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For immediate release
March 10, 2010

Contact:
Sandy Summers
410-323-1100 or 443-253-3738
ssummers@truthaboutnursing.org

Nurses protest Mariah's new video
Express concern about pop star's face
 

Mariah CareyMarch 10, 2010 --  Nurses say they are concerned about Mariah Carey's new "naughty nurse" video--and about the singer's own well-being.

The video for Carey's "Up Out My Face," released to promote her new remix album Angels Advocate, features the pop star and rapper Nicki Minaj in skimpy "nurse" outfits, with white stockings and high heels. Nurses say such imagery makes it harder for them to do their jobs.

"I'm sure Ms. Carey was inspired by the nursing research that shows how music can improve patient outcomes, and she just wanted to pay tribute to the profession," said Sandy Summers, executive director of The Truth About Nursing, a Baltimore-based advocacy group. "But these images associate nursing with female sexuality, undermining our claims to adequate resources."

Nurses from around the world have asked Carey to reconsider the video, said Summers, co-author of the book Saving Lives: Why the Media's Portrayal of Nurses Puts Us All at Risk. But so far Carey, the self-described "angels advocate," has not responded to the nursing advocates.

On the other hand, the Truth About Nursing actually praised Carey for not suggesting that nurses themselves are unskilled "angels," which the group said is another harmful stereotype about nurses. "Here again, Ms. Carey seems to have really done her homework about nursing," said Summers, "except for that one little nursing = sex thing."

Research indicates that nursing's sexual image does hurt the profession. Summers cited a 2008 study from Scotland's Dundee University that found television images of nurses as "brainless, sex mad bimbos" discouraged academically advanced primary school students from pursuing nursing.

The song "Up Out My Face" is actually a kiss-off to a former lover, so it would seem to reverse the standard naughty nurse theme of sexual availability. But Summers noted that the point of the video seems to be to show the ex-lover just what he will be missing. At a couple points in the video, Nicki Minaj applies her stethoscope to Carey's chest, as if checking her heart rate.

Summers said that as a nurse, she too is concerned about Carey's own health. "From the song's lyrics, it sounds like Ms. Carey has something lodged in her face. But she doesn't seem to be able to articulate exactly what that is. She's saying she wants her ex-boyfriend to get 'up' out of her face. But what is 'up'--a recreational drug? Or a face lift gone wrong?"

"Of course this is just one video," Summers said. "But millions of people have already seen it. And when you consider the hundreds of naughty nurse images that continue to appear, all over the world, people who don't know much about the profession may well conclude that nursing is just a tired sex joke, not a life-saving profession for college-educated men and women."

The Truth About Nursing, pursuing a mission established in 2001, is an international non-profit organization based in Baltimore that seeks to increase public understanding of the central, front-line role nurses play in modern health care. The focus of the Truth is to promote more accurate, balanced and frequent media portrayals of nurses and increase the media's use of nurses as expert sources.

To see the video and our analysis of it, please go to truthaboutnursing.org/media/music/2010/mariah_carey.html

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For more information, please contact:

Sandy Summers, MSN, MPH, RN
Executive Director
The Truth About Nursing
203 Churchwardens Rd.
Baltimore, Maryland, USA 21212-2937
office 1-410-323-1100
fax 1-410-510-1790
cell 1-443-253-3738
ssummers@truthaboutnursing.org
www.truthaboutnursing.org

 

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