Iggy Azalea’s ‘Kream’ Isn’t Iconic; It’s Just Porn Masquerading as Music

“Ass. Cash. Bags.”

It’s 2018, and Iggy Azalea is repeating the same misogynistic patterns from decades of male chauvenism.

Gyrating under a pulsing strobe of purple and blue lights, a woman kneels on a black leather lounge twerking and shaking her booty as a man sits alongside rapping about ‘being deep in that p***y’.

The lights flash fast and furious, and we see a group of women throwing themselves around on the ground, yellow-thigh high boots shaking in the air and asses twerking in a fashion that I’m guessing is meant to be sexy, but comes across more like a group of women having epileptic fits…

(I mean really, are these women okay? Do they need medical attention?).

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Then comes the chorus….’Ass, Cash, Ass, Bags…’

Yep, that’s it. Riveting AF, right?

You’d be forgiven for assuming that Kream is just another shallow track featuring a male rapper surrounded by twerking, half naked women…and for the most part, you’d be correct. The one important detail however, is that Kream is in fact the new single from female rapper, Iggy Azalea.

As I finished watching the track, I wasn’t sure what was more shocking – the essentially soft-core pornographic content, the fact that the clip was being promoted on the front page of YouTube (which is notoriously popular amongst teens), or the onslaught of positive comments about how ‘hot’ and ‘iconic’ the video was.

Honestly, the track just left me feeling depressed. Watching close up images of women’s asses twerking and shaking to a soundtrack of ‘ass rules everything around me,’ I wondered:

Is this the kind of gender equality we want to strive for? Is this what we want our young girls to look up to?

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For decades, women have fought to ‘break the glass ceiling’; to be seen as more than one-dimensional sex objects for men’s pleasure. Mostly, I’d say those of us in West have succeeded. But thanks to many of our current female musicians – Iggy included – it’s more obvious than ever that women can be our own worst enemies in the fight for healthy representations of true female empowerment.

As I watch Iggy and her female dancers roll, slap and twerk their ass cheeks in front of American Rapper Tyga, I think to myself: Isn’t that that grown-ass man who wrote a boast-track about having sex with anderage girl (aka Kylie Jenner)?

Ah yes, that’s the one. What a man for Iggy to team up with! Such inspire! Much empower! Gender equality for the win!

Iggy Azalea and Tyga
Iggy Azalea and Rapper ‘Tyga’

At best, Kream can be viewed simply as a shallow, materialistic and boring new ‘Winter Banger;’ another catchy, meaningless song for people to sing along to. At worst, it’s another addition to an already toxic culture which is grooming teens to play out the sexually-explicit messages that are increasingly pervading their every waking moment.

Because let’s face it; it’s hard to be a female in today’s world, without being bombarded with the message that our worth lies in how f***able we are. From sexually aggressive video clips shown on morning TV, to public billboards with semi naked women, and even messages on our favourite lip glosses encouraging us to ‘send nudes’, girls can barely walk out the door without the media saturating them with damaging cultural values on what it means to be an empowered woman.

Now, I know what you’re going to say, and lemme’ just stop you right there. Iggy’s an empowered, adult woman expressing her sexuality…not a role model to young teens, right? Well, in the spirit of Kanye, I’ma stop you right there before you finish that thought, because Iggy’s latest post proves otherwise.  

Just this month the rapper – whose Twitter account is emblazoned with the words ‘Pussy Power’ – announced her plans to partner with Fashion Nova to design outfits for high school students.

Ah yes, I can just picture it now. Get ready guys, Iggy’s here to set your teens up with all the thigh high boots, g-strings and fishnet stockings they need! Just perfect for the American summer weather, right?

Oh and in case you missed it, she also took part in a nude photoshoot for the brand, wearing only a pair of socks and heels (I feel like that combo should be a crime in itself, but I digress).

The reality is, whether you want to admit it or not, teens look up to Iggy. Whatsmore, teen girls have been found to regularly consume music at higher levels than their male friends, and readily admit to the impact that music plays on their behaviour (Liebau, C. 2007). Taking this into consideration, it’s ignorant to pretend that Iggy’s choice to brand herself as a sexual object doesn’t impact anyone else.

 Iggy Azalea Fashion Nova

(Let’s not even get started on the fact that Iggy – a wealthy, privileged woman – is making shit tons of money from imitating being a stripper, without ever having to face the harassment and abuse that many in the sex industry face. 

In a world where teenage girls are under more pressure than ever to imitate sexualised performances and sexual favours for their boyfriends, and where boys as young as 8 are being treated for pornography addictions, pornified music videos such as Kream do nothing to stem the tide of sexual objectification.

Not only has research from the American Psychological Association proven that the sexualisation of girls results in clearly identified mental health issues, but research has also shown a correlation between the media and sexually explicit behaviour amongst teens. In fact, a 2016 Our Watch/Plan International Study revealed that 51% of girls aged 15-19 admitting to being  pressured to take ‘sexy’ photos by male classmates.

Is it any wonder, when clips like Kream are promoted on the front page of YouTube?

With all the criticism I have for Iggy’s video, you might be surprised to know that I actually do think of her as inspirational. I mean, how many young Australian women would have the guts to move overseas at age 15 to pursue a rap career? The fact that Iggy (real name Amethyst Amelia Kelly) cracked the U.S market is a feat in itself; but the fact that a teen girl from a small NSW country town achieved this as a teen, truly is phenomenal.

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Considering this, I have to wonder, why is it that Iggy – a woman who had the strength of character to move overseas as a teen – is so intent on dishing herself up as a one-dimensional representation of female sexuality? (And for a man who raps about f***ing teen girls, no less!).

I’ll be the first to admit that Iggy has a powerful message to share with the world. It’s just a shame she chose to swap it out for pole dancing, stroking women’s genitals, and twerking her bare booty in front of a fully-dressed male rapper.

At the end of the day, Iggy and her music leave a legacy of being just another visual grooming tool in the sexualisation of teens.

Dear Iggy, you can do better.

 

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