What girl power message?
July 17, 2010 – 12:08AM
Lady Gaga courts controversy.
MUSIC videos are essentially advertising, but the clip for Katy Perry’s California Gurls, top of the Australian charts, is the most cynical bid for market dominance I’ve seen in some time. It’s a video underpinned by a marketing logic common to both soft porn and sugary food, where pleasure is a naughty indulgence in which a woman’s role is to facilitate the enjoyment of others. In food commercials, women nibble chocolate or lick fingers smeared in whipped cream, smiling coyly for the camera. They are not eating for their own satisfaction — god forbid, that might make them fat — but to illustrate a correctly feminine mode of desire: proportional, demure, and always conscious of its own appearance.
Anwyn Crawford speaks out about the MTV factory and the impact on women. Gender is continuously created rather than ironically distanced as far as the real impact is concerned. Unfortunately, longing for the good old days of cheap innovative music videos (Cyndi Lauper is cited) does not make anything change. However, criticality of the state of the art may feed growing disenchantment which may lead to change. Either that or new technology may replace music video with promises of freedom… for a while.