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    Sex appeal: An essential tool in showbusiness

    by Arnold Asamoah-Baidoo
    posted Tuesday, 13 October 2009 19:31| 2 Comments

    Mzbel is back and her comeback characteristically opens the gates for more controversies, critiques, and loose talk. I love Mzbel, not necessarily for her music, not for her music videos and not for her dance moves – but for her sex appeal. You can chide her for whatever reason but I’ll defend her to the tooth for her sex appeal.

    Many of her critics find her ability to expose some skin and ton of legs as offensive and inappropriate, but if those critics would dig deep into the real essence of show business, they will realize that Mzbel has been and is still on top of her game.

    Sex appeal is a person’s ability to attract in a sexual or erotic manner the interest of another person – and in today’s music industry and for today’s female singers, sex appeal is a must. It was once considered a bonus for lady singers but now, it is practically a requirement to have sex appeal.

    Award-winning Becca and Mzbel especially, are heavily criticized many times for the way they dress during their stage performances; Mzbel for her exposure of legs and thighs, and belly button and Becca for her exposure of hands, back and belly - but what these ladies are doing fits perfectly in an industry that embraces and endorses sex appeal.

    People were quick to castigate Mzbel for her outfit during her performance at last week’s Miss Ghana final at the National Theater but ironically, these same people watch sheepishly with glee when they see Rihanna, Ciara and Beyonce wear the same thing to perform. Hypocrites?

    The phrase ‘sex sells’ is a well-known quotation in the bible of show business and female singers blessed with good looks have an advantage to attract more fanatics and those without the looks are doing everything possible to enhance their appearance. Sex appeal has such an inestimable influence on how well an artiste sells her album and how well she markets her brand.

    I’ll name the top 5 most-sought-after female singers in recent times and you pick out the one with no sex appeal; Beyonce, Madonna, Lady Gaga, Keri Hilson and Miley Cyrus.

    Madonna is over 50 years old but has not lost any of her sex appeal that made her to gross the biggest revenue for any music tour. Since 1987, she has used her sex appeal to sell her albums and wooed multitudes to her concerts. Beyonce has everything from angelic face to curvaceous body and from her first album ‘Dangerously in Love’ to her latest ‘I am … Sasha Fierce’; she has sold not only her talent but her sex appeal.

    In today’s industry, it is hard to sell a singer without a sexy look – all of which are played up with sensuous music videos, modeling spreads and provocative magazine covers. Under normal circumstance, true and pure talent is supposed to rise above whatever else but these days, the more apt you are increases your chances of getting a record deal. Legendary country singer Dolly Parton admits that her bigger breasts and buxom figure sometimes overshadows her talent as a songwriter and a singer.

    Do you think that all those who attend Mzbel or Becca concerts only go to hear them sing? Absolutely not. Many go to their shows to watch their seductive dance moves and many others go to watch them in their provocative dressing on stage – and they all got to pay for it.

    The marketing benefits for possessing sex appeal have turned out to be enormous. With dwindling album sales, record labels try to maximize artist exposure with clothing deals, cosmetic contracts, movie roles and modeling gigs and that explains why Beyonce has all the endorsement deals from Luis Vitton, Tommy Hilfiger to O’Real.

    Well, I can feel somebody fuming over this article and saying that Mzbel and Becca are not Beyonce and this is Ghana where sex appeal is not necessary? If Ghana has come to understand endorsement and if Ghanaian celebrities are good enough to sign lucrative endorsement deals, what makes you think, we are not ready to use our sex appeal to garner more endorsement deals? Even gospel divas like Mary Mary, Yolanda Adams, and our own Jael Wiafe and Ohemaa Mercy have sex appeal.

    As a matter of digression, US Presidential candidate Sarah Palin who was said to be intellectually undistinguished, ill-qualified for the job, lacked impeccable credentials and inept in handling constitutional questions – boosted her unfavourable rating from 7% to 48% within two months; all because of her sex appeal. In fact, a poll by Pew Research Center found that her approval rating was 50% among men and 40% among women and many pollsters indicated that she was incredibly beautiful instead of saying she was fit to be Vice President.

    I applaud the advisors of Mzbel and Becca in allowing them inculcate some sex appeal in their branding and especially in their performances. We are growing as a country and so it is okay for critics to frown on such moves but with time, people will appreciate that this is showbusiness. It is no surprise that the upcoming female artsites like Irene Logan, Miss Jane, Tiffany, Veeda and Eassy all have elements of sex appeal.

    It will work out for these ladies especially if they do not over step their boundaries and by over-stepping their boundaries, they should not dress to walk through the mall like they dress for the stage and they should not dress for TV interviews like they dress for provocative magazine photo shoots.




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