Charlotte Church Slams Sexist Music Industry
Singer Charlotte Church has attacked the sexism of the "juvenile" male-dominated music industry, which she said was increasingly creating and promoting "child-like" sex objects.
In the keynote John Peel Lecture, she backed calls for an age-ratings system for near-the-knuckle music videos and said radio executives needed to shoulder some responsibility for playlisting artists who relied on "soft porn" to boost their profile.
Her comments - in an address to radio executives - come as there is increasing concern about sexual imagery to sell music with singer Miley Cyrus appearing naked in her video for the single Wrecking Ball.
Church, who like Cyrus found success in her early teens, told how she faced considerable pressure to promote her music in ever more suggestive outfits and she said the legacy of revealing outfits is that she faces a barrage of abuse online, being called a "slut" and a "whore".
And she warned younger stars who succumb to the pressure to sell their sexuality: "Now I find it difficult to promote my music in the places where it would be best suited because of my 'history'. But at the time it was the option presented to me."
Church, 27, said women were being "coerced" into sexual roles to cling on to their careers and she classified women who were overtly using sexual imagery to boost their careers such as Rihanna and Cyrus as "unattainable sexbots".
She said that approach was "the most commonly employed and most damaging, a role that is also often claimed to be an empowering one".
Church went on: "The irony behind this is that the women generally filling these roles are very young, often previous child stars or Disney-tweens, who are simply interested in getting along in an industry glamourised to be the most desirable career for young women.
"They are encouraged to present themselves as hyper-sexualised, unrealistic, cartoonish, as objects, reducing female sexuality to a prize you can win.
"The culture of demeaning women in pop music is so ingrained as to become routine, from the way we are dealt with by management and labels, to the way we are presented to the public.
"You could trace this back to Madonna - although it probably goes back further in time. She was a template setter. By changing her image regularly, putting her sexuality in the heart of her image, videos and live performance - the statement she was making was - I am in control of ME and my sexuality.
"This idea has had its corners rounded off over the years and has become 'take clothes off, show you're an adult'."
Church branded the music world "a male-dominated industry, with an juvenile perspective on gender and sexuality".