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In Beyoncé’s video ‘If I was a boy’ there are
both negative and positive representations of
women portrayed.
Beyoncé- If I were a boy (2009)

At the beginning of the video Beyoncé is shown via mid
shot, with bare shoulders and chest even though she is
wearing a t-shirt. This is showing off her feminine side by
making her self revealing by presenting quite a lot of flesh.
She is also breaking the fourth wall telling them what she
‘expects’ in a relationship which is making it more personal
for the viewers.

After this she is shown putting a t-shirt on ready for
work, her back is bare, even though it is voyeuristic it
isn’t a very visible image because the lighting is dullalso because she isn’t wearing a bra the audience may
associate it as being ‘manly’.
Her job role is a police woman which is
stereotypically known to be a males job- her hair is
tied back and she isn’t wearing makeup- not many
women tend to wear no makeup because they want
to feel ‘feminine’. Also because she has the more
higher status job she may be seen as the one in
‘control’ of the relationship, however she kind
shows femininity because of her trousers, even
though they are high-waisted they are tight which
emphasises her hips, which is a rather famous
feature on Beyoncé.

She is playing with the notions of identity
because she is playing a different gender
which relates to the queer theory. In the
video her boyfriend has made her breakfast
however she has rushed off to work
whereas stereotypically it is usually the
female that would make the breakfast and
the male going to work.
As she is walking out of the house a slow motion
shot is used, emphasising her walk making it look a
lot more sexy. In the video it shows her hanging
around with other male policemen maybe
associated as ‘one of them’ however the male has
an office job which is seen not as powerful but he
is also surrounded by a lot of women but avoiding
their attention. One of the women is shown in a
short dress with a very low cut cleavage, she is
portrayed very differently to how Beyoncé is shown
as she looks a lot more feminine with a more
‘alluring’ attitude.
Beyoncé shows her male side by shooting
targets, which is stereotypically seen as a
male’s hobby and something you would rarely
see women do. However you then see her in
the changing rooms getting undressed, here
you can see her bra which regains her
feminine side. It only shows her top half of
her body focusing on that point making that
the only thing the audience looks at, also
relating to the male gaze theory again.
Although she is playing a male gender, she is still seen in a objectified way. The male policeman
watches her whilst she arresting someone, making it quite clear he is looking at her bum which
still gives her that feminine look as he thinks she is attractive. When they go out towards the
end she is wearing a high neck dress showing as little flesh as possible however unlike to
previously she has her hair down and is wearing makeup making her look more attractive
switching back to the female gender.

She is dancing with her colleague in front of her boyfriend however stereotypically it is usually
the man who is unfaithful to their girlfriend maybe portraying that ‘all men are the same’. At the
end of the video the roles seem to have switched and Beyoncé is wearing a shirt which is
buttoned quite low making her boyfriend breakfast and he goes off into the car with a girl. The
video portrays that even if she shows her boyfriend in front of his face how he makes her feel
when he’s flirting with other girl’s he’ll never understand because he is a boy which relates the
lyrics and visuals in the video.

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representation of young women in music videos

  • 1. In Beyoncé’s video ‘If I was a boy’ there are both negative and positive representations of women portrayed.
  • 2. Beyoncé- If I were a boy (2009) At the beginning of the video Beyoncé is shown via mid shot, with bare shoulders and chest even though she is wearing a t-shirt. This is showing off her feminine side by making her self revealing by presenting quite a lot of flesh. She is also breaking the fourth wall telling them what she ‘expects’ in a relationship which is making it more personal for the viewers. After this she is shown putting a t-shirt on ready for work, her back is bare, even though it is voyeuristic it isn’t a very visible image because the lighting is dullalso because she isn’t wearing a bra the audience may associate it as being ‘manly’.
  • 3. Her job role is a police woman which is stereotypically known to be a males job- her hair is tied back and she isn’t wearing makeup- not many women tend to wear no makeup because they want to feel ‘feminine’. Also because she has the more higher status job she may be seen as the one in ‘control’ of the relationship, however she kind shows femininity because of her trousers, even though they are high-waisted they are tight which emphasises her hips, which is a rather famous feature on Beyoncé. She is playing with the notions of identity because she is playing a different gender which relates to the queer theory. In the video her boyfriend has made her breakfast however she has rushed off to work whereas stereotypically it is usually the female that would make the breakfast and the male going to work.
  • 4. As she is walking out of the house a slow motion shot is used, emphasising her walk making it look a lot more sexy. In the video it shows her hanging around with other male policemen maybe associated as ‘one of them’ however the male has an office job which is seen not as powerful but he is also surrounded by a lot of women but avoiding their attention. One of the women is shown in a short dress with a very low cut cleavage, she is portrayed very differently to how Beyoncé is shown as she looks a lot more feminine with a more ‘alluring’ attitude. Beyoncé shows her male side by shooting targets, which is stereotypically seen as a male’s hobby and something you would rarely see women do. However you then see her in the changing rooms getting undressed, here you can see her bra which regains her feminine side. It only shows her top half of her body focusing on that point making that the only thing the audience looks at, also relating to the male gaze theory again.
  • 5. Although she is playing a male gender, she is still seen in a objectified way. The male policeman watches her whilst she arresting someone, making it quite clear he is looking at her bum which still gives her that feminine look as he thinks she is attractive. When they go out towards the end she is wearing a high neck dress showing as little flesh as possible however unlike to previously she has her hair down and is wearing makeup making her look more attractive switching back to the female gender. She is dancing with her colleague in front of her boyfriend however stereotypically it is usually the man who is unfaithful to their girlfriend maybe portraying that ‘all men are the same’. At the end of the video the roles seem to have switched and Beyoncé is wearing a shirt which is buttoned quite low making her boyfriend breakfast and he goes off into the car with a girl. The video portrays that even if she shows her boyfriend in front of his face how he makes her feel when he’s flirting with other girl’s he’ll never understand because he is a boy which relates the lyrics and visuals in the video.