• Women dancing, wearing bikinis, or crop-tops and little shorts, or just underwear
• Numerous women dancing around or in front of a singular male, or a small group of males
• At least one woman with less clothes on than would be deemed 'normal' or 'not slutty' in public
• Close-ups of women's bodies, usually bums, boobs, legs and stomachs.
You may come across a couple of videos without these things, but my own personal (admittedly confirmational) scan through the channels suggests it's rare, even in genres not usually reknowned for their sexism. And of course, videos differ in the level to which they use the depersonalised female body - but it's there alright, most of the time.
Anyway, I initially went on for another 4 paragraphs about why this is a bad thing, but I don't think it'd win any converts - you either get what I mean or you think it's all harmless, a bit of fun. I'm a killjoy, a jealous bitch even. I've heard it before. They're two fundamentally different stances, sure, and I'll grant that on a good day, I can sit through one of those videos emotionlessly and know that plenty of people do the same, desensitised to the images they're presented with. But I am a great believer in the idea that things seep into our psyche; we don't always see that what's 'normal' to us is not actually the only path, the only way the world could be. Music videos show a world of ideals, but those are NOT biological ideals. They are cultural ideals, and therefore, they could easily be re-shaped. They're only showing 80%-naked girls and half-dressed guys because they're perpetuating our media's images, and our media's images are there because being thin, tanned, made-up, well-dressed down to the underwear, shaven, perfumed and bejewelled is the most expensive way to live, and our media is based on advertising. Simple as that. (Well, almost...)
All this has, tangentially enough, been leading up to a discussion of No Doubt. I always used to see Gwen Stefani as another sugar-pop princess, with slightly better music, because I saw her having an interview on Channel 4 a long time ago and she appeared pretty vacuous. It was definitely a cruel assessment, I know that now, but the pretty costumes, blonde bombshell haircut and heavy make-up don't do her music justice, really. I was too used to pop producing mindless music by women who were just a front, lip-syncing, taking pin-up girl photos and grinding the camera in videos. Therefore, when I watched 'Just A Girl', it was a very pleasant surprise. The lyrics mean srsbsns, and she's got a srsbsns voice to go with them.
I hope no-one missed the sarcasm. I think it's pretty blatant but it was released in America. (No offence, Americans, but your Bible Belt makes us all lol over here in the UK.)
I'm just a girl in the world... That's all that you'll let me be!"