Sunday, May 31, 2009
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Katy Perry’s Video Hot N Cold
Ever since 1985, the music video has become a staple in America’s pop culture. Every successful single has a music video that accompanies it and though the stage has moved from MTV to YouTube, they are still a lucrative marketing strategy for singers and rappers alike. Katy Perry, mainly known for her controversial “I Kissed a Girl” song, takes a new route into poking fun at the stereotypes of men in her new video Hot’n’Cold. By repackaging the common misconception that women are more apt to want to get married and men are more likely to have cold feet, she capitalizes on the unsteady thoughts of men and the women scorn by their heartlessness.
In the beginning, the dominant idea of femininity is called into questions when her Man-of-Honor is in a dress holding a small dog. Though we are not sure that transgendered person is a spoof or not, her unconcern for their presence is telling and supported by her other non-typical bridesmaids. Katy disrupts hegemonic customs of beautifully placed bridesmaids that are flawless and reflect the beauty of the bride. Tradition is steeped in the church filled with family and friends however she fights it in pieces because her (sexy but not feminine) dress would be considered very controversial with a large side bow and a bodysuit displayed underneath. Her hair is tousled and her veil is torn and off to the side. She bats her eyelashes in an attempt to subdue her anxious fiancé.
Newman emphasizes in his article that with the help of the media, women feel “ashamed and guilty” if they do not meet beauty standards and “feel that their desirability and lovability are contingent upon physical perfection” (Newman 92). By attempting to make herself more physically attractive and tempting to her counterpart, she demonstrates the lengths at which women will go to make themselves more desirable to get men to act the way they want. This lesson is taught to girls early in life by hegemonic standards.
A dream sequence ensues where her fiancé hesitates too long to give his “I Do” answer. She chases him through the city, detaching her skirt revealing a tight “playboy bunny” type bodysuit underneath. She proceeds to gather up other scorn brides, armed with baseball bats and smudged mascara (from crying), and attempt to corner him. This rage filled chase is not feminine by society’s standards, but her excuse is highly acceptable. The Hegemonic culture that America is bases women’s places in life around their marital status. They are taught to love a man for all of his faults because she is incomplete without him. Most women would tell her “If he doesn’t want to marry you, then good riddance” but society’s actions and standards of practice tell a different story.
Katy chases her beau through the streets, not to convince him to marry her, but to exact her revenge on him. She does not break down in tears or through a fit. This is another way that she disrupts the hegemonic customs of engaged women. She is empowered by her rage and so are the women that surround her.
Her lyrics, on the other hand, seem to support femininity and masculinity within the first four lines, “You change your mind/ Like a girl changes clothes/ Yeah, you PMS like a bitch/ I would know”. In this, she supports the dominant theory that women are picky about their appearances and attire. By comparing this feminine practice to him, she challenges his ability to make decisions, associating him with a flaky girl. Then, a few lyrics later she exclaims that he is no good for her. She asserts her independence of him as an unworthy mate, further disturbing the set of rules hegemony sets to govern women in such an emotional situation.
In the end of the sequence, she has come full circle. She is no longer dressed in her wedding attire but in street clothes while he is still in his tux. She has essentially left him behind. He is then ostracized and ridiculed by the other people that accompany Perry as she enjoys her freedom in the streets. This supports the theory that men who fail deserved to be ridiculed by society for not being aggressive or strong enough to stand up to her (his woman). Allan Johnson speaks to this in his article about Patriarchy in that a “patriarchal culture” teaches “what’s expected of us as men and women” and “how we behave and appear” (Johnson 95). This outlying social acceptance and structure is a sure component to his treatment.
At the very end, we return to the church waiting for his answer. This scene is very typical from movies where the dramatic pause occurs before the happy ending. Perry has her beau say “I Do” however the scene shows a lot of peer pressure from his surroundings to say yes rather than his original intention. This strongly affirms the hegemonic understanding that even if you might be unhappy, a person should do what is right. And what is right is not leaving your fiancé at the altar in front of friends and family.
Perry touches upon a lot of social norms and their comical counterparts. Contrasting the roles in which women and men react to a stressful wedding situation. The untraditional wedding setting from the start set the stage for common traditions to be broken while upholding others. Perry’s video for her song Hot N Cold is a prime example of the undercurrent fighting hegemonic views one video at a time.
Hot N Cold. Prod. Captiol. Perf. Katy Perry. YouTube. 14 May 2009 <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-LhyAVzDBI>.
Johnson, Allan G. "Patriarchy, the System: An It, Not a He, a Them, or an Us." The Gender Knot: Unraveling Out Patriarchal Legacy. Reprinted. Temple UP, 1997. 91-98.
Newman, David M. "Portraying Difference: Race, Class, Gender, and Sexuality and the Media."Identities and Inequalities Exploring the Intersections of Race, Class, Gender, & Sexuality. New York: McGraw-Hill Humanities/Social Sciences/Languages, 2005. 71-105.
Monday, May 11, 2009
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Author: Dapatkan Mesej Bergambar di Sini
Harry Potter and the radical multiculturalist agenda
Blog Title: Orbis: Aplifying Venderbilt's Progressive Voice
Author: Claire Costantino
Investigating Dan Brown's Angels and Demons
Blog Title: New Life Blog
Author: Pastor Chris Jordan
Rules For Media Coverage of Feminists
Blog Title: Thus Spake Zuska: A blog for all and no one
Grissom & Sara
Blog Title: the F-word: Contemporary UK Feminism
Author: Bill Savage