Friday, 4 October 2013

Hollywood Babble On & On #1078: Sexual, Sexy, & Just Plain Sleazy.

Hollywood doesn't know what's sexy anymore.

I've suspected that for some time, but all the hype and furor over Miley Cyrus has convinced me that, as usual, I've been right all along.

Let's take a moment to think of the horror of that performance at the MTV Music Awards. She ran around shaking her bony ass like a baboon in heat, and flicking around her tongue like a lizard, and the media and their toadies in the Parents Television Council go on like it was the peak of sexiness.
Not Sexy, Just Shameless

It wasn't sexy, it was a very poorly done recreation, via mime, of a season of National Geographic Specials.


However, it did follow what I call Hollywood's Rules of What Hollywood Thinks Is Sexy.

They are:

1. Lack of clothing.

2. Figure that's below a certain percentage of body fat. Big boobs preferred, but not essential, especially if it threatens to cross that precious body fat threshold, which can lead to some anatomical oddities.

3. Behaving in such a way that while they're not sexually attractive, they are at least sexually available.

This is creating a weird schizophrenia that's affecting pretty much all corners of popular culture. From ex-child stars turned pop-tarts like Cyrus, to trashy reality TV starlets, and to those Hollywood hopes will be mainstream movie and TV stars.

It's also in comics, where the female anatomy defies the laws of physics and physiology, and their costumes make the outfits worn by strippers look demure.

This all comes from the notion that "sex sells" and to sell more you really have to cram sex down the throat of the audience by exaggerating everything sexual, from clothing, to behaviour, into extremes that go from the realm of the sexual into the realm of the ridiculous.

And that's where we encounter the next problem...

The whole concept of "Sex Sells" is really a myth.

Think about it, when was the last time you bought or watched something because someone associated with any given project presented an image of being sexually available, or that the product itself was promoted as sexually stimulating?

P0rn doesn't count.

I'm talking about mainstream movies, TV shows, and music.

Pop music acts can pull it off for short periods of time, because the core audience is an ever-shifting gelatinous mass of dim-witted, easily malleable teenage minds that is constantly replaced by a new crop every year who honestly think "shocking" sexual behaviour by entertainment is something new, novel, and done only for them. But this doesn't last, causing brief bursts of popularity usually ending in a "Where Are The Now" segment on an entertainment show set at a rehab centre.

However, movies and television are a different matter all together.

The audience for movies and television, unlike pop music, absolutely must include people who, unlike teenagers, don't have brains made of pudding if they're going to be profitable. Try to sell something along the lines of "sexy sex-people doing sexy sex-stuff" and you'll probably crash and burn. That's because when it comes to sex selling it has a limit.

People will buy into entertainment where the people in it are sexually attractive, but if that sexual element is the one being pushed the most the audience gets turned off. Why? Because the audience, as a subconscious mass-mind, is smarter than we give it credit for. They see a network or studio using sex as the main selling point, and their collective subconscious says: "This will be a piece of crap and they're hoping that little skin will distract us from the smell of failure." And the amazing thing is that 95.6% of the time this mass-subconscious is right.

It can also repel customers, because who wants to be known as the person who is into that "sex show."

Will these simple truths inspire Hollywood to change their ways?

Probably not. It took a whole blog post to explain it, while the marketing people still have the old nostrum of "sex sells" which hits about the maximum number of words that Hollywood management can understand in any given sentence. 

3 comments:

  1. Sandy Petersen9/10/13 5:37 pm

    In all the furor over Miley Cyrus's behavior, I have not encountered a single person mention that they thought she was attractive. I'm sure that there are a few people out there that did. But even on sites like iFunny and reddit, most of them mock her super-skinny shorts, her hair-style, her tongue-lashing, etc. These guys, who are teens & college-age kids for the most part, are reacting as though she was gross.

    And she was.

    At least Madonna in her heyday was actually good-looking (or rather, faked it).

    ReplyDelete
  2. What's super-sad about this is if you hear anything Miley says about her recent antics, and she sounds convinced that she's the person who discovered sex.

    That girl is thicker than two brick and half as smart.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I've just installed iStripper, so I can watch the sexiest virtual strippers on my desktop.

    ReplyDelete