Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Easy A's and Feminism in Music

Embracing Being An Object- Easy A

In Easy A, smart witted, high school student Olive (Emma Stone) helps a gay friend out by claiming they had sex. From their this comedy spirals as classmates soon start to assume the worst. Instead of folding up, Olive decides to embrace her newfound title and roll with the punches, which includes becoming a sex object for a hot minute. When she does, all the guy's jaws drop at the instant "babe" status Olive has now been able to achieve.

What is interesting, is the level of confidence the character gains from this exercise. If you haven't seen it, I definitely recommend it at least once. In it, is another strong message of being able to come back from seemingly bad reputation.

However, the movie causes concern and thought from, how many other people have gone through similar experiences, but not come out on top live Olive. This movie is set in high school, when all to often peer pressure rises and people are often given their role in setting. Whether they be jock, nerd, stoner, etc. 

My question is; how many people are just being placed in a stereotype and then can't get away from it?

Has Feminism Joined the Music Scene?
When Maddie & Tae came out with "Girl in a Country Song" in 2014 it was a new instant favorite of mine. Especially after I saw the music video. After all the song talks about not wanted to be seen as just another piece of meat and pokes fun of the ridiculousness of wearing "painted on cut-off jeans". Poking fun of the general ideal female and what they wear to be noticed.  Then as I'm jamming out thinking it couldn't get any better, I saw the video. I busted up laughing when the guys walked out in short shorts and instantly put into the role women... Man was my day made!

Having watched it again for the first time in over a year, I'm not as impressed. The women in this song are talking about not being objects and are still portraying the ideal image of women. Beautiful women with hair put up just right and without needing it, still tons of makeup on and showing plenty of skin. They sit in a very feminine room writing with a pink pen. Was this done on purpose to show you can be a strong female but still be a "girl"?

The once humorous male role switch, while still humorous lost its touch. I know this is still supposed to be a funny video, but the over weight male version of a girl became a little offensive to me. That part that I was mad about is, it was portrayed as okay to have an overweight guy be seen, when a female version would never be a reality in the same video... unless maybe in the movie Norbit.
Have you honestly ever seen a larger female like that in a music video? They certainly didn't add an overweight female in the video portraying the ideal female image. I personally haven't, nor do I think I would anytime soon. The music video overplayed this part and turned it into another humorous element and as viewers most would take it at face value. "Oh that's freaking ridiculous! Haha, it's even funnier because he's fat" type of attitude. But what is that saying? That larger people will be seen as funny if they're trying to be sexy? That even when talking about being more than a "pretty little thing" that's exactly what they are in the video. The larger male role just seems to add to the "Beauty and the Patriarchal Beast" idea.

Just in case you didn't know: It's All About that Bass
Another example would be Meagan Trainor's hit song, "All About That Bass," which also came out in 2014. The song still tries to break down stereotypes and that it's ok not to have the idealized slim figure for a woman. The song itself though is still only focused on a woman's body so as to still be an object. Still focused on a woman's body only being seen for the sole purpose of getting the guy.

Keeping the status quo very much the same. As if only asking for a little bit more respect for different body styles.  Have woman no other redeeming qualities they'd like credit for than looks? Another things I noticed is that again Meagan, while maybe larger, does not seem very overweight. However, the male they have in the video is a good deal heavier in comparison. This is now the second video where the males are allowed to be quite a bit larger than any of the females in the videos.

Is it okay for men to be larger and still just as equal of value in movies, more so than women?

"Girl, You Don't Need Makeup" - Amy Schumer Satire
What girl doesn't love being made feel special by a boy band? In this video clip Amy Schumer pokes fun of boy bands and their play on making girls feel special just as they are and then taking it back.
In a harsh reality, sometimes it feels like this is the case. Women have been told to let their natural beauty shine and they don't need makeup, but then still find themselves competing for their guys attention when it wanders to a female more "dressed up." Amy does a great job at pointing out the irony that sometimes, guys really don't want what they say.

What is a video that you "love to hate" or "hate to love" and why that provides an unrealistic view of the male or female role?    

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