MTV worries me… part 4; Making Street Harassment ‘Sexy’

3OH!3 Katy Perry Starstrukk

Whilst writing my (ever multiplying… gosh, I’m easily perturbed, aint I?) blog posts about music videos, I’ve started to notice another little trend. This time, however, it’s not content of the videos that’s getting to me but the lyrics of the songs, instead. (more…)

By: Sarah Barnes, 15.12.2009 | Comments (6)
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MTV worries me… part 3; Putting Women in Cages

What is it with women in cages? Seriously. Is this supposed to be sexy? Clearly it is, otherwise the media wouldn’t keep doing it. But why is it supposed to be sexy? What’s wrong with people!?

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By: Sarah Barnes, 03.12.2009 | Comments (1)
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MTV worries me… Part 2; Guns and Sexual Power

Videophone Beyonce Lady Gaga

Two of my very favourite female pop musicians right now have come together to create (okay, okay remix) a dirty great slice of harsh, nasty, catchy hip-pop. Cause for celebration? Yes… and no. (Oh, come on! As if I could leave well alone!)

The song, Video Phone, has been around for a while on Beyonce’s I Am… Sasha Fierce album (of which I am a proud owner!) but it has had a re-vamp with new vocals from Lady Gaga for the album’s re-released Deluxe edition. Now, much as I LOVE Beyonce (and much as the song is sexy and catchy and all that), I’d always found the lyrics of this song hard to swallow.

The lyrics all point to a woman allowing a sexual partner to film her whilst they have sex – “What, you want me naked? If you liking this position you can tape it on your video phone” – so that he can remember her later whenever he watches it.

Beyonce is often portrayed as a powerful woman, which is probably the main reason I like her. But this song feels devoid of power… I mean, as Paris Hilton knows only too well, once you create amateur porn for a boyfriend (and the ‘male character’ in this song seems a lot less long-term, and trust-worthy, than that), your lack of control with the output leaves you in a rather powerless position.

With this song Beyonce (who is always said to have buckets of class) was basically saying that she would pull out some amateur dramatics in the bedroom for any old Tom, Dick or Harry to film on their phone and then wank over later. Before showing it to their friends, probably. And then leaking it onto the internet. Oh, Beyonce… that’s disappointing. (more…)

By: Sarah Barnes, 17.11.2009 | Comments (1)
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MTV worries me… Part 1; Glamorous Pain

Some time ago Sociological Images published a brilliant blog (although, when are their blogs anything but?) that pointed out the sexualised violence in Lady Gaga’s Paparazzi video. It should never have been surprising that this video was going to be controversial, since it was directed by Jonas Akerlund of (the incredibly NSFW) Smack My Bitch Up video fame.

There is a brilliant critique of the Paparazzi video over at ‘amplify your voice’ where writer Michelle identifies the 13 (who knew there were so many!) female models posed as murdered/dead through-accident-or-suicide. Michelle rightly questions why they are there, and it seems that it’s the same old story of ‘to look glamorous, sexy and shocking‘.  It’s America’s Next Top Model all over again, where the models were asked to play dead for one of the photoshoot challenges.

Lady Gaga Paparazzi Dead Model

But maybe I’m becoming desensitised to the ’sexy dead woman’ images (oh what a world we live in when I can type that sentence!)  because, even though I found this element of the video deeply problematic, what I found most disturbing whilst watching Paparazzi was the eroticised treatment of the Gaga character’s pain and discomfort… (more…)

By: Sarah Barnes, 12.11.2009 | Comments (3)
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Now you see it, now you don’t…

Beauty is in the post production, as this video from Room demonstrates. Here are some stills, just in case you have trouble viewing it…

Pharell Williams Re-touched

Belly Re-touched

Busta-Rhymes-Re-touched

Britney Spears Re-touched

Room are (or were, since the link to their original site no longer works) a Californian post-production company. This show-reel of their work on music videos might act as a bit of a revelation to some (it was to me when I first saw it!) since, whilst we are becoming increasingly aware of the ‘Photoshopping’ of still images, the re-touching of film is still a bit of a mystery.

Warning: this video will lodge ‘So Fresh, So Clean‘ into your head, where it will play on repeat over and over for hours. Not necessarily a bad thing, and how appropriate a pairing is that song with this video? Look at all those ‘fresh’, pore-less faces! And, is it just me, or does this video tarnish Pharrell’s mystique a teensy bit…?

By: Sarah Barnes, 05.11.2009 | Comments (0)
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