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Teenybop

Essay by   •  November 17, 2010  •  Essay  •  810 Words (4 Pages)  •  855 Views

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The first time I can remember taking a profound interest in music was probably in the third grade. This was when I first became a fan, bought my own cassettes, and plastered my room with pictures of my favorite group. And who were they? A sort of one-year, four-hot wonder called Ace of Base. Although I can't remember exactly where I was when I first heard Ace of Base, I remember how their music made me feel. It was good dancing music (for my third-grade bopping around that I called dancing), had catchy tunes, and lyrics that made me feel mature ahead of my time. I learned all the lyrics, thought that the lead singer was the most talented vocalist on the planet, and would even write down the lyrics on paper by pausing and rewinding the tapes a thousand times. In a song called "Don't turn around," the singer is talking about leaving her boyfriend in a painful breakup. Being only in the third grade, I felt like a musical connoisseur, so into this "adult" kind of music, with songs about love and life. And so, Ace of Base spawned my 5 year bout as a teeny bopper: listening to specifically targeted music that made me feel mature and sexy before I had even hit puberty.

In class, we discussed that cock rock is an aggressive expression of male sexuality. It is dominating and boastful, and is certainly a hard sexuality. But instead of being exposed to Jimmy Hendrix, AC/DC, and The Rolling Stones as a child, I was surrounded by peers and the media pushing teeny bopper music: Britney, Backstreet Boys and N'Sync. The sexual message delivered by these "bubblegum" pop bands is much softer, but nonetheless jump starts a life full of sexual awareness. The teenybopper music industry is definitely aimed at young kids and tweens, who are naive and gullible. So how come, then, this music is full of unrealistic images, and sexual messages? There seems to me to be a double standard for kids and tweens listening to this kind of music- this music is for you, and all your friends are listening to it, but the artists are 15 years older than you, dressing scantily and singing about sex. It is this double standard that is jumpstarting an era of self-conscious youth.

Teenybopper music is female-driven and targeted, where cock rock is evidently male. But most artists that appeal to teenybopper girls are male, hence the explosion of the boy band onto the pop music scene in the 1990's. Immediately, sex symbols are created for young girls simply because the artists singing the catchy tunes are males. The media plays a huge role in the success of bubblegum pop bands, and magazines like TigerBeat and Bob focus all of their attention on putting faces and personalities to the music. Young girls will develop a fan following for the artist, or specific band member, and buy t-shirts, posters, and pictures

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