Sex will always sell - Experts say people want to see female artistes showing their bodies
The dancehall industry has always established itself as a very sexual space, and female artistes in particular have always been unashamed of embracing their sexuality, whether in songs or what they wear.
While some subtly reigned supreme when delivering sexually charged content, today, more female artistes are showcasing their bodies on social media and the Internet for a monthly subscription fee. A few industry insiders believe the shift is simply the result of 'supply and demand'.
"Women are getting a different rise in today's entertainment industry from walking naked and this is something we saw coming long before OnlyFans. What women have found out is that with social media if you get a certain amount of people watching you, you can 'buss' in music. People will respond to you; both men and women if you're showing your bodies," said cultural and entertainment authority Professor Donna Hope. "The showing of the body is nothing new to dancehall neither is it exclusive to the genre but more and more our female artistes are realising that people like to see naked women and so they are giving consumers what they want."
Hope added that in these difficult times when entertainment personnel have had their livelihoods severely impacted, the 'almighty dollar' has become the 'moral compass' for many.
Make a living
"People are going to do whatever they can to make a living and this kind of industry is profitable. So, I find what is happening is that people have pushed the boundaries of morality far and wide and subtlety has gone through the doors. The body is the easiest thing to trade in and people are doing just that. If you join OnlyFans and you get 1,000 subscribers per month, you can carry home almost J$1 million in your hand. You don't have to come out of your house especially in these times to fly to anywhere," she said. "And again it's not a dancehall industry thing because it's not just dancehall women that are on social media showcasing their bodies. It is women from all over the world."
Sex educator Shelly Ann Weeks agreed people love "nakedness".
"People love people who do dem bodies and the whole theatrics with the sexually explicit pictures etc, and so it is not just a function of the artiste coming out and wanting to show their parts, it is a function of what is going on it. What we're seeing happening now is an issue of supply and demand," she said. "If all of these women who are getting naked and doing all these things never a mek no money, dem woulda stop. The consumer is what run this thing."
But Weeks posited that although sex sells, music will always be the deciding factor in how long consumers pay attention to any particular artiste.
"If you intend to have longevity in this game, if you intend to have your songs playing 10 years from now, then you're going to have to do more than just put on a naked outfit," she said. "You have to actually spend time on your skills, your music, because that is what will keep people's attention in the long run. I have no problem with the nakedness but as a consumer, I am interested in the music and so all these female artistes need to be mindful of that."