Music has always been a staple in our culture. Then came music videos. They have played a significant role in making us fall even deeper in love with the songs themselves. However, there has been a significant shift in beauty and body standards that we should all be aware of. In the wake of so many women losing their lives in other countries due to botched plastic surgeries, it is worth reflecting on less complicated times and the celebrities who rocked their natural bodies even at the height of their careers.

Music Videos Then: Aaliyah

Regardless of the genre, it seems that music videos, and the women in them, have played a major role in beauty and body standards. The name that immediately comes to mind is Aaliyah. Aaliyah Dana Haughton, famously known as Aaliyah, was a fan favorite and is arguably one of the most influential music icons in history today. During her active years, which lasted from 1989 until she died in 2001, Aaliyah made her mark with her effortlessness. Her music seemed sultry, effortless and easygoing, and so was her style. The most glaring element of the Aaliyah era was her body. We saw an entertainer with a lean yet gorgeous body in her music videos. There was no aggressive push for plastic surgery or the endless appeal of being unnaturally sexy during that era. Perhaps that is what many of us miss about that entire moment in time. Although life was often complicated, it was a simpler time, the music was arguably better, and there wasn’t such a cult-like following of plastic surgery.


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A post shared by Aaliyah Haughton (@aaliyah)

Music Videos Then: Ashanti

Apart from being Murder Inc’s princess and, according to Ja Rule, the princess of Hip-Hop and R&B, we all relished Ashanti’s confidence, beautiful figure, and effortless swag in music videos. While she was curvy and, according to the standards of the time, “slim thick,” she was also healthy and managed to maintain a high level of sex appeal that many people would only dream of.

Music Videos Then: Destiny’s Child

At one point or another, we all had a favorite Destiny’s Child song. Apart from their angelic melodies, another critical part of their celebrity that gave them an added sultry aura, as seen in songs like “Cater 2 U,” were their bodies and rock-solid abs. Despite their status as A-list celebrities at the peak of their careers, all three members of Destiny’s Child maintained healthy, toned bodies that added an extra appeal to their videos.


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A post shared by Destiny’s Child (@destinyschild)

Music Videos Now

For years, music and film have been especially influential, with the celebrities behind them acting as custodians of culture and influence. In music videos today and scattered across social media, a plastic surgery epidemic has inundated the culture and spilled onto our current social consciousness. The rampant occurrence of plastic surgery in both celebrities and regular folks has waged a cultural war. This cultural war occasionally breaks out when a person expresses the slightest disapproval of plastic surgery, and the person with the surgery takes it as “hating” or a personal attack.

This article is not an attack on plastic surgery but a reflection of how far beauty and societal expectations of body mass and ideal weight have veered. The allure of celebrity and the performing arts have had a big impact on this, but one can only wonder what triggered it and how else it will change in the future.