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Sexy singers 'worse than porn stars'

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Sexy singers 'worse than porn stars'
With her skimpy outfits, Tone Damli is a terrible role model for young girls, argues social scientist Heidi Helene Sveen.
09:48 CEST+02:00
A Norwegian social scientist kicked off a lively debate on Monday when she likened some of the country's best-known female pop artists to porn stars.

GALLERY: Who are the stars in the firing line?

Writing in newspaper Aftenposten, Heidi Helene Sveen said musicians who played on their sexuality were not only bad role models, they also did more damage to young women than the porn industry ever could.

”It has become traditional for female celebrities to shed their clothes to promote themselves, or their own careers,” she wrote.

”Examples include Tone Damli, Mira Craig and Stella Mwangi, all of whom have allowed themselves to become part of an industry that cynically uses the body and sex to satisfy the male gaze.”

Sveen criticizes two women in particular: Tone Damli, back in the headlines last week for donning only the skimpiest of attire in a new music video, and fellow pop star Hanne Sørvaag, who posed half-naked recently for men’s magazine MANN.

Young girls, says Sveen, look up to such high-profile artists as role models.

“In this respect, these two do more damage by taking their clothes off than any porn actress.”

But as comments poured in to the newspaper’s website, sociologist Kjetil Rolness slammed Sveen’s views as outmoded and irrelevant.

“First I wondered if this was a subtle parody of feminist slogans from the previous millennium, but then I realized it was meant to be taken seriously,” he told Aftenposten.

Rolness said Sveen was regurgitating ideas that “haven’t contributed anything new to the debate since 1982”.

“As a fan of, and commentator on, popular culture, I chuckle slightly at the notion that sex should be driven out of pop music.”

Author Marta Breen said she wouldn’t go as far as Sveen in viewing pop stars as role models, but she did suggest there might be a relationship between the quality of a musician’s output and the amount of flesh she chose to display.

“Perhaps it’s brutal to say so, but the Norwegian artists who use sex most are not the ones with the greatest musical success. Artists like Marit Larsen, Susanne Sundfør and Ane Brun don’t need to take their clothes off – in their case the music speaks for itself,” Breen told Aftenposten.

GALLERY: Who are the stars in the firing line?

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