Sky Ferreira Fires back at Unoriginal, Male-Gaze Article

Sky Ferreira fires back at typically sexist article featured on LA Weekly. 

Written by Art Tavana, the article is titled “Sky Ferreira’s Sex Appeal Is What Pop Music Needs Right Now,” and is featured as part of LA Weekly’s “Art Tavana vs. the World” monthly column.

In summary, Tavana writes about Ferreira from the perspective that her body is what sells her music. Though the article is masked in somewhat sophisticated language, Tavana sounds like a pubescent boy who describes his latest wet dream.

“Even in the candid photo of her nude in the shower, soaking wet, she looks natural, like she’s shooting a home video, rather than being photographed by a creeper. She looks like a more cherubic Sharon Stone, icy but also sweet, like a freshly licked lollipop.”

Ferreira fired back with a series of tweets in which she revealed her own frustrations with the article.

The image in question is the cover art for her album Night Time My Time so it’s not a surprise it has been subject to a lot of attention.

sky ferreira

LA Weekly have since apologised about the article. However, they are keeping it online “as a topic of discussion… or as a cautionary tale about how not to write about a female recording artist in 2016.”

Even more astounding were the reponses to Tavana’s article. Julianne Escobedo Shepherd from The Muse responded with an article titled “Boring Man, Shockingly, Writes Boring Music Profile.

“This will come as no shock to you, the reader, because it is all, again, boring and very predictable. We’ve read this same piece a trillion times before, in ‘80s magazines (and ‘70s magazines, and ‘60s magazines), wherein the writer wants us to feel shocked by his boner (so special) and that he is “gritty” and “frank” about it… if I’m riled up in any way it’s because the writing is, technically and critically, mediocre.”

Similarly, Flavorwire parodied the article by subverting it to the male gender. Their take is an analysis on John Lennon’s nude pose on the cover for Two Virgins: Unfinished Music.

“John Lennon’s appeal is that he’s the geek’s dream guy, Clark Kent from Superman, except he looks like a supermodel from an obsessively vain novel like Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. There’s also something dark and unpleasant about his look, which fans our fetishized interest in both how he composes his career, and the crazy possibilities of Masochism as both fine art and electro hair-metal for baby boomers who need something a bit dirtier than Brian Wilson’s candy-coated fakeness.”

The sub-heading beneath the title readsWelcome to “Art Tavana vs. the World,” a monthly column in which L.A. Weekly’s angriest (and nerdiest) music critic, Art Tavana, takes on his many nemeses in an ambitious quest to boldly go where no other critic has gone before.

For starters, writing your own opinion on pop culture, or even writing extensively on female sexuality, is not “bold,” “ambitious,” nor a “quest.” In fact, it makes any writer sound as if they have not outgrown their teenage years, let alone seen a real pair of boobs outside an online or print medium.

Did Tavana really cross the line? Personally, I would say no. Had his writing been more sophisticated and actually commented on what this tells us about the 21st century, maybe. Instead, Tavana sounds like another Pornhub commentator sharing his fantasies to a like-minded community. All he’s really managed to do better than other articles was to get his piece flared up online and thereby generate more views and shares, as well as incite Ferreira’s own voice on the piece.

“Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.”

Whichever category Tavana falls into is up to his readers. However, hopefully most would agree that making a woman’s body parts and the way she looks as the topic of an article is both unoriginal and the hallmark of an average, unintelligent writer.