6066. When Kori was just starting her modeling career, she was casted for the Blurred Lines video. The original video didn't make it past the test screening because people where furious that Kori was 13 and she was shown dancing around topless like the other girls. Her agent thought the shock factor would be a good publicity strategy to exploit her potential. She cut ties with that management team and signed up with a new agency. The video was edited and all her shots were cut out in the final version.
Beyonce has become a spokeswoman of feminism, including quotes from feminist writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie in one of her latest tracks and having the word “Feminist” displayed behind her while performing at the VMAs.
For feminists like me, this is wonderful to see. The majority of women benefit greatly from the efforts of early and current feminists, but few women (especially female celebrities) publicly embrace the term the way Beyonce has. I hope that the promotion of the term and the movement by someone as adored as Beyonce will help shift the public’s perception.
When I heard of Beyonce’s song “Pretty Hurts”, and the accompanying music video, I eagerly anticipated its release. The song is about the very painful and exhausting process many women dedicate their lives to in order to be considered “pretty”. The music video features Beyonce competing in a beauty pageant. We see her and the other women engaging in various routines including getting spray tans, working out, kneeling in front of the toilet, and ingesting non-food substances in order to fill up their stomachs, all while her song plays. Half-way through the video, all the women are on stage and the pageant MC asks Beyonce what her goals are in life. She thinks for a while, admits she wasn’t ready for that question, and then answers “My goal is to be happy”. Shortly after that scene, we see her standing in front of her various trophies. She grabs one and smashes the others with it. The last scene of the video actually seems to be taken from a home video of Beyonce’s. The scene is of her as a little girl, giving her very brief acceptance speech after winning a pageant.
The video is undeniably powerful, yet I still felt like I wanted more. The ending felt somehow unsatisfying. In reading an interview with Beyonce about the video, I realized why. She described the video as being about “inner beauty and substance. […] That song represents finding that one thing in the world that makes you really happy.” I realized that’s what was missing from the video. We see Beyonce as a heartbroken, angry pageant contestant, but we never see her happy. We never see her as herself. We never see her, or any of the other women, outside of the context of the pageant. In her video, Beyonce is vividly illustrating a very dark problem deeply enmeshed in our culture, and I would have loved to see her create just as vivid an image of her character healing and “finding that one thing that makes [her] really happy”.
As I recently watched Beyonce’s VMA performance, one of Chimamanda’s quotes struck me: “We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings in the way that boys are”. I understood why Beyonce included it in her audio track as she danced onstage. Beyonce is known for her beautiful and provocative style of dance and costuming. When I heard that quote, I realized that Beyonce sees her very sexual style as an expression of her feminism. Yet, to me, her performance still felt sexually objectifying instead of empowering. What is the difference? Can a female performer express her sexuality without objectifying herself?
I watched some of Beyonce’s more recent music videos, and started to realize what felt so off to me. They felt objectifying because we were mostly in the place of “watcher” while she was mostly in the place of “beautiful sexy object”. She made flirtatious eyes at the camera almost constantly. She contorted her body to present certain parts of it to the camera. Her dance moves always felt choreographed instead of internally inspired. Her movements seemed to be motivated by what the viewer would want to see, not how her body wanted to move at that precise moment. Her flirtatious eyes felt like a way to draw the viewer in and keep us watching, not how her natural expression would be if she were singing the song. It felt like she was using her body as an interesting prop to help keep viewers engaged in the video. It felt like every movement had the intention of satisfying our eyes instead of her body.
In a culture where everyone grows up learning that female bodies belong to those who see them, it’s difficult for women to feel connected to their bodies. We quickly learn that our sexuality is only acceptable if it appeals to the male gaze. Even when we just want to move our bodies to music, we are expected to do so in a visually pleasing (and preferably also titillating) way. Most of us internalize these messages at such a young age that it soon becomes difficult to untangle our own sexuality from the way we are expected to be sexual. It becomes difficult to quiet the external messages that have seeped into our own thoughts and just move our bodies the way they truly want to move.
There are a few music videos where I feel the artists express their sexuality in an empowering way. The first is Mod Carousel’s “genderf*ck” cover of the well-known track “Blurred Lines”.
The video has a distinctly groovy feel to it, as if the track started playing and all the performers just danced along to it. Even the men, wearing nothing but glittering thongs and heels, dance in a way that is empowered, genuine, and flirtatious. They have a full range of facial expressions, instead of only sultry stares into the camera. The women have the same broad range in their expressions and movements. This multidimensionality helps give their characters life, instead of flattening the characters into visually consumable objects.
A much darker, more emotionally intense example is P!nk’s video for her song “Try”.
The interactions between P!nk and Colt are incredibly sensual. Their entire routine is obviously carefully choreographed but it still somehow feels organic. We see a lot of P!nk’s body, but no part of it is ever “presented to the camera”. P!nk is physically, mentally, and emotionally engaged with Colt. At no point does she even present her body to him. They are two people fully interacting with each other, no one ever falling into the role of “object”.
