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Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Hiphophoney - a career?

I watched a programme on BBC3 the other day called Hiphophoneys which followed presenter Nel Hedayat as she delved into the dark world of video modeling in the UK and America.

Now the show was very interesting because it kind of showed the difference between those who have made it in the industry and those who have not; and well the contrast could not have been more different.

Firstly we had the professional dancer who looked to come from a well to do family, over in American trying to be a triple threat (dancer, singer and actress ala J-LO!) all the way to the single mother trying to be the lead video girl in the K.I.G video and the one trying to get bum implants even though her bum looked a pretty reasonable size to me! Lol -plus everything in between!

Now the presenter of the programme initially came from the stand point that these women are being sexually exploited; that with the boundaries of today’s videos going to the extreme, in order to make it you got to sell your soul and/or be almost naked shaking your bits!.

I can’t say that I totally agree or disagree… I mean hearing the men talk about these women as if they are rubbish using terms such as ho´s etc and saying that some of the women only want to sleep with the singers/rappers/celebrities (him being a willing recipient) etc was not easy viewing,  but at the end of the day he himself said that a crap song can be made less crap thanks to the video models therefore I think it’s a two way street (both using each other in the chase for fame and glory).

I mean we have all read or heard of Karrines Steffan´s Video Vixen,right? we have all seen music videos, we all know the difference between classy and trashy and the women in the programme were all grown ups; therefore if they choose to make video modeling their career of choice then who are we to judge? Even if they spend their money and get no money back in return (hardly any get paid for their trade and one promoter admitted duping women into thinking they would)… Some careers are worth that and sometimes you got to pay out before you reap the rewards

I think what the show highlighted was that there is unlikely to be a shortage of women willing to get their video light… there was even a women who was sexually assaulted whilst taking part in a photo shoot (I think) and she was talking about still pursuing her dream of being a video model because she did not want to let her perpetrator win, and make her stop doing something that she loves.

Me personally I don’t like any video light;  however there are plenty of women who do and I have seen many a girl in my time skinning out (popping their bums in the club) for the video light never knowing where that video will end up.

It is what it is really and I don’t think any BBC show could put anyone off the idea that when you make it you can make it big ala Angela Lola in America (the show did not paint such a grand  picture for UK models though), you get to hang out with the biggest stars, have money and then go onto pursue your real dream of being a rapper or a reality TV star…

Check out some interesting responses to the programme:

So BDSSer´s what do you think? Hiphophoney a career?


  1. There used to be a time in music that you wish you where the girl being romanced and treated like the queen being shown in music video’s where music had a quality… but then I don’t know what happened its like over night music videos became about showing us what they have from the house, to the car and lastly the naked women… this brings me to screeching halt. First Hip Hop now even pop with semi naked and almost there might as well be naked girls while their male counter parts are fully dressed talking about my bitch my ho and how she looks and there she is in the back ground as though agreeing that she fits his stupid stereotype type.

    As I watched HipHop honeys I was shocked at the thinking of these girls, the first girl stuck to me the most in that she looked like she came from a middleclass back ground spoke well but seemed drawn into the world of being a video girl. She seemed to separate herself by thinking they are 2 types of video girls those that will do anything including strip just to be popular or to get into my video’s and those that don’t but later in show she is in a new video where she seems to have changed her mind but later explains that it was not a thong rather a 1 piece that you can wear on the beach, it was frankly laugherable because you wouldn’t wear that THONG to the beach well I wouldn’t even if I had a banging ass body. To think that she doesn’t see her own double standard that she sets for herself made it rather sad watch, where she could have spent her time in a better career she thought dancing in salacious out fits while man rapped around was a better option, my point is WHY. I can’t understand why any girl would want to be a video girl even though the men who scout for video girls where being so degrading about them.

