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Mariah Carey update:  A Vision of Love?

Mariah CareyMarch 14, 2010 -- Recently the Truth's campaign to persuade Mariah Carey to reconsider her use of naughty nurse imagery in the video for "Up Out My Face" has received coverage in the Hartford Courant, the Baltimore Sun, the India Times, the Calgary Herald, ADVANCE for Nurses, Scrubs Magazine, HCPro, the Dallas Morning News, and other news sources. Unfortunately, there has still been no response from Ms. Carey herself. However, the pop star's "lambs" (fans) have learned of the campaign and responded in force. They have argued that the video is just a harmless fantasy, that nurses' business is solely caring for patients at the bedside, that the Truth is just seeking "publicity" (which evidently differs from raising awareness), and that we have no right to criticize Carey's work, because she is successful, powerful, talented, and beyond our limited understanding. However, research shows that even fantasies and "jokes" can have a real effect on how people think and act, especially when repeated countless times in all media worldwide over a period of decades, as the naughty nurse has been. By relentlessly associating the profession of nursing with female sexuality, the naughty nurse makes it harder for real nurses to get the respect and resources they need to save lives, and discourages many advanced students from choosing the profession, as recent research shows.

Fun fact: The star received $1 million from Moammar Gadhafi's family to play for their 2009 new year's celebration in St. Barts in the Caribbean.

With regard to our criticism of Carey's work generally, our reviewers have always included some analysis of artistic merit and overall context in reviews of nursing-related media, in order to help people consider what the media means and its likely effect on the public. Of course, this kind of analysis is subjective, and people will disagree. Our reviewer was not suggesting that Carey is a bad person, but that the way she has pursued her career does seem to fit with her recent reinforcement of the naughty nurse stereotype. Perhaps our reviewer was too hard on Ms. Carey's career activities aside from this video, and if so we apologize. We have so often seen such images used as an easy way to sell things, and seen so much of the damage caused by the disrespect the images fuel, that it can be hard to offer a balanced response to each new attack. We have edited the review to focus more closely on this video.

In any case, if you agree that Carey should reconsider her reliance on naughty nurse imagery, please:

write to the pop star and

post a comment on our main analysis page. Thank you!


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