Friday, June 25, 2010

Television Killed the Video Girl

Not too long ago, we lived in a place where being the main girl in a music video meant something. Names like Melyssa Ford, Esther Baxter, Buffie the Body and Karrine Steffans were nearly as common as the artists whose video's they appeared in. These women made hundreds of thousands, and even millions of dollars by simply showing off their scantily clad bodies for a few minutes. They turned their video fame into magazine covers. They turned their off camera stories into best selling books and interviews on Oprah.

Then MTV stopped playing videos.

Reality television took the airwaves by storm and the old crop of video vixen's had to switch their hustles and find new ways to keep eating. Rumored sex tapes and questionable celebrity relationships became desperate attempts at staying relevant. Even worse, their high-priced video quotes became laughable when video rotation got replaced with syndication. Record labels began barely budgeting enough money for well crafted videos let alone vixen's who had made a name for themselves. The old vets were replaced by cheaper, watered down versions of themselves. Lesser known names like Angel Lola Love, and Rosa Acosta (who I've still never seen in a video) started to push the old vets out the door.

Then BET cancelled nearly all of their video shows.

Now every girl with a butt shot and some implants claims to be a video girl. The only videos I've seen half these nameless chicks in are on the internet dancing by themselves in a bathroom somewhere. The old vets are long gone. Last I heard Karrine Steffans couldn't keep Eddie Winslow in line let alone her career. Melyssa Ford is in straight to DVD movies that air on BET every week, and I haven't seen Buffie the Body since T.O.N.Y. Yayo's "So Seductive" video.

The game aint the same no more. I miss the old video girls. They knew how to make a career doing something that most girls nowadays can barely get paid for. They worked hard to become household names. If reality tv had been what it is now when Karrine and the girls were at their apex, the sky would've been the limit. Scold them if you want, but they figured out how to take advantage of the oversexed, money flashing music industry in a way that no one had ever done. Unfortunately though, they were too far ahead of their time, and right when they started to peak, networks turned all the videos off.

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