I heard Katy Perry‘s “I Kissed a Girl” on the radio for the thousandth time today and began thinking about the portrayal of girl+girl experiences in the media. I don’t classify these interactions with girls as lesbian interactions because the few examples I can think of are with girls who are confirmed heterosexuals. So, my question is why there is such a double-standard for hetero-girl-on-hetero-girl action in the media, that definitely influences girls’ behaviors in real life.
“I Kissed a Girl” is about a girl who has a boyfriend but decides to kiss a girl for a new and foreign experience, and proceeds to explain how much she likes it and how fun it is. It also states that she is drunk and has “lost all discretion.” Not to say there is anything wrong with anyone experimenting with their sexuality, but she is blaming the incident on alcohol, basically saying that the kiss wouldn’t have happened otherwise. This sends a confusing and pressuring message to girls absorbing her song and music video trying to get something out of it.
Some other examples I could think of was the unexplainable make-out session between Madonna, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera (three definite heterosexuals) and the pseudo-lesbian couple that “teases” the boys in the movie “American Pie.” The Madonna/Britney/Christina episode got huge coverage when it happened at the 2003 VMAs and yet there was little explanation of what the kisses meant or were intended for. It definitely got the reaction they were probably looking for, though.
I have to wonder what sort of effect seeing these shock-factor images has on young girls who are just hitting puberty, experiencing sexuality for the first time, and exposed to “fake lesbianism.” It must be confusing to first figure out sexuality in general and then feel the pressures of the media to engage in sexual activities with someone they might not be sexually attracted to, to fulfill the pleasures of other people – namely guys.
Are girls who feel the need to make out with other girls doing it as a sexual experimentation or liberation? Or just to entertain guys because the media tells them it would be cool, shocking and sexy?