Old, trashy and desperate? In defence of Kylie and Sexercise

Kylie Minogue

Ever since Kylie’s ‘Sexercise’ video came out, accusations have been slapped right across the Aussie icon’s pert derriere.  According to the critics, Kylie is “too old” “too trashy” “too cheesy” “too desperate” and did I mention “too old”?

Too old?

From the tone of the comments directed at Kylie, you’d think she was a 3000 year old mummy, her limbs flopping off and worms spilling out with every dance move.

Actually, Kylie is 45 years old. 45.

That’s ten years younger than Madonna, who still squeezes very nicely into a cheerleader costume. And it’s seven years younger than the age of the average Australian CEO.

45 isn’t old. 45 is exactly the age when your career should really be flourishing. When you’ve hit your stride in a big way. When you should have the freedom to take risks.

Yet it’s also an age when many women report that they start to feel invisible.

Why? Because people tell 45-year-old women like Kylie that they’re too old to do whatever the hell they want, when actually, they’re the perfect age to stop giving a whiff what anyone else thinks.

Too trashy?

Kylie’s space aged Wolford leotard and pin-thin Louboutin stilettos look pretty good to me. Going pantsless is de rigueur for pop stars, and a sleek looking leotard isn’t exactly a set of nipple tassels (although I’m sure Kylie would look great in those too).  So why is an outfit that’s iconic on Beyonce trashy on Kylie? Oh, that’s right: because she’s 45.

Trashy? Hardly. Kylie looks chic in her ‘Sexercise’ outfit.

Too cheesy?

The track is called ‘Sexercise’. That doesn’t exactly scream heartfelt-and-intelligent-broken-hearted-ballad-with-loads-of-artistic-integrity, does it? The clip features condom-translucent exercise balls and the chorus purrs “Bounce! Bounce! Bounce!”   Of course it’s cheesy. It’s basically a novelty song. But what of it? When LMFAO released the even sillier ‘Sexy And I Know It’  it went 10 x Platinum in Australia (Redfoo –  X Factor judge and LMFAO member is only seven years younger than Kylie, FYI). So why isn’t Kylie allowed to ka-ching on the novelty cash? Because she’s a 45-year-old woman.

Too desperate?

This one, I’ll pay to. The video is painfully self-aware. It is begging to be parodied, and no, the song probably isn’t catchy enough to make it as a hit without the provocative video. But what Kylie’s doing with the clip is making lemonade, and she looks like she’s having fun doing it.

So what?

Women don’t hit their sexual peak until the age of 32, which is right around the time Kylie reinvented herself as the princess of provocative pop. From that age onwards, women’s sexual appetites deepen and change as they grow more confident and aware of what they want. Kylie’s career is a celebration of the slow and delicious slide into becoming a super-cool cougar, and we need more women to be telling that story.

The other thing that’s great about ‘Sexercise’ is the fact that it’s honest. You do need to work, and stretch, take it down to the ground, take it up and bounce, bounce, bounce to get a body like Kylie’s, and I appreciate the fact that she admits that.

Sure, ‘Sexercise’ is silly. But it’s meant to be silly. You don’t have to savage Kylie for having a bit of fun. And you certainly don’t need to call her ‘old’.