Music video highlights generational conflict between modesty and modernity

A Papua New Guinean rapper's music video has highlighted the conflict between an older generation's traditional standards of modesty and a desire for modernity from the nation's young people.

PNG has strict laws against pornography and strong censorship of sexually related content in movies and television.

But rapper Tati Mangi has pushed the boundaries of what's acceptable with a video clip that's got the whole country talking.

Who knew women's backsides could cause such a fuss?

Tati Mangi probably did, but he released a video clip for his song Bootilicious featuring young PNG women dancing in bikinis anyway.

In the video he says he's under "big booty attack" from women whose backsides are "thick, vicious weapons of mass destruction", while he parties like the Port Moresby version of a Los Angeles gangster.

The video has earned praise for its production values, and because Tati Mangi raps in local language as well as English.

But it's the close-up shots of women's bums and crotches that has people fuming.

One letter to both national daily newspapers, from someone calling themselves "Bootilicious hater", calls for Tati Mangi and his dancers to be arrested and charged "as a warning to the public".

"They look just like porn stars," the letter said.

"For the sake of our future generation, let's stop such acts today so our children will not be influenced.

"If we fail, the next video will be worse than this one."

'Reeks of an evil mind'

The commentary on social media about the video has been divided along generational lines.

Many responses from older viewers say the women lack self-respect and they lament the diminishing standards of behaviour from PNG's young people.

"[It's] totally sick and reeks of an evil mind," one critic wrote on Facebook.

Young people are also criticising the video, but not for its suggestive content.

Some commented that the women were "too fat" and made fun of their "beer bellies".

The video was quickly re-edited with videos of people looking disgusted when the booty appeared.

Tati Mangi himself defended the video and the women in it.

"These are women who are confident of who they are," he told the local news site PNG Loop.

"They're not afraid to flaunt themselves and not holding back, but stepping into the unknown.

"Adding to that, it's not the first time you've seen a woman in swimwear."

Other critics thought the clip made PNG look like a low-rent destination that was trying too hard to be cool.

But they nevertheless supported Tati Mangi's right to release the clip, and called for people criticising it to be less socially conservative.

PNG has restrictions on sexually explicit content, and the country's censorship board has now banned the video from being broadcast.

Video highlights sensitive issue

Papua New Guineans have been discussing their country's approach to suggestive content recently, in light of the delayed release of the movie 50 Shades Darker, which eventually got approval to be screened in cinemas.

Prior to that, a front page of the Post-Courier newspaper reported PNG was number one in searching Google for pornography, something that wasn't really demonstrated by closer examination of the data.

The story itself triggered a huge backlash against the newspaper and the journalist, whose picture was posted on social media along with derogatory comments about her appearance and behaviour.

Despite PNG's obvious sensitivity about such issues, many young people in Port Moresby say they do access pornography on their mobile phones.

Their attitudes to clothing, dancing and interacting with each other are also very modern, and appear much the same as their counterparts in Australia or elsewhere.

But publicly, PNG remains a staunchly Christian, church-going society where modesty in dress and behaviour, particularly from women, is expected.

That means big booty attacks are going to be controversial for some time yet.