Saturday, 24 March 2012

An open letter to Olly Murs

Dear Olly,

I have to admit, as a 30 something mum of three, I haven't really listened to current music for a LONG time. It seems that once you have children, your finger on the music pulse seriously stops beating, despite listening to the radio pretty much daily, which I have to admit, is usually on BBC London.  

My children are boys of eight and five, and my daughter is three.  To be honest, music still isn't really on my eldest sons radar, he is more into playing rugby and riding his BMX.

However, my five year old is really getting into music.  Youtube is a regular request and I have been shocked at what they are wanting to watch.  Here are two videos from the current Top 10:

This is the official video for Nicki Minaj - Starships

And 1:32 into the video, she sings about "f**k who you want, and f**k who you like" which is totally inappropriate.  Whilst some could say this is great for feminism, it is not so great when you have young children watching/listening.

Next up we have Flo Rida - Wild Ones, which although not a bad tune, if full of bad cliches...girls writhing in bikinis whilst gyrating in front of presumably Flo RIDA who of course, is sitting back with his homies drinking magnums of Cristal before jumping into his red Ferrari.

Whoa there....what is going on?  

Since when did this sort of thing become common currency?  Sure you'd have the odd video which was risque back in the day, (Madonna kissing a black Jesus in Like a Prayer anyone?) but now it seems that the majority are controversial (in my eyes anyway.)

Next up, we have LMFAO, which I have to admit, makes me laugh a LOT but not when you have a 3 year old girl singing "I'm sexy and I know it" whilst thrusting her pelvis at me.  She hasn't even seen the video by the way, she is copying her brother.

I'm not even comfortable with the word "sexy" but again, it seems to be normalised now in songs and everyday conversations.

BoBo keeps singing "my heart skip, skips a beat" and so, in a bid to find something wholesome, I had a look at your official video:

What can I say?

It is a breathe of fresh air in this "homie drinks whilst girls gyrate" culture.  It's perfect, it's suitable and more to the point, it is a very good tune.  A quick look at your other music videos also portrays this same wholesomeness.  

As a mother, I applaud you.  Thank you for NOT going down the stereotypical music video route.  Thank you for keeping it real but most importantly, thank you for being a positive role model to kids today.

Peace and Love

S.A.M xoxo


  1. It's a tough one this. I've also been in the car and started singing lyrics that I've thought, oooops probably shouldn't be saying that but that said when I was under 10 I was walking round the house singing Like A Virgin, not having a clue what that was about. We also had all the hip hop stuff on MTV, 2Live Crew and others that look just like that Flo-rida stuff (worse in fact). Part of me feels like things haven't changed that much other than we're the parents now and we can now see what's suitable and whats not. It's a tough one really.

  2. Superamazingmum17 April 2012 at 16:43

    Thank you so much for commenting Tor - lovely to hear it's not just us mums that feel this way.. Belle and Sebastian are a very good choice!!

  3. I have to agree. Until you've heard sexualised lyrics coming out of the mouth of your 5yr old then you don't really pay attention. Now I hear the worst part of every song on the radio, usually being sung by my baby!!!

  4. Does this show an Atlantic divide in music videos? On the one side it's all soft porn, swear words and puerile boys cock thrusting. On the other, it's clean, scrubbed and with a nice catchy tune. Dare I suggest that all the stuff we'd rather our kids weren't exposed to is US based? On the other hand in Britain we remain quintessentially this side of the watershed.

  5. That is brilliant and you are so right! My two boys are 6 & 8 and they love music. I have tried to avoid YouTube as they can so easily find themselves looking at stuff that is unsuitable. We buy the Now cd's for the car and that suffices at the moment but it is true that music influences kids from such a young age and yet a lot of it really represents the things we try and protect our kids from. It is nice though when you come across something positive and you can heave a large sigh of relief!

  6. A friend of mines daughter walks around HOLDING HER TOP UP singing "sexy and know it, sexy and know it". I hate it, and I hate my son seeing it.

    My son is, at 2 years old, a fan Olly Murs and Steps.
    I am a fan of allsorts of music and used to listen to Timbaland on repeat. I can't anymore so am glad I have Olly and Steps to fall back on! (Images of falling onto Olly Murs are totally inappropriate right now aren't they?)

  7. i hadn't thought of that Jessica but yes, I do believe you are right...

  8. Oooh, I shall go and look at your post! Thanks for commenting!

  9. I couldn't agree more. Our kids have also listened to "our" music for years. It is just the music videos that are new to us.

    I was shocked I have to wrong

  10. What is the world coming to when we have to watch videos first to see if they are appropriate? It is such a sad, sorry state of affairs. Rhianna isn't on their radar yet but yes, she will be banned.

    Mine LOVE Horrible Histories as well, but lately, with influence at school they are getting more into chart stuff......

  11. Me too - he is a winner for the kids AND the mums!

  12. Can you imagine if he read this?! I very much doubt that...

  13. thanks for commenting! Not sure what this do it like a brother is, I have to say!

  14. I wrote a similar post recently, its shocking what our children are hearing as part of a 'song'. Olly gets my vote for wholesome (stick with it Olly Mothers salute you)

  15. I'm 19 and to be honest I feel uncomfortable watching most music videos! The actual music can be just as bad, I can turn on the radio at 2pm and feel like I'm in a club at 2am. I'm a Belle & Sebastian girl myself. :)

  16. I absolutely love Olly Murs - there I said it. So cute and I really like his happy tunes :)

  17. Haha! I bet Olly is really grateful to you for putting him out there as the good old fashioned type! But you are right! I for one am so glad Lily Allen gave up music!

  18. I am so with you on this. MY boys love music and want to listen to it all the time, but I have had to take the Ipad off them to vet vids before they watch them. They love Olly Murs.

    At the moment, they are really enjoying the Horrible history songs, at least that way I do not have to worry about the inappropriate words.

    We have already had conversations about swearing in songs, and how it is not appropriate in everyday life. I do not want the boys to view woman as sexual objects at such a young age. It is not OK to dress like this or have this on music videos. Rianna is a huge case in point for me and I will not let the boys watch any of her stuff

  19. I love this, thank you! Though not a huge Olly Murs fan myself I would rather my daughter watch him than all of the above. I wrote a post about the suitability of my daughters playlist - she is five - as she loves the music I like e.g. the Killers, Kate Nash. The latter is a good role model for girls but still the music has 'dickhead' and other words I don't want Edith to be singing.
    It's a minefield out there!
    Also, without want to sound like an old fart, when did the scantily clad, gyrating, sexualised images become so acceptable?!? It's so sad :(
    Great post x

  20. plus he's not half bad to look at either ;-)
    We don't tend to watch music videos yet but Jacob is always singing what he hears on the radio - do it like a brother - being one of his favourites!

  21. Well said. I'm so fed up with the raunchy music videos out today - they are most definitely inappropriate in many cases and certainly a lot worse than Madonna's black priest vid. The problem is most of these singers simply can't sing. They use their bodies and sex to sell themselves which I guess makes them little more than a prostitute.

    CJ x

  22. My son LOVES olly Murs and yore complete spot on. It's the only guy ill let him listen to! At the moment his favourite is Trouble maker! :)


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