    I can’t even equate this to a struggling career because the return is not as much as you give out, you have to change your body to fit a stereotype type and what are you teaching young girls and young boys about the treatment of women, your children that its ok to not be accepted the way you are and it better to change who you where made to be to be in a music video, wrong message to send to young girls who clearly getting this message because on a casting call a lot of girls showed up with nothing iron clad promised to them. Personally I wouldn’t ever want to be a hip hop honey because frankly it’s not what my brain is worth, I would rather struggle working 2 jobs than go and take of my clothes at the promise of maybe one day making it big. Yes no one is pushing these girls to choose this path but from this show the return for the woman is far less than what the man gets and that is just not fair.

    I find this a rather tough subject because I think women have come so far it almost fills like these girls are throwing it away, I’m so aware of women and power and making strong statements to our men and this isn’t for me the best statement we can make, As Si states they video vixens in the States are making money and selling books but off the back of what… sleeping with some married rap stars and sleeping their way to the best music video, not all but a large amount it must be said.

    This for me is a sad way to make a living, and if I was a parent it would hurt to watch my child or relative prance around with no clothes on in a music video because they represent me and I them, the choices they make affect me, they may not see it like that but they do. What about later on in life, you are not going to be a video girl for life what if you choose to be a teach and the next generation kids see this and your new employer sees this are they ready for those repercussions????

  2. I found the program interesting in that on a few occasions I've seen people I know pop up in these uk video's.

    Now I don't think I would go as far as the program does in saying that these women are exploited. As far as I can tell, they answer ad's for girls on social networking sites, so I think that they know what they are required to do and I don't think it benefits anyone to be cast in this role as exploitable victim, the reality is that the woman shown on the program so desperately seeking bum implants was doing it so she could feel confortable enough to participate in the video, the same is true for the one's that travelled to the USA they want to gain something from it!

    I think the program highlighted well what an absolute rubbish career choice it is here in the UK as they are not making much money. Some of the women shown sell semi-naked pictures of themselves online so its definitely not the empowering career financially as some of the women make out!

    As for the portrayal of the women in the video's its a joke, but then women artists themselves are often scantily clad in their own video's so there is not much hope for the hip-hop video's made by men!

  3. Just caught up on this documentary on youtube.

    For me, the US Hip Hop Ambassador Toni Blackman summed it up perfectly when she described the fat rap artist dude "with a big white t-shirt to cover up his fat, and who doesn't look good naked" surrounded by these seemingly 'perfect' women that they cast for these vids = complete contradiction to reality.

    Although some of the girls did seemed either quite na├»ve or in some cases completely deluded to the realities of such industries or what you can get out of it, only few were prepared to admit their willingness to be exploited if need be. Not that I’m condoning it but I would respect the latter as you could view it as an educated choice; sure they may want the glitz/glam/fame but unlike the ignorant ones, they probably are more aware of what it is they’re actually getting into. If it’s true that there are some don’t actually ‘sleep their way through the stars’ but do the vids and show their bodies as a means to a specific end if this is really what (and how) they ‘choose’ to do with their lives as an adult, I suppose the question is whether you can exploit women who know what they’re getting into. Like the documentary suggested, it’s apparent that the rapper and the vid-girl need each but it probably boils down to who can actually ‘make it’ without the other?

    Certain lyrics are also another concern and there have been times where I’d sing some vybes kartel and other dutty-mouthed artists (lol) tunes to my heart’s content, but sometimes when I get wind of the words I’m actually singing, I realise it consists of the most derogatory references and phrases about women that I would never EVER stand for being used against or about me. The truth is society keeps buying into the lifestyle whether it be buying the music and watching the videos, to dressing like ‘them in the videos’ or ultimately becoming one of them in the videos. For some people I suppose it’s an irresistible dream.

    As for the bum implant; was I the only one that clenched at the thought??? LOL

  4. Interview with tragic Hip-hop Honey wanna be, who passed away last week alledgedly in pursuit of the perfect bum!

    When I heard the story about Claudia Aderotimi passing, it brought me back to this post which was done very much in the theme of the documentary aired on bbc3, which questioned wether women were being exploited by this industry, it touched very briefly upon body enhancement but unfortunately it takes this tragic event to highlight the ultimate dangers with trying to change yourself in the most cheap, risky way possible.