Of course, they don't get up to that kind of nonsense now, they're all respectable family men (with the exception of Jason, of course). But they can still make grown women weak at the knees. And they can definitely still dance (with the exception of Gary, of course).
This morning's marathon has been coupled with the recent speculation that Robbie may be re-united with his former bandmates. Now, I was a mega Robbie fan at the time; I thought I was going to marry him, along with about a million other little girls. Well he wasn't that much older than me; when I was nine, he was like, what, seventeen? Obviously, that never happened, or I'm sure you would all know about it. Despite my early love for Robbie, the news that he wants to re-join Take That left a sour taste in my mouth. He has been nothing but arrogant towards them in the last year or so, since they decided to reform. But now, what with his latest album being pants and his recent stint in rehab being dismissed as a publicity stunt, I can just imagine his PR person sitting across the desk going " Right, Robbie, you were the once the golden boy of British pop but now everyone hates you. You're going to have to swallow your pride and rejoin Take That. They're back for good and everyone loves it." The thing is though, they're doing fine without him. Their singles and album have all charted straight in a number one and their upcoming tour sold out in minutes, just like their reunion tour a year ago. So, if I was Take That, I'd say 'no thanks, Robbie'. But then, they are the 'nicest guys in pop' so who knows?
You may be wondering, as I am starting to, how I am going to link this to PR. Well, the implications of Robbie's rehab visit (timed nicely to coincide with Take That's appearance at this year's Brit Awards) and the recent revelations that he may rejoin them, to me, reek of publicity seeking. But this is not what I'm talking about. What struck me this morning, as I was watching thier raunchy dance routines and nearly-naked bodies on my telly-box, was the outright sexualisation of the pre-pubescent market. The first time I saw these videos, I wasn't even ten years old. Indeed, I was subjected to the afore-mentioned jelly-rubbing shenanigans when I was only seven. I recounted a tale of woe to my flatmates, who I think were only pretending to listen, being boys. When I was about nine, Take That performed a stunt on one of their tours where they ripped off their trousers and stood with their backs to the audience, with the words 'Take That' written on their lovely bum cheeks. I had a large poster of this incident on my bedroom ceiling (my walls were full). My dad, a relatively liberal-minded parent, had a fit and ripped it off. I was devastated. Only now can I see why he was so affronted - I was nine for crying out loud!
This set me to thinking about my expriences as a little girl, coming across the first boys I fancied, ie. Take That (but not Jason, he was too old; funnily, now he's scrummy!) and I joked about doing my dissertation on 'The Impact of Take That on the Sexualisation of Young Girls in the Early 1990's'. But the more I think about it, the more it seems like a real issue. How does PR use sex to sell a target market of pre-pubescent girls? Because they undoubtably do. It's all related to the adultification of our children, the covert sexualisation of little girls barely out of nappies. It's not just in the music industry. Think about Barbie, she's being doing it for decades. My youngest sister, despite the best efforts of my parents, virtually idolises the 'Bratz', a fictional group of friends who wear make-up, mini-skirts and flash their midriffs, while discussing boys and fashion. What's scary is that she's only four. This is obviously a major issue but is it one we can really do anything about?
On a lighter note, I am now sitting wondering how my love of Take That in my younger years has influenced my taste in men in my adult life. I hope it hasn't, those codpieces were bloody awful!