Kate McMurchie – Portland, OR

I personally thought the most interesting portrayals of masculinity were in the Macklemore and One Direction videos.

While Macklemore attempts to use satire to mock the hypermasculinity of rap videos he still buys into the same stereotypes that are portrayed in A$AP’s video. On one hand, the lyrics and video for Thrift Shop help Macklemore stand out as unique. Throughout the video he raps about how his style of dress separates himself from the rest of the crowd. Yet, at the same time he subscribes to the same indicators of masculinity shown in the other videos we watched. Throughout the majority of the video Macklemore is shown surrounded by beautiful women and at the end of the video states “trying to get girls from a brand? Then you hella wont,” showing how wearing these clothes help him pick up girls. Just as in A$AP’s video, women are only portrayed as an object of male desire. As well, the start of the video focuses on a car, as seen in many other rap videos. Therefore, it is hard to say whether the satirical nature of the video is successful. While Macklemore tries to separate himself in the song, the video shows that he still relies on the standard portrayals of masculinity to prove himself.



One Direction portrays an entirely different view of masculinity. They do not want to present themselves as A$AP and Macklemore do, but rather attempt to show themselves as innocent and proper in order to best appeal to their audience. Similar to TSwift, the guys in One Direction have a specific image that they must uphold in order to best appeal to the tween girls that make up the majority of their fan base. This video exemplifies that as they are shown doing activities that could take on a more masculine look yet are made boyish by their outfits, such as the jail scene. As well, it is interesting to note that there are no girls in this video. While the entire song is about kissing someone, they are not interested in proving their masculinity by showing a girl in the video. One reason for this could be that this would take away from their boyish image, as well as allows millions of tween girls to imagine that they are the ones being sung too. Rather than being less masculine than the other videos, I think that One Direction is in its own category as it attempts to portray a different kind of masculinity that is more boyish and innocent.


One thought on “Kate McMurchie – Portland, OR

  1. I think what you said about One Direction’s video was really interesting. I definitely agree that they are portraying a more boyish side of masculinity, and that they aren’t trying to seem manly (except in the way that would appeal to the greater majority of their fan-base). I also think it is really interesting that you mentioned that the lack of the girl in the video perhaps allows all of the girl fans to imagine that it is them that the boys wanted to kiss. I never really thought of that. But do you think it is at all ironic? That they are poking fun at the image they have made for themselves? Or do you think it is just simply a music video made specifically to appease the fans?

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