Nick Jonas's 'Levels' Is A Sexist Step In The Wrong Direction
  • TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 01, 2015

  • Posted by: Don Saas

I'm going to admit a terribly unhip thing. I really enjoyed the Nick Jonas & the Administration album. "Who I Am" was a fun bit of John Mayer-esque guitar pop-rock. I'm not sure if I've ever heard an actual full Jonas Brothers song (just the parodies from the excellent South Park episode), and I know I didn't hear anything from Nick's solo pop record from last year. But, Who I Am made it seem like maybe he had more going on under the hood than just being a kid pop product who sold non-sexualized sex to kids with his siblings and Disney. After the video for "Levels," I'm regretting the nice thoughts I had about Mr. Jonas.

The song itself is serviceable. It's just Michael Jackson sexy pop filtered through modern EDM-lite beats. It's music you're supposed to shake your ass to on the dance floor, and if I were 18 and drunk on my first weekend at college, I might twerk with strangers at some Morgantown club back at WVU to "Levels." Instead, I want to talk about "Sexy Nick Jonas" and the way that he's been marketed this last year or so.

I'm body positive. I'm sex-positive. If Nick Jonas wants to make millions because he knows he's good looking and people will buy his music because of it, that's fine. That's cool; he's a big boy now. He can make these decisions for himself. And as someone who grew up in a really religious family, I respect his decision that his "purity ring" days are over. I was pretty adamant about abstinence myself when I was a teen. But for f***'s sake, Nick, can the women in your music videos be more than just objects for you to grind against?

If you want to make a sexy music video, you need to understand one thing. Objectification and one-way sexualization aren't sexy. To Nick's credit, the video is centered around his physique and looks, but these women have no personality or depth. They're just place-setting. They exist to be blank slates for young girls to project themselves onto so they can think about themselves being the one getting a lap dance from Nick Jonas. Come on, Nick. You can do better than this.



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