The Sexualization of Voting: Celebs Work Their Bodies for Hillary

November 3rd, 2016 3:43 PM

Objectification is awful, right? Yes …unless you’re wielding your body to gain votes for Hillary.

Even with their star power, celebrities know that merely explaining Clinton’s policy positions won’t make their voting videos go viral. So, they took a cue from lazy filmmakers – throw in some sex and nudity when all else fails. As writer/producer Lena Dunham recently reminded us: it’s just “what you do for the candidate you love!”

In a rap video released November 1, Dunham sang Hillary’s praises, while dressed in a Clintonesque red pantsuit. Sensationalist lyrics included: “I can’t believe she’s in the race with this guy, let’s get out and vote or everybody might die.” But toward the end of the song, Dunham declared: “And now I’m going to take off my pantsuit, to reveal a more sensual pantsuit, ‘cause that’s what you do for the candidate you love!” Then she proceeded to strip down to a red bikini and make some suggestive dance moves.

To be fair, it seemed as though the video were tongue and cheek. Or rather, it pokes fun at celebrity endorsements (while still very much being one itself). At one point, rapper Charlamagne the God declares: “Not really sure I understand the logic here. The rap is trash and why are you wearing Hillary’s lingerie?” Excellent question. Dunham even asks herself: “I wonder if I’m actually hurting her chances of winning?”

This is not Dunham’s first attempt at using sensuality and sexual references to attract Millennials’ attention. In 2012, she recorded a video comparing voting for Obama to losing her virginity. “Your first time shouldn’t just be with anybody. You want to do it with a great guy,” she counseled first-time voters.  

But it’s not only women flaunting their physicality. Actor James Franco recently recorded a fawning Clinton endorsement, patterned after Dos Equis beer commercials, for the group “Women Vote!” After making such ridiculously over-the-top comments as “Her laugh is in the Smithsonian,” “Yoda was her apprentice,” and “She’s the most interesting woman in the world,” Franco can be seen drying himself off after a shower. “I don’t always endorse candidates,” he continued, wrapping an “H” embossed towel around his waist, “but when I do, they’re extraordinary. Vote wisely, my friends.”

Singers Katy Perry and Madonna, as well as actor Mark Ruffalo all similarly used the allure of their naked bodies to attract attention to the voting booths. In a video that has now received almost 4 million views on YouTube, Perry urged viewers to roll out of bed on November 8 and vote no matter how they look in the morning. For Perry, who usually sleeps naked, that meant going nude. So, she stripped off her pajamas and attempted to vote, before being dragged away by the police. “Scratch that, gotta wear clothes!” she reminded viewers as the cop car drove away.

Madonna liked this idea, and thus posted a cropped nude photo of herself on Instagram with the caption “Im voting naked with Katy Perry!! Vote for Hillary. She’s the Best we got! Nude Voting series #1.” Similarly, Ruffalo agreed to film a nude scene in one of his upcoming movies if Clinton is elected.

In her voting PSA, crude comedienne Kathy Griffin used sexual themes aplenty. When she encountered a gay man watching porn, Griffin questions: “So you’re not voting, why?” When he claimed he had more important things to do, Griffin reminded him that “it is election day, not erection day.” Her crass jokes, of course, really succeeded in elevating the rhetoric of this election season.    

For all their talk against sexual objectification, celebs are certainly strutting their stuff to Hillary’s advantage.