Alison O’Neil -Helena, Montana

The Fuckin’ Problems video, like the Bad Girls video, isolates the genders from each other.  However, where the Bad Girls video has the women being looked on by the more traditionally dressed men in a way that is does not dehumanize either of the groups, the Fuckin’ Problems video rarely has women and men appearing in the same shot, let alone interacting in any way. Furthermore, the way the women are shot emphasizes their bodies and sexuality to an almost dehumanizing degree.

Macklemore continues the trend of hypermasculinity, but where the Fuckin’ Problemes video was a straight portrayal of that, Macklemore seems to be playing more with the affectations of hypermasculinity. For instance, he is shown wearing ridiculous clothes, such as footy pajamas and huge fur coats. Some of the things in the video also contradict society’s expectations of masculinity and femininity, such as the woman singing with the same masculine voice that Macklemore does.

The SHINee video features a more androgynous look, though in Asia male androgyny is more acceptable in pop culture than in the U.S. and thus does not carry the same connotations as in American society.  Still, their make-up and hair styles are counteracted by fancy cars, a symbol of masculinity, and a stark background that often features concrete, as if to assert their masculinity.  Their color scheme is also almost the exact opposite of the Girls Generation video, with no bright colors. 

The One Direction video has some tonal similarities to the Taylor Swift video, featuring a sanitized, innocent version of romance.  They are singing about romance, but in a nonsexual way, and their dancing is arguably the least sexual of all the videos.  They also show a variety of masculine costumes, but each costume is distorted from reality, showing a silly, fake version of each costume, especially the prison one, which shows a clear disconnect from hypermasculine tropes. They are clearly marketing to their much younger fanbase, which seems to consist primarily of girls in their early teens.


2 thoughts on “Alison O’Neil -Helena, Montana

  1. I also found the comparison between Taylor Swift and One Direction interesting in how their videos reflect the age of their fan-base. Furthermore, romance in these two songs is very romanticized, as the songs paint the desired thoughts about finding love, and make romance seem hopeful for teens. 13 year-old girls do not listen to songs such as “Fuckin Problem”, but rather prefer the hopeful romantic songs sung by bands like One Direction and Taylor Swift.

  2. To add onto the idea of Macklemore playing with the idea of hyper masculinity I noted a particular scene the I think comments on the ideas of masculinity and femininity we have been discussing. Here is a link to that point since I don’t know how to add images in a comment.

    In this scene an over weight woman, in a dress and red lipstick, which we have previously mentioned to be markers of femininity, lip syncs to the deep, male voice of the music. Additionally she is flanked by two young, attractive males. I’m not entirely sure on what this may mean. It is the inverse of what we have seen, a man flanked by two attractive women. However the central woman in this scene may also not fit into our standard definitions of feminine despite having marker of it.

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