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The representation of woman in Pop.

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Hannah Willcocks

on 3 December 2012

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Transcript of The representation of woman in Pop.

The representation of women within Pop. Women as sex symbols. One of the negative representations of women within Pop music videos is that women are primarily viewed as sex symbols rather than artists to satisfy Mulvey's theory of the male gaze. This continues throughout the rest of their career until they are deemed as 'too old' to be seen as a sex symbol and thus become 'graceful for a woman of their age' An example of someone trying to cling onto their sex symbol image would be Madonna. Madonna here is portraying Marilyn Monroe who was one of the most famous sex symbols of her time. Marilyn Monroe's white dress being lifted by the wind has become iconic. Marilyn Monroe never reached the age those woman within the music industry become 'graceful' as she died quite young. That means that her master status has now become her sexual symbolism. This poster of Christina Aguilera is a prime example of the sexual symbolism women are now forced into. However Christina chose to embrace it rather than subvert it like others in the pop genre such as Pink. Taken from a promo of her new music video, Pink purposely tries to subvert the sexual image of women within pop. She does this by continually displaying through use of her music videos this idea of her being an independent woman who laughs in the face of this pressure exerted on women to become sex symbols. One of the music videos that this idea is portrayed is in her music video for 'Rockstar' where one of the clips includes her sitting in a salon, getting her hair done and having her hair set on fire. This use of symbolism (Roland Barthes) could be to represent how she finds it ridiculous that women put themselves through this by showing such a ridiculous situation. It may also, in an extreme case, represent her desire to rather be set on fire than to be made into a generic sex symbol. Women are emotionally unstable in regards to love Women in pop music videos tend to unintentionally or intentionally in some cases portray themselves as 'crazy' when it comes to love. Either they are desperate for the person they love to love them back (Taylor Swift - Enchanted. This has not been made into a music video but the song demonstrates this idea with the line: 'Please don't be in love with someone else. Please don't have somebody waiting on you'.) or they will find faults with their loved one that drives them crazy (Katy Perry - Hot 'n' cold: 'You don't really want to stay no but you, you don't really want to go-oh'). Not only is this shown through use of lyrics but it is also demonstrated during the music videos themselves. An example of this stereotype would be Rihanna's music video for 'We found love' in which a shot tracks the pair of them round the room till the background becomes blurred and all that is clearly visible is Rihanna screaming. In this shot we can see Claude Levi-Strauss's theory of binary opposites because Rihanna is seen clutching her head as if she is trapped in his love whereas the male is seen staring at her calmly as if he is the stable one within their relationship. Later on we see him screaming but in this particular shot he isn't. Many similar shots will have been used in other music videos of female acts in songs about love - Little Mix: D.N.A, Destiny's child: Cater to you, Britney Spears: Womanizer etc. Women being made to look 'pretty and pink' By using the term 'pretty and pink' I mean that women within pop are never seen in public or in music videos without their make up being done to make them look 'pristine' and/or 'innocent'. Although this may seem like a contradicting point after having made the point about women sexualising themselves but in actual fact the two of them work side by side.


Another way of satisfying their male audience is by pandering to the 'perfect house wife image' by making themselves appear to be clean or to never having a hair out of place. On the other hand this to the male audience makes them seem 'naive' or 'vulnerable' and reinforces their sense of domination over women. Men have all the control. Women have none. 'Love the way you lie' by Eminem and Rihanna demonstrates through use of narrative how men oppress women within the pop genre by not only dominating their emotions but by dominating them in general. The narrative of this music video (that the male is beating the woman because of his possessive nature) could be suggesting that this is the way all women are treated within the music industry. Men have the power to control them by any means neccessary. In most music videos of Lana Del Ray's she is seen draping herself over a male in question. By showing her as the one throwing herself over the male characters that again, though probably unintentional, puts the power in the male's hands as she is purposely trying to command his attention whereas he can toy with her whenever he wants to as he is unswayed by her desperate actions. AND NOW THE END IS NEAR. AND SO I FACE THE FINAL CURTAIN. MY FRIEND, I'LL SAY IT CLEAR I'LL STATE MY CASE, OF WHICH I' M CERTAIN. I'VE LIVED MY LIFE THAT'S FULL. I TRAVELED EACH AND EVERY HIGHWAY. AND MORE, MUCH MORE THAN THIS, I DID IT MY WAY. REGRETS, I'VE HAD FEW. BUT THEN AGAIN, TOO MANY TO MENTION. I DID WHAT I HAD TO DO AND SAW IT THROUGH WITHOUT EXEMPTION. I PLANNED EACH CHARTERED COURSE, EACH CAREFUL STEP ALONG THE BYWAY. AND MORE, MUCH MORE THAN THIS. I DID IT MYYYYY WAYYYYY.
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