A lighter, more bubbly example is Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass” music video:
It’s very flirtatious, with lots of great dancing. Again, despite the clearly choreographed routines the dancers all look like they’re moving the way their bodies want to move at that moment. The dancers’ personalities shine out of their faces and gestures. Even Meghan’s glances into the camera are not “Do you find me sexy?” but more “Come join our dance party and enjoy your body like we’re enjoying our bodies!”
As feminism becomes even more of a hot topic, thanks to many people (including Beyonce), I hope to see more music videos that feature multidimensional female characters. I want to see music videos become another medium where female artists can fully express themselves. I want to see more empowered female sexuality. I want to see women following their own bodies. I want to see the “subject/object” dynamic gone from interpersonal relationships and media, replaced by “person/person”.
Sharing my opinion. Don't care if I get hate for it. I'm upset at the hypocrisy of the media.
The video I saw of TMZ talking about the DWUW video is the most ridiculous uneducated piece of fucking shit segment I have ever seen in my life. Rapey song? (And yes they said rapey SONG, not just rapey video).Do they not listen to the lyrics? Someone tell me how
“You can’t have my heart And you won’t use my mind but Do what you want (with my body) Do what you want with my body You can’t stop my voice cause You don’t own my life but Do what you want (with my body)”
sounds rapey. Or how about
“Write what you want Say what you want ‘bout me If you’re wondering Know that I’m not sorry”
“I feel good, I walk alone But then I trip over myself and I fall I, I stand up, and then I’m okay But then you print some shit That makes me wanna scream”
Yeah that’s so fucking rapey. They’re talking out of their fucking asses. They are so uneducated it’s literally DISGUSTING.
RESULTS | BILLBOARD MUSIC AWARDS 2014 - THE WINNERS
Here are the Billboard Music Awards 2014 winners:
Top artist: Miley Cyrus Imagine Dragons Bruno Mars Katy Perry *Justin Timberlake
Top new artist: Bastille Capital Cities Ariana Grande *Lorde Passenger
Top male artist: Luke Bryan Drake Eminem Bruno Mars *Justin Timberlake
Top female artist: Beyonce Miley Cyrus Lorde *Katy Perry Rihanna
Top duo/group: Florida Georgia Line *Imagine Dragons Macklemore & Ryan Lewis One Direction OneRepublic
Top Billboard 200 artist: Beyonce Luke Bryan Eminem One Direction *Justin Timberlake
Top hot 100 artist: Miley Cyrus *Imagine Dragons Lorde Katy Perry Justin Timberlake
Top digital songs artist: Miley Cyrus Imagine Dragons Lorde Macklemore & Ryan Lewis *Katy Perry
Top radio songs artist: Imagine Dragons Lorde Bruno Mars Katy Perry *Justin Timberlake
Top touring artist: Beyonce *Bon Jovi P!nk Rihanna Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band
Top social artist: *Justin Bieber Miley Cyrus One Direction Rihanna Taylor Swift
Top streaming artist: *Miley Cyrus Imagine Dragons Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Katy Perry PSY
Top R&B artist: Beyonce Pharrell Williams Rihanna Robin Thicke *Justin Timberlake
Top rap artist: Drake *Eminem Jay Z Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Pitbull
Top country artist: *Luke Bryan Florida Georgia Line Darius Rucker Blake Shelton Taylor Swift
Top rock artist: Capital Cities Fall Out Boy *Imagine Dragons Lorde Passenger
Top Latin artist: *Marc Anthony Gerardo Ortiz Jenni Rivera Prince Royce Romeo Santos
Top dance/electronic artist: Avicii *Daft Punk Calvin Harris Lady Gaga Zedd
Top Christian artist: Mandisa Skillet tobyMac *Chris Tomlin Matthew West
Milestone Award presented by Chevrolet: Imagine Dragons John Legend Luke Bryan Ellie Goulding OneRepublic *Carrie Underwood
Top Billboard 200 album: Beyonce, Beyonce Luke Bryan, Crash My Party Drake, Nothing Was The Same Eminem, The Marshall Mathers LP 2 *Justin Timberlake, The 20/20 Experience
Top R&B album: Beyonce, Beyonce R. Kelly, Black Panties Robin Thicke, Blurred Lines *Justin Timberlake, The 20/20 Experience Justin Timberlake, The 20/20 Experience (2 of 2)
Top rap album: J. Cole, Born Sinner Drake, Nothing Was The Same *Eminem, The Marshall Mathers LP 2 Jay Z, Magna Carta…Holy Grail Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, The Heist
