Being young is great. There is no denying it. The energy, the metabolism and the smooth skin are all things not many want to give up. So many older women that I come across, have told me stories about their ‘glory days’. How soft their skin was, how small their waist used to be, how they never had to colour their hair. It made me realise that I am in the glory days. I am currently living them right now.
These days, many societies have a fixation with looking and feeling young. Gone are the days where being older and wiser are desirable things. Today we have hair dyes, botox, Viagra, wrinkle creams and hundreds of surgical procedures that keep us looking 20 for as long as we possibly can.
It's all about the look and the image, not about the experience and wisdom behind the eyes.
The media plays a big role in showing that there is a preference for younger people in the music industry. As an audience, we are regularly being fed a steady and repetitive stream of images and messages that tell us to continuously strive for youth. Whenever we look at a music video, the singers are young, their stomachs are flat and everything is stretchy with a dewy, healthy glow. And when they aren’t young, they look young. Media figures, who are over 50 years old still have gorgeous skin, beautiful bodies and full hair. I mean just look at Jennifer Lopez or Gwen Stefani. They wear skinny jeans, sky high heels and crop tops to show off their abs. They look like they are in their 30s.
The music industry is a young person’s game, if you are starting out. Your commercial success rate drops after 30. Getting started if you are 40 or 50 is nearly impossible. Your ‘young image’ is everything. If you last long enough a la Madonna, Cher or Celine Dion, then you have to keep your looks up in order to remain relevant
Why do so many artists strive to maintain their bodies, faces and high energy performances? Because the younger they look, sound and seem, the more they stay on top of the charts.
Record labels also prefer the younger musicians. The younger and more inexperienced an artist is, the easier it is for a record label to control that artist’s brand and finances. The truth is the entire music industry revolves around teens because it’s easier to control their monetary flow.
There are of course some artists, who take a step back from their image being everything. Alicia Keys for example, who stopped wearing makeup, and is still a successful artist. She’s quite a rare one though. But in order to kick off your career in music, doing it in your teenage years is your best bet. Start when you are young.