Selena Gomez had a few things to say about being classy versus being sexy. She said onstage during a concert, “But I have to tell you, I get it all day, everyday that I’m not sexy enough, or I’m not cool enough, or if I did this I would be accepted. Let me tell you one thing: the sexiest thing . . . is class. I promise you that each and every one of you is made to be who you are. That is what’s so attractive and beautiful. Please don’t forget that, even when it gets hard.”
It’s not that I don’t believe Selena Gomez doesn’t get told by creepy PR people and managers that she is not sexy enough, I believe that much but saying the sexiest thing is class, that’s seriously problematic. What someone finds sexy or attractive is totally up to them, women who wear hijabs, niqabs or burkas—who are completely covered up—are no less beautiful than women in short skirts and crop tops. They are also no more or less sexual than any other woman because all humans are sexual beings whether they keep that public or private. Making a declarative statement that divides women into classy and, obviously the opposite of that is trashy, is slut shaming, sets women back and is kind of mean.
It is an issue when every girl feels like she needs to be nearly naked in order to garner attention or success but don’t we all know by now that it’s just as terrible to make the women who choose to do so feel awful for it? There is plenty of room for both kinds of women, those who choose to sexualize themselves and those who do not.
Selena is also kind of full of shit, she doesn’t dress the most revealing but her song lyrics are no less “sexy” than any other pop star.
“You ain’t gotta worry, it’s an open invitation
I’ll be sittin’ right here, real patient
All day, all night, I’ll be waitin’ standby
Can’t stop because I love it, hate the way I love you
All day, all night, maybe I’m addicted for life, no lie.
I’m not too shy to show I love you, I got no regrets.
I love you much, too much to hide you, this love ain’t finished yet.
This love ain’t finished yet…
So baby whenever you’re ready…”
She also starred in Springbreakers, a film about young girls who are overly-sexualized robbers. Putting women against each other, especially female pop stars, is nothing new. To paraphrase Tina Fey in Bossypants, men will try to convince you, you are competing with other women to distract you from the fact that you are competing with everyone—that’s how we are kept down.
All of these stans are constantly comparing and pitting pop stars against each other—Katy Perry, Britney, Lady Gaga, Miley, Madonna, Selena Gomez and Beyonce—pretending like they are queens at war with each other for album sales and fame. The reality is they shouldn’t be fighting each other, we should all be standing together against oppressive ideas that suggest, “the sexiest thing is class.”