On Friday, June 17*, in the year of our lord 2016, L.A. Weekly published an article by writer Art Tavana — their “angriest (and nerdiest) music critic” — titled “Sky Ferreira’s Sex Appeal Is What Pop Music Needs Right Now.” It begins with Tavana comparing Ferreira’s name with a “turbo-charged Italian sports car,” and then somehow gets more embarrassing for everyone involved.
Tavana spends the duration of the article opining on why Ferreira is sexy and why that is Important. For instance, he compares the 23-year-old musician’s breasts to Madonna’s, and praises her for a “bad-ass Facebook post” in which she defended alleged sexual predator Terry Richardson.
While advancing his theory that Ferreira is like Madonna, he sets her up as a contrast to a variety of artists who don’t seem to necessarily have much in common save that they’re all women. They include Britney Spears (a “mindless product”), Lorde (“depressed”), Meredith Graves (“bitter” and “punk”), Grimes (“a feminist superhero”), and Beyoncé (“grabby”). Tavana compares Ferreria’s sex appeal to Slash’s guitar playing, which Slash might take as a compliment, but is just a weirdly hilarious analogy to everyone else.
“But here’s what I think pisses off people the most: that Ferreira, like any great pop star, is profiting off her fresh-faced beauty,” Tavana writes, coming to the crux of his argument. “But there’s nothing tasteless about this. Why can’t we see her sex appeal as talent as opposed to privilege?” Yes, if only the rest of the world could consider Ferreira with the generous spirit of a man who has spent 1,442 words objectifying her.
Tavana flailingly insists, “I’m not trying to otherize this woman; it has nothing to do with her gender,” and asks the reader to put “male subjectivity aside.” But when we’ve read pages of a writer essentially yelling hubba hubba over and over at a young female musician, it’s pretty difficult to do that.
*This post has been corrected to show that the article was published on June 17th.