In two recently released music videos — Colbie Caillat‘s “Try” and John Legend‘s “You I” — women of diverse ages, races and sizes earnestly lip-synch to lyrics about the effort women expend on their appearance or evoke vulnerability as they dress, apply makeup or otherwise evaluate their reflections. Whether these videos are more theatrical than transformative is up for debate, but there’s no doubt they acknowledge the cultural expectations that torture millions of women daily: You are not beautiful enough. Try harder.
When Caillat permits that young women “don’t have to try so hard” and Legend affirms “You don’t have to try…all of the stars, they don’t shine brighter than you,” many women feel supported and understood. Consider that 65 percent of women and girls report disordered eating behaviors, 78 percent of 17-year-old girls are unhappy with their bodies, and 81 percent of 10-year-olds say they fear getting fat.Since women are routinely hypersexualized and held to unattainable beauty standards, any representation — whether it’s a music video or soap commercial — suggesting women can relax such ideals (and that those ideals in fact are unjust) are embraced.
Music videos typically convey a different message and reflect an industry that regularly objectifies female performers. One study analyzed Rolling Stone covers, concluding that women are nearly five times more likely than men to be sexualized. Female musicians of every genre have complained about unfair treatment. Solange Knowles tweeted, “I find it very disappointing when I am presented as the ‘face’ of my music, or a ‘vocal muse’ when I write or co-write every f—ing song.” Canadian singer Grimes wrote on her Tumblr, “I don’t want to be infantilized because I refuse to be sexualized.”
Women may feel palpable relief watching these new videos, but in doing so we may fail to notice how such “body positive” presentations are far from revolutionary and may actually reinforce existing paradigms. Caillat and Legend’s lyrics and imagery suggest a beauty revolution that involves little more than eschewing makeup. Another music video recently embraced for its body positivity — Meghan Trainor‘s “All About That Bass” — equates being thin to being like a “silicone Barbie doll.” She doesn’t embrace a spectrum of body diversity so much as reinforce a paradox in which women only exist as thin/ideal/unrealistic or full/natural/acceptable.
These artists still problematically maintain a focus on women’s beauty above all else and encourage women to prioritize how they look to others. The actors in Caillat and Legend’s videos stare at the camera, as if beseeching viewers to understand, accept and approve of their imperfect looks. Trainor, who describes herself as “ain’t no size 2,” may be confidently dancing and seducing her viewer, but she’s mimicking music videos by the “silicone Barbie dolls” her song references.
Truly body-positive media should impart a different message — not that a beauty ideal is within the reach of all, but that there shouldn’t be a physical standard in the first place. We need representations that allow women to accept their appearance so they can move past it and focus on traits like intelligence and humor. Janelle Monáe has accomplished this throughout her career; the videos for “Tightrope” and “Q.U.E.E.N.” transcend gendered expectations.
Problematically, Caillat, Legend and Trainor’s videos also exist to use women’s bodies to sell commodities — a song, an album, the artists themselves. It’s hard to gauge the comparative progress of capitalizing on the authenticity of diverse bodies over an over-sexualized, unattainable ideal. The same capitalistic intentions underlie both efforts, ultimately regarding women as dehumanized consumers.
But even if these new videos don’t epitomize a feminist victory, we shouldn’t discount them entirely. Watching women of diverse sizes, races and ages is progressive and preferable to witnessing Robin Thicke gyrate near blank-faced models in thongs or close-ups of twerking, dismembered female body parts.
Julie Zeilinger is the founder and editor of the FBomb, a blog for young feminists that recently partnered with Gloria Steinem, Jane Fonda and Robin Morgan’s organization, the Women’s Media Center. She is the author of two books: A Little F’d Up: Why Feminism Is Not A Dirty Word and College 101: A Girl’s Guide to Freshman Year and is a frequent contributor to the Huffington Post, Forbes, CNN and Jezebel, among other publications. Follower her on twitter (@juliezeilinger), and for more information visit juliezeilinger.com.
