Miley Cyrus - Wrecking Ball - Male Gaze Theory


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Miley Cyrus - Wrecking Ball - Male Gaze Theory

  1. 1. Miley Cyrus’ Wrecking Ball – Male Gaze Theory
  2. 2. Main features of Laura Mulvey’s Male Gaze Theory: 1) The representation of women in a sexual fantasy and from a heterosexuals male point of view 2) Scopophilia- the pleasure involved in looking at other peoples bodies 3) Objectification of female characters 4) Patriarchal society 5) Active male and passive female 6) Men – controlling subjects 7) Women as an image 8) Men do the looking and the women are there to be looked at 9) Needs of the male ego Throughout this power point I am going to show how the Male Gaze Theory can be applied through Miley Cyrus’ new music video- Wrecking ball. I believe this theory by Mulvey is demonstrated through the duration of the video, however, there are some features of the video that go against the theory.
  3. 3. This opening shot of Miley Cyrus is a close up of her face, complying with the rule of thirds. Her lipstick significantly stands out as it is a bold red colour contrasting with her complexion and pure white background, similarly to her blue eyes. The mouth and eyes are both features of the face that are typically associated with females. Thus, making her look attractive and complying with the Male gaze theory as she would be attractive to a heterosexual male audience. Also, as Miley Cyrus is looking direct into the camera this builds a connection between her and the audience, known as ‘Spectacle’, making the music video feel more personal for the audience as she expresses her emotions. The Opening Shot
  4. 4. The first shot Miley Cyrus’ costume consists of a pair of Dr Martens in this shot- shoes that are typically associated with men as they are extremely masculine, especially the dark colour of them. Additionally, as this shot is low angle it draws attention to them and symbolizes masculinity. Also the use of the hammer within the mes en scene again emphasises the masculinity as it is typically used in building work – a profession that is male dominated. This goes against the Male gaze theory ideal, however, as Miley Cyrus does not have any clothing over her legs suggests there is still an element of femininity. It also goes against the voyeuristic gaze as this consists of the males looking at an object of desire, typically women. This shot also suggests the empowerment of women as Miley Cyrus is a female wearing male clothing and holding a prop usually associated with men, creating a sense of power to her. Shot 2 & 3
  5. 5. This shot is a close up of Miley, placing the hammer in the centre of the shot along with her lips. This therefore draws attention and signifies the action she is carrying out – licking a hammer. This complies with the Male Gaze theory by Mulvey as this shot has sexual connotations. Thus, creating an erotic gaze for a heterosexual male. As a voyeur is someone who looks at someone for pleasure- often dressed and posed in a sexual way- evident in this shot. Shot 4
  6. 6. This shot is extremely empowering for Miley Cyrus as she shows no expression or emotion to the destructiveness behind her. Her costume in this shot consists of white briefs and a white crop top – showing the majority of her body – complying with Mulvey’s Male Gaze theory as Miley Cyrus is presented here as an erotic gaze. However, simultaneously opposing the theory as she takes on the dominant and superior role within the music video. Shot 5
  7. 7. Both of these shots very much comply with the Male Gaze theory Mulvey presented, especially the shot on the right. Miley Cyrus poses in an extremely sexual way in these shots, implying she is an ‘object’ of ‘sexual desire’ that pleases the heterosexual male. As she wears little clothing on the left whilst she swings on the wrecking ball she still conveys power and domination. Whereas on the left she wears no clothing and connotes all sexual intentions- especially being an erotic gaze. Shot 6
  8. 8. Shot 7 These shots are shown multiple times throughout the music video, usually through the use of tracking. This makes it feel as though Miley Cyrus’ body is being slowly revealed to the viewers- Male Gaze Theory – as her bare legs are shown and also revealing her backside. Again, giving sexual connotations. This is definitely complying with the male gaze theory as she appears to just be laying in the rubble, almost like an object and her only purpose is for men looking at her sexually- voyeurism.