Sexuality in Music
In the age of sophisticated music, extraordinary, unexpected rhythms, and sound combinations, it becomes hard to amaze the audience. Thus, the artist needs more means to gain the public recognition. Sexuality in music is a powerful mixture which will not leave the listeners indifferent. In this respect, Blurred Lines became a top single which combines good music with frank sexuality that has brought it unbelievable popularity. When one first listens to the particular song performed by Robin Thicke, it is hard to restrain oneself from dancing to the funky beats of the song. Blurred Lines received both favorable and critical comments of the audience, as well as musical critics. This song raises many disputes that only add value and fame to its performer. Robin Thicke’s single is a mixture of superordinary sounds and elegant naked sexuality that can be regarded a key component of the song’s success. Therefore, it is of the first priority to investigate the role of gender and sexuality represented in Blurred Lines and the way it has influenced the song’s popularity.
The song’s rapid raise to the top of the charts was accompanied by severe criticism addressing the content of its video. Although the music video includes a lot of almost naked women (absolutely naked in the unrated version) and the artist dancing among them, it becomes hard to state that the video itself demonstrates sexual harassment, abused women, or inappropriate female behavior. In this respect, it is necessary to look meticulously at the lyrics of this particular song to recognize what may be the cause of this problem. It is also of great interest to investigate why the erotic content of the song and naked sexuality of the music video are considered abusive. From the title of the song, the listener comprehends that the single portrays man’s thoughts on a woman rushing to him, thus, blurring the border between allowed and forbidden norms in the sexual life. As the lyrics of the song concentrates on the theme of sexuality, the music video can be observed as a portrayal of the attitude to the theme.
Moreover, the three most noticeable segments which perfectly present a perspective on gender and sexuality can be singled out: models passing by, Robin Thicke and model’s legs, and alcohol and cigarettes. Thus, in the episode where models pass by the singer, female activeness and happy mood can be contrasted with the artist’s calmness. Passing from one side to another, three models possess happiness as they enjoy being watched by Robin Thicke, the only still figure in the video. In this regard, one can find several stereotypical views on gender that touch the theme of sexuality. Thereby, the particular models can be regarded frivolous and thoughtless women throwing themselves on men and secretly enjoying being victims of sexual harassment. Furthermore, models in the music video wear beige underwear (being completely naked in the unrated video), while the singer is always dressed in a black suit and sunglasses that creates one more contrast. In this respect, it becomes obvious that almost naked women represent one more stereotype on sex – females themselves provoke men to conduct sexual abuse. However, it does not seem that the video attempts to show man’s control over female body or desires. It is a stereotypical myth that women unconsciously accept their role of victim while men perform the role of offender.
In another segment of the video, the audience observes the face of the singer with model’s feet. Robin Thicke’s face is perfectly lighted while model’s legs obtain the status of microphones. Moreover, the singer shows indifference towards woman’s feet in front of the camera. Model's legs became something indifferent to the artist; they are only objects to him. At the same time, the different positions of Robin Thicke and woman's legs depict their unequal positions in the society, as men are on a higher level than women. It should be also noted that model in this scene is not only objectified, but her role is also insignificant because she is a tool in man’s hands. Thus, the female role is marginalized in the particular video that underlines stereotypical views on gender depicted through the music. On the other hand, certain episode of the video can have another argumentation. For instance, the director of the music video outplays the theme of microphone using female legs. While the video is permeated by female sexuality and egotism, women's feet as microphones have to add more spices and make it hotter.
At the same time, the video portrays male superiority regarding females as servants that have to perform men's whims. For example, in the scene with alcohol and cigarettes, the inequality between females and males, as well as the dominance of the latter can be perfectly observed. In the particular episode, two models serve the singer: while he lights his cigarette, the second woman opens a drink for him. Furthermore, Robin blows the smoke into woman's face and she catches it showing no emotional response to this action. It seems that the woman even enjoys disrespectful behavior of the singer. Thereby, the particular episode portrays unequal relationships of the master (Robin) and a slave (model). In addition to this, when the model lights the cigarette for the artist, she bites her lip. This action can be observed both as a display of female sexuality and woman's submissive position. In this respect, the particular scene, as well as the above mentioned episodes, can be regarded from the two sides: the manifestation of female naked sexuality and eroticism and inequality between woman and man. Thereby, the particular scene can be regarded as a double-natured one, and what is more important, the whole video clip can be interpreted from two sides, namely, expression of sexuality and display of sexual abuse.
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To conclude, gender relations, as well as sexuality in the music video Blurred Lines underwent stereotypical views and criticism that lead to different interpretations of the video. From the argumentative analysis above, it can be observed that the ideology of pop music is extremely polyhedral, and it would be disreputably to view the artist work only from one side. On the one hand, the particular music video promotes sexual harassment and gender stereotyping. On the other hand, Blurred Lines is a display of extraordinary ideas of the director who attempts to make the erotic video even more attractive and sexual. Adding specific scenes and episodes that involve models and parts of their bodies, the director succeeds to make Blurred Lines a passionate video. In addition to this, Robin Tricke's song that found its visualization in pretty controversial music video became quite popular. Moreover, it is hard to refrain oneself from dancing to the hot rhythms of the single. People should understand that the culture of pop music has its own ideology and values. In this regard, it becomes difficult to judge the artistic work because every artist seeks to show something new. Thus, I think that the particular music video is rather manifestation of surprising and remarkable creative thinking aimed to express female sexuality than to suppress women and show men as a dominant power.
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