Country guys seem to be pretty transparent about their desires if we’re judging solely by lyrics. They’d like us women in tight jeans, sippin’ on moonshine and dangling our tanned legs from the tailgate of their trucks.
Everyone seems to be classifying this as “bro country,” centered around a fairly misogynistic culture. Well, Maddie Tae are here to shake up “bro country” music and thank goodness.
As one of the only female country acts to be making any sort of headlines recently, Maddie Tae have taken their music a step further than other female acts. They’re calling out the culture surrounding the exact type of music they produce.
“Girl in a Country Song” turns the tables on the way women are portrayed in country songs and video. Maddie Tae even go so far as to call out established country music favorites Luke Bryan, Thomas Rhett, Florida Georgia Line, Blake Shelton, Jason Aldean and Billy Currington, mocking their lyrics. It’s a ballsy move, but we like it.
The video starts off in typical country music fashion, with Maddie and Tae sitting on the back of a pickup truck surrounded by bales of hay. Two girls in “painted-on cutoff jeans” and bikini tops stroll up to the party, causing the men to whistle and tip their hats. But then, everything changes when a “role reversal” switch is flipped. And the results are awesome.
“Well shakin’ my moneymaker ain’t made me a dime/ And there ain’t no sugar for you in this shaker of mine/ Tell me one more time you gotta get you some of that/ Sure, I’ll slide on over but you’re gonna get slapped”
YouTube / MaddieandTaeVEVO
“Conway and George Strait never did it this way back in the old days/ All y’all, we ain’t a cliché/ That ain’t no way to treat a lady”
YouTube / MaddieandTaeVEVO
“I ain’t your tan-legged Juliet/ Can I put on some real clothes now?”
YouTube / MaddieandTaeVEVO
Not only is this song fun and catchy, but it has a great message. We can’t wait to see what comes from Maddie Tae in the future.
Monday just got way cuter: Country hottie Hunter Hayes’latest music video “Tattoo” hit the Web, and you can literally hear the women of America screaming for joy. “Tattoo” is the second single off Hayes’ sophomore album Storyline, which landed in stores this past May. The mid-tempo acoustic banger gets a simple video; set in what looks like an abandoned warehouse, Hayes and his on-screen girlfriend play with some paint, a Samsung tablet and smile a lot at each other while he says her name would be a good tattoo. Provided it’s not a tramp stamp, he’s probably right!
The 22-year-old heartthrob has undisputed charm and and devilish good looks, and all of this is on display — praise! — in his latest clip. It’s pretty glorious—mostly credited to Hayes’ smile, which was no doubt carved by angels bathing in a Grecian fountain. Check out the video and let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
If you can’t get enough of Nick Jonas’ new single “Chains,” have no fear, because the music video for the track is coming soon. MTV will be premiering it this Wednesday, July 30 at 6 a.m. ET on MTV, MTV Hits, mtvU, and MTV.com (insert freak out here: ______.)
I know what you’re thinking, but this is not a test. I repeat: This is not a test. Come next week, you’ll be able to watch “Chains” in its entirety. And if you’re not sure what to do with yourself between now and then, we’ve got a sneak peek to tide you over in the meantime.
[ video unavailable on this device ]
But wait, it doesn’t stop there. We’ll have four more teases on Monday and Tuesday, so make sure to check back with us then. Because according to Nick — yeah, I spoke to him earlier this week — the vid is unlike anything you’ve seen from him before.
“There is a loose storyline. The thing that I wanted to protect is that all of my videos in the past have had a story and a narrative and the story lines have been pretty complex,” he explained. “I wanted this one to just be like an art piece, like a trailer to a cinematic movie and really have the tone of the song connected to the visual because it is dark and edgy and I think this video really captures that, it’s a really beautiful visual.”
[ video unavailable on this device ]
Nick co-directed the piece with Ryan Pallotta, who has worked with the likes of Ariana Grande and Demi Lovato, so you already know it’s going to be amazing. Plus, Dylan Penn is in it too, so it’s also guaranteed to be hot.
