Representation refers to the construction in any medium (especially the mass media) of aspects of ‘reality’ such as people, places, objects, events, cultural identities and otherabstract concepts. Such representations may be in speech or writing as well as still or moving pictures.WHAT IS REPRESENTATION?
“Andrew Goodwin’s 6 Features of Music Videos1. Music videos demonstrate genre characteristics. (e.g. stageperformance in metal videos, dance routine for boy/girl band, aspirationin Hip Hop). [this is also known as iconography]2. There is a relationship between lyrics and visuals. The lyrics arerepresented with images. (either illustrative, amplifying, contradicting).3. There is a relationship between music and visuals. The tone andatmosphere of the visual reflects that of the music. (either illustrative,amplifying, contradicting).4. The demands of the record label will include the need for lots of closeups of the artist and the artist may develop motifs which recur acrosstheir work (a visual style).5. There is frequently reference to notion of looking (screens withinscreens, mirrors, stages, etc) and particularly voyeuristic treatment ofthe female body.6. There are often intertextual reference (to films, tv programmes, othermusic videos etc).”Theorists: Andrew Goodwin
At the beginning of the clip a car enters the frame and transforms into a male which directly relates to the movie ‘Transformers’ therefore illustrating Andrew Goodwin’s Theory that typically there are references to movies within a lot of music videos. We also view the singer spraying graffiti on a wall, highlighting his rebellious and masculine ways which artists of this genre typically try to convey.EXAMPLE ANALYSISChris Brown - Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap
This is the first example of thevoyeuristic treatment of the femalebody. The woman is in a provocativeposition and her face is barely shown,showing that her body is the mostimportant part of her: This is portrayed alot in this hip-hop/rap genre.The music video also includeslots of cars and other vehicles,this one looking particularly likean army vehicle to emphasise themales’ power and authority.
Here is another example of how women are objectified in hip-hop/rap videos. The woman is not facing the camera, the audience can not even see her face, highlighting that only her body is worth looking at. This agrees with Goodwins’ theory as he suggests one of the six features of a music video is ‘voyeuristic treatment of the female body’The lyrics:The lyrics not only provide intertextual references to the‘Tranformers’ franchise but also suggest that they can ‘transform’a woman to be what they want her to be; another example of theimbalanced treatment of women in music videos.The reference to ‘Transformers’ therefore amplifies the lyrics andthe relationship between the lyrics and visuals
A Counter Example:Missy ElliottRejects conventional representations ofwomen – free from objectificationDoes not conform to stereotypical genderrepresentationsMissy is not passive; she narrates theaction – lyrics are not self exploiting
What is the male gaze?A technical term in Media Studies.Refers to how an audience views the way people are represented in theMedia.The concept of gaze is one that deals with how an audience views thepeople presented.For feminists it can be thought of in 3 ways:How men look at womenHow women look at themselvesHow women look at other womenLaura Mulvey coined the term ‘male gaze’ in 1975. She believes that infilm audiences to have to ‘view’ characters from the perspective of ahetrosexual male.Laura MulveyThe Gaze
Features of the male gazeThe camera lingers on the curves of the female body,and events which occur to women are presented largelyin the context of the man’s reaction to these events.It relegates women to the status of objects. The femaleviewer must experience the narrative secondarily, byidentification with the male.
One of the most obvious developments in recent pop culture has been theemergence of the icons and rhetoric of girl power, a phrase slapped intomainstream culture by the Spice Girls and subsequently incorporated intothe language of government bodies as well as journalists, educationalists,culture critics, and pop fans themselves. Magazines for young women areemphatic in their determination that women must do their own thing, bethemselves, and be as outrageously sassy and sexy as possible. Severalrecent movies have featured self-confident, tough, intelligent female leadcharacters. Female pop stars sing about financial and emotionalindependence, inner strength, and how they dont need a man; and theself-help books make women think they can become just as powerful asthese icons, if they cultivate their confidence and self-belief.David Gauntlett Theory – Girl Power
Rihanna – Te AmoAnalyse this music video using Goodwin’s theory.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oe4Ic7fHWf8