Music is the most important thing in my life. I feel that I was put on this planet to write songs that give my audience joy, which is why I decided to study Music Production at Full Sail University. It feels like, most of the time, Full Sail is almost a scale model of the music industry, yet it’s a college.
One thing I find very interesting about Full Sail is the male to female ratio. Of my class of 9, I am the only female. Out of the 21 head professors I’ve had, only 5 have been women, and 4 of the 5 teachers taught more general classes, and not the ones specific to Music Production. Since Full Sail mimics the music industry, I decided to do some research. That’s when I found that, according to an article published in June of 2013 by Huffington Post, only 32.2% of all music industry related jobs are held by females. That means males hold 67.8% of jobs in the music industry. Although males dominate the labor force of the U.S., the numbers are more even. Across the U.S., 47% of workers are women. Men dominate the general work force by 6%, but in the music industry, it’s 35.6%.
Women are also expected to do more work, are subject to sexual harassment, and are constantly exploited for their bodies and beauty. Clearly, these are all issues in every work force, but it’s even more prevalent in the music industry, and everyone knows it. Artists are constantly starving themselves to live up to the beauty standards given to them by the labels, and it affects more women than men. Ke$ha, for example, had gotten so much pressure from the label to be skinny that she was put into rehab for becoming bulimic.
As women striving to be a pop artist, and if not, a songwriter, I am already trying to perfect my body because I know the industry judges people on their appearance. For this, I think it’s for the best, but I definitely know that I want to be skinnier for my music, and I know that my music will not be the only thing that matters to a label. I am already the center of many jokes in class, although I do believe that it’s because people know my personality is ready to take it and I play along with the games, but it still happens.
The music industry is still stuck in the 50’s when it comes to business. Just like in shows like Mad Men, women are not treated the same, and it’s just how it is right now, and going into the industry, I understand and accept this as a fact, but I’m hoping to be part of the change. I am hoping to be a strong women who provides guidance to listeners and peers, like artists such as Taylor Swift, Beyonce, and Lady Gaga. I refuse to be someone that is disrespected. I am equal to, if not better, than any man in the industry, and I am willing to work to prove it. Although these facts do scare me minimally, I am ready to take them on head first and make a change for the better. I want the music industry, internally and towards the audience, to be one that embraces equality in every way, and I will be one of the people that makes it happen.
I am ready for the challenge of not only being in the industry, but also being a women who makes it better for the future.
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