“It’s basically a surreal world that we’ve created where the heart and emotion and heart of the song are tied into a really beautiful visual,” he said. “I think really connects and I’m really excited for people to see it because it’s a really strong look and a real progression for me.”
La Toya Jackson is back with a new reality show and now — a new music video?!
After taking a hiatus from music, we got a first look at La Toya’s new video for “Feels Like Love” and upon viewing the final version, we actually kind of… love it.
With backup dancers there to help her groove and grind, La Toya told us “It feels good to be back in the music industry after so many years with a new dance single and video!” Check out La Toya Jackson’s new video in the clip above.
Ordinary Human is the theme song for the forthcoming movie The Giver by pop rock band OneRepublic.
Now fans can satisfy their curiosity ahead of the film’s US theatrical release on August 15 with the new music video featuring scenes not included in the official trailer.
Aussie actor Brenton Thwaites, 24, plays a young boy named Jonas who lives in an apparently perfect, monochromatic world where there is no pain, remorse or choices either, until he meets an old man (Jeff Bridges) who teaches him about the ‘real world.’
Scroll down to view video
Lovestruck: OneRepublic’s new music video for The Giver includes never-before-seen footage of the sci-fi romance including this kiss between stars Odeya Rush and Brenton Thwaites
As his knowledge grows so does his sense for colour, and that’s when he begins to fall for Fiona, played by Israeli newcomer Odeya Rush, 17.
The pair share tender moments of longing looks and steal a lingering kiss in a rain-soaked labyrinth.
‘Today I felt a switch in my veins,’ the song’s lyrics begin as scenes from The Giver reveal a coldly dystopian society.
Extraordinary love: Jonas (Brenton Thwaites) is over the moon for Fiona (Odeya Rush) in The Giver that pits them against a coldly dystopian society
‘You okay?’ Fiona notices that Jonas is looking at her with different eyes
Changed: ‘Today I felt a switch in my veins,’ OneRepublic croons as Jonas starts to see things in colour including Fiona’s reddish hair
Clandestine: Jonas and Fiona meet in the rain-soaked labyrinth and share a tender moment
The movie’s young hero Jonas (Brenton Thwaites) spies his peer Fiona (Odeya Rush) as her drab dark hair heats up into a fiery burgundy-red.
‘You okay?’ Fiona asks Jonas, who is then seen walking through life at school and at home where he sees things in surprisingly vivid colour.
Other scenes show The Giver (Jeff Bridges) giving Jonas his first lesson in life by clutching his hands and transferring his thought processes telepathically.
What now: Fiona seems to like what she sees too
A kiss isn’t just a kiss: Fans of the beloved young adult book will see Jonas and Fiona’s relationship evolve
Not quite alone: The romantic tryst is captured on camera by the Chief Elder and her disapproving associates
Uh oh: Mother (Katie Holmes) looks appalled and frightened when she sees what Jonas has been doing
He holds the key: Jeff Bridges plays The Giver who chooses to show Jonas the ‘real’ world
The Chief Elder (Meryl Streep) is threatened by Jonas’ new awareness and is seen watching him and Fiona, Big Brother-style, on a huge television.
Jonas meets Fiona at night in a hedge-screened quiet place where he gently takes her hand before zooming in for a kiss.
The camera pans to Jonas’ Mother (Katie Holmes) who looks very worried about her boy.
‘He must be stopped’: Chief Elder (played by the very versatile Meryl Streep) warns that ‘Jonas has become dangerous’
Chased: Jonas tries to make a brave escape from the people who control his world
Dry heat: The boy hero is pursued across a vast desert as he tries to save a baby from extermination
Water-logged: Jonas is flung down a waterfall into a raging river
‘Jonas has become dangerous,’ the Chief Elder tells Mother ominously. ‘He must be stopped.’
Another scene shows Fiona and Jonas walking hand in hand down a long and desolate-looking hallway before she stops to caress his face and give him a long kiss.
Jonas is chased by the Chief Elder’s police force down a road, across a vast desert and even down a waterfall.
