' dunce cap.

So my question is: how is this appealing? Metal, to me at least, was about strength and basically laying life's problems out flat. I'd expect the women to convey at least a bit of strength or, anything. And, if this is done strictly to draw in a audience - isn't there so many better ways to do it with Metal? Bands like Lordi rely on grotesque monster costumes like the infamous GWAR. Within Temptation, Nightwish, Delain, Leaves' Eyes, and countless other bands have their women in elaborite and beautiful attire. What is going on out there? I certainly hope that this 'skimp' phase doesn't last for my beloved genre. Then again, maybe its been here the whole time and I just never realized it at all.