Sunday, 5 January 2014

Don't be such a twerk

At the close of 2013 there were a number of articles about new words that had found their way into the dictionary. As new words come into popular usage so more words are added, although it's interesting to note that words that are no longer in common usage are not removed. I suspect that the reason for this is because for many who enjoy classic literature, a dictionary can often be an indispensable companion. On the rare occasion that I feel the desire to read something by Dickens for example, I'll mostly be able to infer the meaning of the more unusual words simply by the way they're used and the words around them, but every so often there will be one that stops you mid-flow like being slapped in the face with a recently deceased haddock and it's time to refer to Mr Dictionary to resolve the confusion.

There have also been similar articles about the most overused words of the past year. Reading through these lists which included the likes of 'selfie' (which is irritating enough), I came across that awful word 'twerk'.
Now as I understand it, twerking is supposedly a sexually provocative dance involving thrusting hip movements and a low stance. I first heard this word when there was all that uproar in the media about a certain pop star doing this dance at a performance during some awards gala or other. Curiosity got the better of me so I did the obvious thing and looked on YouTube to find out what all the fuss was about. My reaction was threefold - a: How did someone of such dubious talent get to be on a high profile event?, b: What on earth possessed her to think that such a bizarre display was appropriate for a family audience?, and c: If that was supposed to be sexually provocative then I'm the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Honestly, this twerking thing is about as sexy as coal mining. I've seen loads of this in assorted rap music videos which always seem to feature women with somewhat generous amounts of posterior padding, and every time I see it I can't help but imagine a lava lamp on fast-forward. It's sort of hypnotic and oddly fascinating, but certainly not in a horny way - more like the way you can't help looking when you drive past a car crash.
Don't get me wrong, I appreciate a bit of cheeky titilation in music videos as much as the next bloke, and have frequently enjoyed ones such as 'Destination Calabria' by Alex Gaudino, Sabrina's 'Boys, boys,boys' (showing my age there) and check out the video for 'Groove is in the heart' by Deee-Lite because there's something very special about the way that girl moves. But sometimes you just have to draw the line.
There is definitely an element in modern culture that believes sexiness is something that should involve showing as much skin as possible and moving about as if in a permanent state of orgasm. Sorry, but they're wrong. Speaking for myself (and I suspect a large majority of people) I don't want it in my face 24/7 because anything gets boring if you're subjected to it all the time. I'm sure driving a Lamborghini would be a fantastic experience, but by the time I'd done a few laps of the Nurburgring I'd have had enough and be wanting to get out and have a pie and a pint instead.
To me, sexiness is more about subtlty. Classy is sexy. Call me old-fashioned, but a well-groomed woman with a nice smile in a nicely fitted evening dress is infinitely more appealing than some tramp dressed like a trainee prostitute and wriggling around like she's got ants in her hotpants.