Ranting With Rick: Sex appeal in CCM

Thursday 1st November 2001

American commentator and musician RICK ALTIZER looks at sex appeal in the CCM scene.

Rick Altizer
Rick Altizer

You've got to be good looking to get a Christian record deal. Now, come on - you already knew that. Don't act so shocked. Who wants a poster on their wall of an unattractive female singer with no cleavage? No one, that's who. Sex appeal sells, everywhere! Even in our wholesome little Christian bookstores. Don't forget that the Christian music industry chases AFTER the world, that means no fat, thin haired, gray haired, big nosed, flat chested, too short, too tall, too ethnic looking or whatever else we're not supposed look like people can appear on any contemporary Christian album. That the way the world does it, so that's the way we'll do it. Remember we chase after the world (very important point).

I have a perfect example of this and I know it to be true because it's about someone I know personally - ME! I'm actually a pretty ugly guy. I got a record deal from a company that is now out of business (shows you how smart they were in the first place) and have made three CDs (my fourth came out the end of September in the secular market - same rules apply) For my CD covers we had a $1500 a day photographer and a $500 a day hair and makeup artist. Anybody can look good at these prices. I had lights in the front of me, lights in the back of me, lights underneath me. The makeup artist actually glued small pieces of hair on my head so she could get this cool standing up straight look (my hair is curly and won't do that without the extra $500). I look better on those album covers than I've ever looked in my life anywhere! All that money was spent on the packaging so people would buy it. The fact is that if they saw the way really looked I would have sold even less (as if that were possible).

And another thing. I don't care what anyone says, I really like the "I haven't shaved in four days" look Michael W Smith has in every picture that's ever been taken of him for the last eight years. It's a beard - it's a beard - it can't seem to make up its mind what it is. How does he do that? If he lets it grow out, it starts to look like a beard. If he shaves it, it gone and he has nothing. Maybe it just grows really fast and that's when his 5 o'clock shadow looks like. No one can take pictures of Michael W Smith till after 5 o'clock at night.

Anyway, he has a look that sets him apart and looks good on him. Come on, you wouldn't want to look lousy on your CD cover would you? If you had the chance to have a $500 a day hair and makeup artist glue cool spiky stuff on the top of your head, you'd jump at it.

Or we could forget about chasing after the world and start setting a standard of excellence that is so high and full of integrity that the work would begin to chase after us. To grasp on to the Father of all Creation and create music so beautiful and inspiring that it transcended the label "Christian" and became something never experienced before.
Sounds great to me but what kind of trousers could we wear to really push it over the top?

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

Be the first to comment on this article

We welcome your opinions but libellous and abusive comments are not allowed.

We are committed to protecting your privacy. By clicking 'Send comment' you consent to Cross Rhythms storing and processing your personal data. For more information about how we care for your data please see our privacy policy.