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Music video analysis-Pretty Hurts Beyonce

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Maisie Horler

on 16 September 2014

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Transcript of Music video analysis-Pretty Hurts Beyonce

Most pop videos have a nonlinear story line due to the range of flashback and flash forwards that they contain. This creates background to the video and helps the audience to understand what is really going on.

The music video 'Pretty Hurts' has a nonlinear story line.This helps to establish depth to a narrative and creates a back story whist still developing the future.
In the music video 'Pretty Hurts' Beyonce is presented only slightly different to her typical star persona. Although she is playing the character of a beauty pageant contestant I think that she has a part of her true self shown through the character.

She is representative as a women who is struggling with her body image and the pressure she is under to look a certain way. Although Beyonce is not a beauty pageant contestant in real life she still spends her life constantly on camera and on stage. Most women feel the pressure of what society expect from us, even Beyonce.

All the other characters in the music video are all representative in the same way. All the women in the beauty pageant all feel the pressure of what is expected of them to reach societies beauty standards.
The main message that is presented in the music video is self-empowerment. The video discusses society beauty standards and analyzing female body image. In the video there is imagery of all the women getting ready in the changing room, women taking diet pills, pulling at their skin, getting weighed, getting measured, making them self sick, doing their hair and makeup, choosing outfits, having botox, getting spray tans and so on.

All theses things that women can relate to, the music video is very real and relates to the target audience directly. The lyrics also work with the mise-en-scene and contribute to the representation. For example 'Perfection is a disease of a nation'. 'It my soul that needs the surgery'. 'Ain't got no doctor or pill that can take the pain away'. All the lyrics represent a powerful message about how society idea of perfection can make people feel.
Beyonce is a R&B, Pop and Soul artist. She is known for her impressive voice, as well as being a song writer and actress. She is promoted as a powerful women. Her and Jay-Z are known as the most powerful showbiz couple in history. Beyonce is also known as a feminist icon and great mother to her daughter Blue Ivy now known as one of the most powerful toddlers in America.

To many people she is a great influence and people worldwide inspire to be like her. Pop stars are often judged on two things: how well they sing and how well they can dance. Usually, they're stronger at one aspect than the other. Where as Beyonce is a great singer and a great dancer, which makes her a rarity in today's music world.

Beyonce is contracted to the record label "Columbia Records". In May 2011, Beyonce submitted seventy-two songs to Columbia Records for consideration, twelve songs of which appeared on the standard edition. 4 was promoted in mid-2011 by television performances and festival appearances, such as Beyonce's headlining Glastonbury Festival set.

The music video 'Pretty Hurts' was recorded for her fifth studio album. 'Pretty Hurts' is a self-empowerment pop song discussing society beauty standards and analyzing female body image. Beyonce decided to record it to show the negative effect of beauty pageants and expectations on how women should look. Upon its release, it received positive reviews from music critics who commended the lyrics and Beyonce's vocal performance.
The genre of the music video 'Pretty Hurts' is power pop. This is because the song is a powerful message with true and honest lyrics. It is a self-empowerment pop song discussing society beauty standards and analyzing female body image.

Genre is very important for music videos because it keeps a familiarity and content recognition for the audience. It keeps them pleasured and gives them exactly what it is that they expect from the music video. Dancing, instruments, lyrics and over all look is just some of the things that the audience expect to recognition for a certain genre in a music video.

'Pretty Hurts' follows some conventions for the genre pop but also breaks others. Usually there is a dominant male character profound in both female and male artists music videos. This is because they highlight the masculine side and how in society they play the alpha and view women as sexual objects.

Although in 'pretty hurts' that is not the case. This convention has been broken and through out the video there is no real male role. You could agree that the older man who is hosting the pageant could represent the masculine figure but to me he has no significance. The video just features women who seem powerful but also portrayed in a sexual way but instead this video focuses on how it makes women feel to be pressured into looking a certain way like society expects from them.
Final textual Analysis
Within music videos camera angles and shots tend to connate a variety of things and help to create explanation about what is happened and how the characters feel. In the music video 'Pretty Hurts' close up shots are used to emphasis how the character is feeling and capturing their facial expression and emotions. Long shots are also used to help the audience get a feel of how the atmosphere appears.

One example of Mise-en-scene that is constructed in the music video is props. The sort of props that feature in the music videos are items like scales, Beyonce is being weighed and measured. This prop is very important in the music video because it represents in an effective way the pain and pressure of being society's idea of perfect and not stopping until that goal is achieved. This prop adds towards the role that Beyonce is playing and helps the narrative to be understood throughout.

Editing is used throughout the music video as well. One example of editing that is used is a long take. This is used when Beyonce is singing at the beginning on the stage. A long take of her singing within the moment is really effective because it helps the audience begin to gain an understanding of all the different struggles the character that Beyonce is playing is going through. It also allows the audience to gain a connection with the character and begin to understand the powerful message being said through the lyrics.
Music video analysis-Pretty Hurts Beyonce
Maisie Horler
From analyzing the music video 'Pretty Hurts' I have learnt that not all genre conventions have to be followed to make a great video that targets the audience. Sometimes if you don't follow what is expected from that genre it can interest and surprise the audience more.

The thing that strikes me the most in this music video was how direct and powerful the message was. It targeted the audience in such a direct way that portrayed a very strong issue that is not often spoken about.

I think by analyzing this particular music video it will impact my own production in a great way. Now that I know if you target the audience directly through a powerful message this can be a great way of getting their interest and targeting a large audience with people who don't just like one particular genre of music . I think that the way this music video does target people directly is a big strength and it will inspire me in my own production a lot.
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