Friends become foes: Asher (Cameron Monaghan) is recruited by Chief Elder to ‘stop’ Jonas
Worried looks: Mother (Katie Holmes) and Father (Alexander Skarsgard) are put in an uncomfortable position
Another glimpse: Taylor Swift, in a brunette wig, plays The Giver’s daughter Rosemary
‘I’m just an ordinary human. But I don’t feel so ordinary today. I’m just a picture perfect nothing,’ OneRepublic croons as the scene shows Jonas’ reaction to Fiona’s kiss.
Taylor Swift is also seen wearing a brunette wig as The Giver’s daughter Rosemary.
‘Our #OrdinaryHuman lyric video for @thegivermovie is out on @vevo with scenes from the movie! http://vevo.ly/vVbpnB,’ the band that hails from Colorado tweeted on Tuesday.
More givers: OneRepublic took to Twitter this week to announce, ‘Our Ordinary Human lyric video for The Giver movie is out on Vevo with scenes from the movie’
Ward would appear to be every bit as much of a politician as a servant of God.
Indeed, on May 15, she announced that she had joined the Green Party. Might
it not now be sensible for Ward to quit as Dean and stand against Ruffley at
the general election?
Here to eternity
wonders how many hours the Today programme has devoted to Jim Naughtie’s
essays on Scottish independence. In February, the old curmudgeon told me
that it was vital that the issue be explored properly, but, five months on,
it is debatable how much more exploration by him is possible.
Tellingly, a BBC spokesman declines to say how many hours all of his 16
“special reports” would take to replay, back-to-back. Maybe they couldn’t
find anyone willing to listen to all of them with a stopwatch in hand.
Us MagazineNikki Ferrell Blasts Bachelorette Producers: They "Told Nick to Say That"Us MagazineWarning: Major spoilers ahead. Do not read on if you haven't seen the season 10 Bachelorette finale. Nikki Ferrell raged against Bachelor and Bachelorette producers via Twitter on Monday, July 28, branding the show #trash and asking "How do [the […]
Entertainment TonightJessie J, Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj Team Up For 'Bang Bang'Entertainment TonightAfter weeks of social media teasing, the collaboration of the summer is finally getting released, and it's been leaked online a day before it's available to purchase. UK singer Jessie J has teamed up with Ariana Grande and rap diva Nic […]
AceShowbizHilary Duff's Comeback Single 'Chasing the Sun' Leaks in FullAceShowbizCo-produced by Colbie Cailat, the track scheduled to hit iTunes on Tuesday, July 29 comes as a preview of Duff's new album that's coming out later this year via RCA. Tweet. Hilary Duff's Comeback Single 'Chasing the Sun' Leaks in Full. See […]
SFGateComic-Con: 12 things you might have missed out onBBC NewsWith more than 100,000 people attending more than 500 separate events in a hall about 460,000 square feet, plenty of news came out of this year's Comic-Con. The annual event, which takes place in San Diego, saw some of biggest names in entertainment ...Celebrities go incognito at Comic-ConTo […]
Reuters'Guardians of the Galaxy''s Chris Pratt Surprises at Charity EventChinatopix'Guardians of the Galaxy' actor Chris Pratt descends upon our zone of the galaxy, showing up to surprise children from a charity at an early screening of his new movie on July 28. Actor Chris Pratt showed up in New York for the early screening of his m […]
Daily MailKhloe Kardashian accentuates her figure in tight-fitting black dress as rushes to ...Daily MailKhloe Kardashian kept it casually glamorous when she took a flight out of Los Angeles Monday by wearing a black, floor-length summer dress paired with a jean jacket. The witty Keeping Up With The Kardashians favourite paired the outfit with black ...Kim K […]
AceShowbizLady GaGa Makes Cameo in New Red Band Trailer for 'Sin City: A Dame to Kill ...AceShowbizThe role that the Monster ringleader is playing in the second installment of Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez's 'Sin City' series is revealed. Tweet. Lady GaGa Makes Cameo in New Red Band Trailer for 'Sin City: A Dame. See larger image […]