Fuck Miley Cyrus, right? Before this year no young pop star had ever done anything in the least bit sexual ever. Maybe behind closed doors, but never in the pursuit of selling more records. They kept it between them and their life partners, didn’t they?
The pre-Vevo era was one of long skirts and pious songs about the sanctity of marriage and how every hour in bed before midnight is worth two. The videos we saw when they couldn’t turn up for TOTP’s were more like Sesame Street than Skins. There are countless examples throughout pop history of artists who value morals and a sensible dress code above promoting their products with smut. Here are just a few I can think of.
Remember when Marilyn Monroe (for the kids: she was a film star who definitely didn’t shag JFK [who was a president who definitely didn’t get shot by the CIA]) posed for Playboy? Me neither because someone of such revered status would never pose for a boob rag such as that. In none of her films was she ever sexually suggestive, apart from that unfortunate air-vent incident – but that wasn’t her fault. She remains a symbol of wholesome goodness, like brown bread or muesli.
Grace Jones was so concerned with the horrible filth that children were being exposed to on the radio at the time that she vowed to write a song that would enrich the lives of the youth. She chose to sing about the virtues of proper parallel parking and as you can see, she nailed it: Pull up to my bumper, baby / In your long black limousine / Pull up to my bumper, baby / And drive it in between. Grace Jones there, taking it upon herself to help young people pass their driving tests. Her follow up song about the green cross code failed to chart.
A lot of people don’t realise that the reason Robbie left Take That was because he was annoyed he had to be the one who held the driftwood in the video for Pray (a song about thanking god each night for all you have, incidentally). When he left the band he spent a lot of time watching BBC bitesize at 4am after praying all night and decided he would help kids out in biology by ripping off his skin in his video for Rock DJ so they could study the human muscular system.
Divinyls – I Touch Myself
There’s no way to spin this one. It’s a song about girls frigging.
If there is a better moral arbiter than George Michael, I don’t wanna know. He probably has a clearer conscious than most of the catholic church (that’s not even a stretch). CHOOSE LIFE, he said as he denounced suicide. You gotta have Faith, he preached. Wake him up before you leave, leave – he wailed to his friends in toilets. He got attacked by bears in Hampstead Heath and the tabloids tried to make out it was his fault. Well, shame on them. I’m quite sure George Michael has never done anything sexual in his hole life.
So Miley, if you’re out there, have a read of this list and learn from their example. No more twerking or molly poppin’, Zammo told you about that before. Next time you even think of being comfortable in your own body, just think WWWD? What Would Wham Do?