The Kiwi songwriter Lorde was recently awarded two Grammys for her work performing and co-writing the hit song Royals. At just seventeen Lorde (real name Ella Yelich O'Connor) performed to a room full of pop stars and music legends. It delivers a sharp jab at the ridiculous opulence of pop culture and its irrelevance to the everyday man or woman.
Equally impressive to Lorde's talent is her ability to stand out without exploiting her sexuality or using shock tactics, unlike many other women at the top of the music industry.
It is hard to forget Robin Thicke and Miley Cyrus' infamous performance of the controversial song 'Blurred Lines' at last year's MTV Awards. Miley's flesh-coloured clothing and evocative 'twerking' dance moves were the cause of public ridicule globally. The girly innocence of Disney's Hannah Montanna has decidedly been replaced with Miley's new bid to become the next Madonna.
Similarly, Katy Perry, Rihanna, Beyonce and Lady Gaga show that Miley is not the only star using her sex-appeal to draw attention.
Suggestive lyrics, scantily clad women and evocative dance moves seem to dictate accomplishment within the music industry, making Lorde's success a refreshing change.
“Lorde’s achievement proves that true talent can be delivered without being dressed up in sex appeal”Her reliance on vocal and lyrical talent represents an encouraging contrast to our sex-obsessed culture, which increasingly relies on hyper-sexualised or hyper-violent images to grab consumers' attention.
These exploitative images encourage men to objectify women rather than care for them as a human being, and pressures women to exploit their sexuality in exchange for recognition.
When sexual objectification rules, women spend their time and energy on becoming sex objects for men's pleasure, rather than using their bodies to convey their ideas, thoughts and feelings.
In this culture, men tend to prefer women who appear sexually available, while the character and skills of a woman are less visible and undervalued.
The Bible says our sexuality is a gift from God and is a good thing when expressed within marriage, as God intended. Even throughout the Bible we are shown times when men objectified or took advantage of women and demonstrated the tragic consequences of rape, lust and betrayal. The biblical book of Proverbs also details the danger of the adulterous woman; a woman who uses her sexuality like a weapon to get what she desires. The writer of Proverbs warns this woman is like a deep pit – a trap that is easy to fall into and hard to escape from.
Lorde's achievement proves that true talent can be delivered without being dressed up in sex appeal. In a world where musicians vie for the sexiest show and most outrageous lyrics, we can encourage a modest teenage Kiwi who performs her homegrown hit to a room full of pop icons without exploiting her sexuality.
When the talented presentation of ideas and thoughts wins, all of us win. Women are valued by what is within them, men learn from what is within women, and that leads to truly meaningful relationships.
Adapted article originally by Sophia Sinclair, first published by Christian Today Australia.