Why Nude Is the New Black

Enough with all the flesh-colored outfits already

While Mariah Carey’s New Year’s Eve lip-syncing disaster grabbed most headlines, her dress that likely should have grabbed a few more. The awkwardly flesh-colored and small-fitting outfit left little to the imagination — and probably wasn’t the best choice for a televised event for the masses.

While parents may have been shielding their little kids’ eyes as Carey fluttered around the stage, showing more skin than dress, it’s nothing new for pop singers.

Today’s pop stars are used to flashing it all in front of the cameras. Miley Cyrus, famous for her “shocking” behavior, has donned everything from straps for a top to a piece of plastic that included only colored discs to cover up the more private areas. She practically needed to be censored when performing and walking down the red carpet.

It’s not even just performances that bring out the edge in costumes, either. In a 2015 appearance on Jimmy Kimmel’s late-night television program, Miley Cyrus wore an open coat that very easily revealed she was wearing nothing underneath — save for two very small, sparkly pieces of fabric. The host was clearly uncomfortable.

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Rihanna, also known for her racy attire in both music videos and live performances, appeared at the 2014 CFDA Fashion Awards in an almost completely see-through dress that grabbed the attention of cameras everywhere. She didn’t leave little to the imagination — no imagination was needed at all.

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Again, it’s all par for the course. On and on it goes — from Britney Spears’ yellow dress at the 2016 VMAs that had boots with more fabric than the “dress,” to even Mariah Carey’s history with racy dresses before her New Year’s Eve performance. Music has come a long way from the days of America’s classic performers, who dressed beautifully for their audiences and showed respect to both the public and everyone else. Now, performances typically look like they should be happening behind closed doors instead of in front of cameras that send images to TVs in family homes around the world.

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Perhaps it all jumped the shark when Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake performed at the 2004 Superbowl. When the musical act concluded, Timberlake quickly ripped off part of Jackson’s top to reveal something that didn’t quite belong at a sporting event.

The incident left a scar on the career of both musicians and led to Federal Communications Commission fines and actions. Still, it was a moment that seemed to challenge other performers. Now, the stage isn’t always about the best singer or performer — it’s about who can shock the most. Unfortunately, as each musician tries to outdo the previous one by wearing little-to-no attire on stage, you and your kids may need to change the channel.

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