Top country album: Garth Brooks, Blame It All On My Roots: Five Decades of Influences *Luke Bryan, Crash My Party Florida Georgia Line, Here’s To The Good Time The Robertsons, Duck The Halls: A Robertson Family Christmas Blake Shelton, Based On A True Story
Top rock album: Lana Del Rey, Born To Die Fall Out Boy, Save Rock And Roll *Imagine Dragons, Night Visions Lorde, Pure Heroine Mumford & Sons, Babel
Top Latin album: *Marc Anthony, 3.0 Alejandro Fernandez, Confidencias Jenni Rivera, 1969 Siempre: En Vivo Desde Monterrey: Parte 1 Prince Royce, Soy El Mismo Romeo Santos, Formula: Vol. 2
Top dance/electronic album: Avicii, True *Daft Punk, Random Access Memories Lady Gaga, ARTPOP Lindsey Stirling, Lindsey Stirling Zedd, Clarity
Top Christian album: *Alan Jackson, Precious Memories: Volume II Skillet, Rise Third Day, Miracle Chris Tomlin, Burning Lights Various Artists, WOW Hits 2014
Top Hot 100 song: Miley Cyrus, Wrecking Ball Imagine Dragons, Radioactive Lorde, Royals Katy Perry, Roar *Robin Thicke Featuring T.I. & Pharrell Williams, Blurred Lines
Top digital song: Imagine Dragons, Radioactive Lorde, Royals OneRepublic, Counting Stars Katy Perry, Roar *Robin Thicke Featuring T.I. & Pharrell Williams, Blurred Lines
Top radio song: Avicii, Wake Me Up! Lorde, Royals Katy Perry, Roar *Robin Thicke Featuring T.I. & Pharrell Williams, Blurred Lines Justin Timberlake, Mirrors
Top streaming song (audio): Daft Punk Featuring Pharrell Williams, Get Lucky *Imagine Dragons, Radioactive Lorde, Royals Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Featuring Ray Dalton, Can’t Hold Us Robin Thicke Featuring T.I. & Pharrell Williams, Blurred Lines
Top streaming song (video): Baauer, Harlem Shake Miley Cyrus, We Can’t Stop *Miley Cyrus, Wrecking Ball Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Featuring Wanz, Thrift Shop Katy Perry, Roar
Top R&B song: Beyonce Feat. Jay Z, Drunk In Love Drake Featuring Majid Jordan, Hold On, We’re Going Home Pharrell Williams, Happy *Robin Thicke Featuring T.I. & Pharrell Williams, Blurred Lines Justin Timberlake Feat. Jay Z, Suit & Tie
Top rap song: Eminem Featuring Rihanna, The Monster Jay Z Featuring Justin Timberlake, Holy Grail *Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Featuring Ray Dalton, Can’t Hold Us Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Featuring Wanz, Thrift Shop Pitbull Featuring Ke$ha, Timber
Top country song: Luke Bryan, Crash My Party Luke Bryan, That’s My Kind Of Night *Florida Georgia Line Featuring Nelly, Cruise Darius Rucker, Wagon Wheel Blake Shelton Featuring Pistol Annies & Friends, Boys ‘Round Here
Top rock song: Capital Cities, Safe And Sound Imagine Dragons, Demons Imagine Dragons, Radioactive *Lorde, Royals Passenger, Let Her Go
Top Latin song: *Marc Anthony, Vivir Mi Vida Daddy Yankee, Limbo Enrique Iglesias Featuring Romeo Santos, Loco Prince Royce, Darte Un Beso Romeo Santos,Propuesta Indecente
Top dance/electronic song: *Avicii, Wake Me Up! Daft Punk Featuring Pharrell Williams, Get Lucky Icona Pop Featuring Charlie XCX,I Love It Lady Gaga, Applause Zedd Featuring Foxes, Clarity
Top Christian song Building 429, We Won’t Be Shaken Mandisa, Overcomer Sidewalk Prophets,Help Me Find It Chris Tomlin, Whom Shall I Fear (God Of Angel Armies) *Matthew West, Hello, My Name Is
“Come over here if you want to get raped, by a creepy wannabe Timberlake”
“This song and video, will make you wanna take a, knife that is really dull, and shove it in your trachea!”
“And now it’s time for stupid hashtags that say my last name, it’s extremely lame! What they should say is I’m a douchebag, who thinks he’s so smooth, now everyone’ dancing, except for me I’m way too cool.”
“‘Cause I’m a scumbag! Who wrote this concept? Nothing happening makes any damn sense! [There’s a car on ya butt!]”
“Now let’s watch T.I. dance, like a dirty old man, who just shit in his pants!”
“Now here’s a crappy attempt at funny: What rhymes with funny?! [ALOT OF STUFF, IDIOT!]”
“Robin you asshole! I’m preggo with your baby. Even though I said no, you knocked me up anyway!
[But the lines were blurred!]
They totally WEREN’T! You’re just a BASTARD! *kicks him in the nuts*”
^ Just SOME of the amazingly perfect lines from Bart Baker’s Blurred Lines parody.
Please go watch it,you will thank me.
I will listen to Blurred Lines on repeat because I disagree with basically every opinion about it on here.
And because it’s a catchy song.
And because I think Robin Thicke is hilarious and adorable.
And I see nothing wrong with the song, or the video.