Marga deJong, New Orleans

Dominance and authority are key characteristics of traditional American masculinity. These themes present themselves in all four music videos, but in different ways.

 A$AP’s music video strikes me as the most traditionally masculine for its unapologetic focus on male power. The rapper’s dominance and supremacy is highlighted in a number of ways. There is the camera work, which displays the rappers in full body shots, making them appear overbearing and robust. The rappers expressions also indicate a traditional idea of masculinity: control over one’s emotions. The rappers faces are hard throughout the song, again promoting themes of dominance and mastery.

 Thrift Shop continues to project conventional conceptions of masculinity. Macklemore is shown to be an authority figure throughout the song, most obviously when rolled in propped up by two women. His actions in the thrift store (jumping on couches, making a mess) present him as a power figure that does what he wants. Not only is he shown to have control over women and the store dynamics, he also has mastered corporate power and makes fun of those who haven’t:

“I can that getting swindeled and pimped (shit)

I call that getting tricked by a business”

SHINee’s video is a much less traditional American portrayal of masculinity. However, themes of control and domination still persist. Their in sync dancing demonstrates mastery of their movements and bodies. Certain members are also shot driving flashy cars, which positions them in command. 

Kiss You is an interesting video to analyze because it is so far from portraying traditional masculinity. The boys express emotions vividly and are often touching each other in bromantic ways. The theme of dominance shows up mostly in the camaraderie between the band members and perhaps in the fact their situation seems of little importance to them. The boys dominate their setting and maintain their focus on a girl.  

 

 

 

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