Yes, Sky Ferreira Is Pretty. No, It Is Not Okay To Make Her Body The Focus Of Your Story

When you search Sky Ferreira’s name, the latest articles about her new video – for the track “Everything Is Embarrassing” – come up and, interestingly enough, the five latest seem to make specific note of what she’s wearing. All five also make sure to note when she “writes and makes puppy-dog eyes”. Among them are also explicit mentions of her “crotch”, her “camera-ready pair of smackers” and how she is “cavorting atop of a building in black and white looking very sexy“.

However, only four of the five mention her new project Ghost. Only three of those examples give a release date. Only two of those list the correct one. It is noted that Ferraira’s new video is alright – some deem it as really pointless – but, y’know, at least her pouty dark-painted lips look luscious.

The problem in this? Ferreira’s video is being taken by the hand and, like a small child, told how it’s cute that it’s attempting to be art, but that it should focus on what it’s good at and keep pouting. There’s something uncomfortably sexist about all reviews on a female musician’s song being more about how she looks than the actual video, which you can watch below.

The issue with the questionable coverage of “Everything Is Embarrassing” isn’t a case of villainizing men, as the articles are actually written by a mixed bag of men and women. It’s more about an quiet unfairness that is allowed to occur because of Ferreira’s gender. She is somehow less of an artist, less credible as a musician, and less ‘about the music’ all because she’s a woman.

If this is not the issue, then why does no coverage of the song actually discuss the song or the video in detail equal to how many words are dedicated to her lips? It’s not as if the video is void of creative influence or artistic reference. There’s a sixties mod feeling to the direction of the video, done by Grant Singer.

There’s also countless references to the wonders that is eighties Madonna. The subtle influences from a pop-standard like the “Borderline” music video makes it a notch-above most of what is being released by her Top 40 contemporaries as well.

Why are these not discussed in detail by some journalists? Oddly enough, Madonna, who Ferreira cites as a huge influence, was extremely sexual in her work as a response to the constant attention put on a women’s sexuality in music. She presented examples of female sexuality that weren’t the norm – often strong and powerful imagery of female sexuality that would make her dominant, or some that explored aspects of fetishism and kink, or some that embraced her own femininity and sexuality, but for – shocker – her own enjoyment and not done for the male gaze.

However, many of Madonna’s overt examples of sexuality were done to make it so women could get to a point in the industry where they did not feel that the needed to express their sexuality overtly to be free. In the same train of thought, Sky Ferreira in a dress should not be automatically seen as sexual. And, if sexual, should not be assumed as a response for attention, but as a choice done for creative reasons as an artist.

Ferreira even posed in a Madonna-inspired shoot for V Magazine back in January.

The problem is even elevated when Ferreira, herself, has made it clear that she is uncomfortable with the constant sexualization of her work. She responded to not-so-funny jokes about Terry Richardson, who shot her “Red Lips” video, below, and has been quoted as being uncomfortable with the Lolita-like image that somehow became associated with her career.

Even Ferreiraa’s weight has come under criticism. On the opposite extreme of body-shaming in media, with it just news that Lady Gaga is “heading for a meltdown” because she’s “now fat”, many have claimed from “close sources” that Ferreira is a frequent drug user and – or – suffers from some kind of eating disorder because of how thin she is.

Ferreira used to even run a Tumblr blog to try and explain to her fans what was going on with the media lying and give them updates, but has since deleted it out of frustration of feeling misquoted and having her blog posts taken further out of context.

Thankfully, at least when it comes to the “Everything Is Embarrassing” video, Judy Berman of Flavorpill was one of the many with sense to see the clear influences in Ferreira’s work, which Ferreira even noted on her twitter, with a simple “Thank you @judyberman”.

Not all can be as open and forward-thinking as Judy, it seems, so here’s a question proposed to those who look at Ferreira’s video and see nothing by a ditsy blonde pouting and trying to come off as sensual: if it was four dudes playing instruments, in the same style as the original, would you still find it vapid and empty?

Either way, Ferreira’s new EP Ghost is out October 16th and you can preorder it now on iTunes. It’s only a assumption based off the amazing sounding preview clips from iTunes, but it’s pretty safe to say that the EP is going to be pretty freaking great



  1. brook

    She’s got little substance. If it weren’t for the sexualization of her image, you’d never hear of her. She’s not even particularly attractive as 20 year old women go. WTH is wrong with the human race?

  2. Anne

    I agree. Personally, I don’t think she’s doing anything new or important or particularly innovative or intriguing, so naturally, people drift towards outwards appearance. At the end of the day, humans do like to look at other good-looking humans (she is beautiful). In my opinion, the problem is that she’s doing well at communicating her emotions or her inner-being to the audience, so people can’t even dig for meaning, for substance, for anything. She’s giving the audience shallow ground to work with, so the audience reacts in the same shallow way. Yes, I may just be missing something, and yes, it is wrong that people care more about her body, but it is not purely sexist, I think. People do the same with all boy pop-bands, with good looking men with nice hair and bright teeth on television. I find her less of an artist, and more of a television advertisement. Something’s that’s nice to look at. And I think that because she is a “pop” artist, it’s easier for the audience to get comfortable with reducing her down to a body. Now, of course it’s wrong to apply this to her actual life/personality, but it’s just what I observe. What’s the point of making music if you’re not willing to sacrifice anything of true substance? That’s what I think, anyways.

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