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Is Beauty only skin deep? Where is the added value and can it help your career?

Posted: February 13, 2023
The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mode but the true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives the passion that she shows. The beauty of a woman grows with the passing years. Audrey Hepburn

If anyone knew about beauty it would be Audrey Hepburn. She was the epitome of a beautiful woman. I don’t recall every seeing a movie or picture of her where she was overdone. No low necklines, or need to show skin to promote her image or brand. She was beautiful, elegant and classy all wrapped up into one woman. Yet, she was successful and adored throughout her entire life. What has changed? What is the need for women, or men to appear without appropriate attire? I don’t get it. If you are an artist, than you should allow your music to speak for you. Why allow distraction to take the place of your talented music ability? Is it because everyone else is doing it? You have to get ahead of the competition, so you will do what it takes. Really? Is selling yourself short, and giving more of yourself that what you intended worth it? What does this say about your character? Your morality? The value that you place on yourself, and others?

There exists a sleezy advertising slogan that promotes this idea that “sex sells”. Sex was first used to sell products back in 1871. According to World Heritage Encyclopedia, the earliest form of using sex in advertising was by Pearl Tobacco. Their cigarette package displayed an image of a “naked maiden.” This was exceptionally provocative at the time, and sales immediately rose.

Would you say that was a successful advertising campaign? Yes. Sales immediately rose for that Tobacco company. Needless to say, so did the number of people that died from smoking. This is not an attack on Pearl Tobacco. However, we do not condone the use of Tobacco products either. In 1964 Surgeon General Luther Terry made a bold announcement to a roomful of reporters: cigarette smoking causes lung cancer and probably heart disease, and the government should do something about it. In fact, years later the government did do something about it. A warning was labeled on each pack of cigarettes that smoking would cause disease.

If you think about it, both products can lead to disease. So why is there such a focus on the idea that dressing provocatively will increase your sales as an artist? If you cannot become successful on your voice, lyric, or music ability that you need to look for a new career. Do not let your social media contributors determine that you are talented, because you’re “dressed to the nines” or “undressed to the nines”.

Cookie cutter artists are trendy, and they are everywhere. This is probably the reason why artists have to go to another level of dress and grooming. So consumers can differentiate them from other artists. Again, this is not relying on your talent. You are an artist, and your success should be determined by what the ears can hear. Not what the eyes can see. Does this make sense to you? I get it this entire concept makes sense. Sex sells. Why not abuse what has worked for decades. In retrospect you can go back before 1871 to determine that the concept has worked. However, it is time for change. Time to make it about one’s own creative ability. Do not make it about how they look or appear to the eyes. This sends the wrong message to the artist. Also it isn’t consistent with how many artists have succeeded over the years.

Before writing this column, I had been thinking about the topic for a while. I noticed this trend developing over a period of years, and it has only gotten worse. I am not being prudish, just noticing that many posts reflect a new vibe. The old slogan of “sex sells” has made its way into the advertising for many qualified artists. This isn’t necessary because anyone with an ear for talent, will see past all of the gimmicks. I have known artists for many years, that would never consider this type of advertising. Are they concerned with their reputation? Maybe. Do they have a high regard for morality? Most likely. Do they have confidence in their own abilities as an artist? Yes. They recognize that there is always a need for advertising. However, “no cheap thrills” or “gimmicks” are acceptable.

One of the artists that has a high regard for affective advertising and representation is Sally Jane. If you are not familiar with her work, you should make it a priority. She is an amazing talent, and doesn’t follow trends. She build her reputation based upon basic fundamentals. Her voice, and ability to play guitar. The rest takes care of itself.

I want you to hear from Sally Jane, and get her viewpoint regarding the way she dresses, and appearance. It is important for you to understand why she can be beautiful and talented. Notice, without the need for shady advertisement or trends.

Hello Sally. Thank you for joining us for brief conversation regarding this topic.

We want to know how you remain so successful while avoiding doing damage to your reputation?

I am just being true to me. This is what I look like, this is what I sound like. When my fans see me on stage they see the same me as who I am at home. I’m using my real persona instead of an engineered one so it's easy for me to look and sound the same each time. I think the success that I’ve had so far is because of hard work from myself and my team and I’m just trying to be me. Every song I write and every experience I have I am learning from and becoming more of a professional artist each time and you have to agree there’s a lot less stress when I don’t have to try and remember on top of everything else what I’m supposed to look like. I don’t need to avoid scandals because I don’t put myself in the situation to begin with.

 

Provide some insight into how you feel about this topic?

There’s an unrealistic pressure put on young people, especially in the public eye to look, think and be a certain way. If we were all to follow that expectation we would all be the same. We're all unique and that’s what makes us wonderful and keeps society interesting but somewhere along the way uniqueness has been discarded and we’ve been told to jump on the latest trends and be the same. Being bullied for being different is pathetic and needs to change, we need to accept ourselves for who we are not who we want or think we should be and more importantly accept others for their unique beauty. Social media and influencers have an important part to play in recognising uniqueness but unfortunately right now they’re a big part of the problem. If we were all to follow the trends and look the same we’d be boring as….

 

Why does your choice of advertising work for you?

I think just by being myself I am already different from the rest in a good way. I portray a young, small town country girl because I am a girl from a small town in Western Australia. I don’t fake my love for horses because I do own horses and ride and have done so since I was 5. I wear Wrangler jeans and Thomas Cook shirts because I always have done. My favourite Australian country artist is Kasey Chambers, I love her inspiring songwriting and she just acts like herself. I’ve had the opportunity to work with her a few times now and she is so real on and off stage. If someone as famous as her can be herself and a genuine down to earth person then that is something I want to aspire to be like for myself too.

 

Conclusion: The intent of the editor is not to make any individual(s) feel upset, frustrated, confused, etc. over the topic made in this column. It is an exercise to get you to think about trends, and gimmicks. They will not last, despite all your efforts. The longevity of your career in the music industry is not based upon the motto of “sex sells”. Cheap tricks, thrills or gimmicks are for the uncertain and uneducated. Those artists with the ability to succeed, will be the ones that are confident in what they can bring to your ears, and not your eyes. Time to buck the trends, and focus on what makes a singer talented. Follow your favorite artist because they have a beautiful voice and can dress to the nines. Remember Aubrey Hepburn? Extremely talented. Not a stich of fabric had to be removed or unveiled. You knew she was an actress would succeed, and her reputation led the way. It is part of what defined her career. Can you be the next Aubrey Hepburn of the music industry?

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