Britney spears – Toxic analysis


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Britney spears – Toxic analysis

  1. 1.
  2. 2.  The song is a prime example of an up-beat pop song with the fast paced editing tying in well with the beat.This fits in with the generic conventions of this kind of genre and video.
  3. 3.  As the genre is a pop video a lot of the camera shots focused on the dance routines.The dance routines are very simple except from the scene where Britney is acting out as if she is escaping from laser beams.The target audience of young girls and early teenagers would expect some kind of dancing in Britney’s videos so this emphasis on movement is there to meet the needs of the fans. Regarding this target audience we still see Britney wanting to express her sexuality, she regularly ‘bumps and grinds’ with older men in this video and the perfect red nails and near nude outfit that she wears for the ‘performativity’ aspect of the video are indications of a more mature nature.
  4. 4.  The costumes of typical of a young female star, Britney is not known for her singing voice, and relies on sex appeal and body movement to remain in the public eye. Britney is placed into many different outfits this conforms to the male gaze theory.The mixture of blonde, black and red hair gives the video variety and makes sure the viewer does not get bored.
  5. 5.  Britney Spears’ usual theme for her videos is one of freedom and escape and this is the same here.The opening shot of a plane and two birds are symbolic of Britney’s desire to be free from the image she has created.
  6. 6.  The opening shot of a plane and two birds are symbolic of Britney’s desire to be free from the image she has created. Britney’s career was launched with Disney that Britney appears in appear to mirror her desire to escape; either through costumes and design or just the basic desire to be an individual. .The different disguises that Britney wears; the props of a motorbike and plane all give the sense that Britney wants to escape her manufactured image.The audience young adults, especially teenagers, also want to escape from school or like to play ‘dress up’ so Britney’s mise en scene of escape is one shared with her target audience.This desire to escape is taken to the extreme in the video for ‘Every time’ where Britney attempts suicide; again a very public cry for help which foreshadows the breakdown which came a few years later.
  7. 7.  Britney is the main focus of the video, the easily fits the codes and conventions as she is the artist so all the focus should be on her as it is her song. Any long shots that are used are usually shown to illustrate some kind of triumph for the star. Long shots are also used to show her dancing skills. Any other performers in the video (the other air hostesses for example) are kept to a minimum and in the background, so the viewer can clearly see the artist that is being displayed.
  8. 8.  Editing mirrors the fast beat of the song so that the style is rapid and consistent. Most music videos that are pop in variety employ this technique andToxic is very conventional in this manner. For an interesting comparison view the video for ‘which is a lot different because of the nature of the speed of the song.
  9. 9.  The HollyValence video for ‘Kiss Kiss’ could be an inspiration for the near nude suit that Britney wears for the dance elements of the song.  TheTV programmeAlias was very popular in 2003. It stars a young woman who is an international spy and likes to dress up in different disguises to fulfil her job.The cover of the first season DVD has a look that is very similar to the ‘red haired’ Britney that is in the video and this could be an influence.
  10. 10.  There are performativity elements to the piece so that Britney can display her skills as a dancer (one of her main selling points) where as the main narrative of a female spy who will go to any lengths (using her sexuality for instance) to reach the object of the quest marks Britney’s own desire to escape the confines of the music industry.This ‘dressing up’ element of the video is also shared by her target audience who after four years of watching Britney grow older and more mature are eager to do the same.The close up and lip synching of the main star is also the main performance of the video as well; again very common in pop videos as well as rock videos as well.
  11. 11.  Britney’s selling points are the way she looks, connection to young people and her ‘hidden’ desire to escape (a trait which she shares with her target audience)The videoToxic clearly demonstrates all of these points about the persona of Britney.
  12. 12.  The video obviously conforms to the male gaze of Mulvey’s teaching. Britney is sexualised as an object to be looked at and appraised.The fact she wears a near nude suit and the camera focuses on her legs and bum at the start of the video highlight pop music’s desire to sell sexuality to a young audience. What complicates this though is the fact that Britney controls the narrative completely.
  13. 13.  She is definitely not passive in the traditional sense and in many ways she manipulates men for her own desires. She is the one who is a superhero and the wink at the end is the proof needed for this complication. Is it a wink to suggest sexuality? Is it a wink to suggest power and control?The answer lies within the reader because as we know different audiences will read the video in different ways.