If you don’t know Janelle Monae by now, you’ve be in cryogenic sleep honey! Janelle is the leader of a new era of music and you need to get on board. Check out her new music video with Badoula Oblongata herself!
When the world discovered twerking I thought buildings would start spontaneously setting on fire, it would start raining literal cats and dogs and people’s faces would melt like that dude in that Indiana Jones movie. But it didn’t. The shitstorm of news coverage made it seem like twerking was the 1st coming of the urban apocalypse. Turning respectful young nepotist into ghetto booty shaking hood rats what has become of American values! I have to admit I was amused, not by the national frothing but by how badly Miley Cyrus twerked. Twerking is meant to shake your fat, to move your ass fat around rhythmical but for someone with .09% body fat to shake it around. All I could think was, if you’re going to decry twerking then you should start by using an actual example than that sorry imitation. But I digress.
The conversation underlying the Miley Cyrus twerk tornado is, what is the morality of a woman who is lieu of being objectified, objectifies herself. Is this empowering, a form of female expression or another manifestation of the indoctrination of patriarchal female identities. What is the limit of freedom that a female pop artist is allowed to go? So now we have the latest addition to the conversation on women’s depiction of themselves, but with much less fanfare. Perhaps it’s more acceptable in America to see a young woman of color acting in ways that people attribute as being crude than a white young woman? I don’t know. But to me, Rihanna’s music video makes a much more plaintive and explicit statement.
Take a look at the video and decide for yourself.
By now you’ve seen the video Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke, TI and Pharrell but have you seen the genderbent parody???
Recently many people have questioned the overt sexism and objectifying (and subtle references to sexual assault) in the Robin Thicke video. So in response this video was made, with a near perfect match of bizarre posing, activities, and wardobe of the original.
What kind of commentary does it make? Surely it point outs the clear double standard of having women being portrayed as little more than furniture, as a normal music video trope and how when you replace them with men it makes the viewer uncomfortable. Why? Because seeing men as voiceless, objectified, nearly nude, submissive, objects for the viewer to ogle off is so foreign to us as a society?
I think parodying the way women are portrayed in media is the first step in changing it.
It must have been last year that I first heard the song “Primadonna Girl” by Marina and the Diamonds. I instantly fell in love with the lyrics and the electro pop sound of the song, but the girl singing the song, well that was something else. Marina Diamandis, is the singer behind the title Marina and the Diamonds, so really, there are no ‘the Diamonds’, just her. In 2005, she created that name for herself and when describing the origin of the title she says, “I never envisaged a character, pop project, band or solo artist. I saw a simple group made up of many people who had the same hearts. A space for people with similar ideals who could not fit in to life’s pre-made mould. I was terribly awkward for a long time! I really craved to be part of one thing because I never felt too connected to anybody and now I feel I have that all around me.”
A Welsh singer popular in the UK since 2010, with her album “The Crown Jewels”, her debut single being “Mowgli’s Road” released in 2009. Since then she has been signed in the United States, gone on both a UK tour and an American tour and released a new albulm titled “Electra Heart”. She’s poised to make herself big in America and I’m going to her show here in town on May 28th. I’m so excited.
Known for her unique visual presentation in her music videos, she has released a series of music videos called “The Archetypes.” Each one representing a different part of “Electra Heart”, the alter ego of Marina, she says, “Electra Heart is the antithesis of everything that I stand for. And the point of introducing her and building a whole concept around her is that she stands for the corrupt side of American ideology, and basically that’s the corruption of yourself. My worst fear—that’s anyone’s worst fear—is losing myself and becoming a vacuous person. And that happens a lot when you’re very ambitious.”