In the Girls Generation video the girls appear to be liberated and owning their sexuality when they are in their ‘girl world,’ demonstrated by the suggestive dancing, all the fun they seem to be having, and their overall sassiness. However, when the scene changes and the faceless male is present, their personas change to shy, meek, T.Swift-alone-in-Paris. Their clothing also changes from the rebellious, revealing, bad-ass clothes they wear in the dance scenes and they seem to be having less fun.
It is also notable that the male gaze is pretty blatantly inferred through the placement of the male ‘behind’ the camera in those scenes where he is present. The girls look at or near the camera as if gazing adoringly at the male. This is very similar to the way that Taylor Swift looked at the man in her video; adoring, awestruck, timid, and obedient. The emphasis is on the male view of the girl instead of the other way around, despite the song being about the boy. It is interesting that this element is shared across cultures.
In the discussion on Monday the idea of marriageability was brought up in the context of the M.I.A. video. Combined with the idea of the male gaze, the Girls Generation video can be seen as a view of the quiet and submissive marriageable girl, and the out-going, liberated unmarriageable girl.
Furthermore, it could be seen as a representation of the stereotypical lady on the street/slut in bed paradox. The girls are quiet and reserved in the presence of the masculine but then there is the fierce and outgoing persona when the masculine is absent (though still the object of desire in the song).
After watching the Girls Generation video a ridiculous number of times I saw a scene right at the end that seemed to come out of nowhere. A 4:41 it shows one of the girls interacting with the male while wearing her bad-ass clothes. She looks at her watch then swings a punch at the cool, leather-wearing dude.
This scene doesn’t fit with the rest of the video and it really made me wonder what the lyrics actually say!