Representation is the construction in any medium (especially the mass media). Representation is how people know and understand the world of reality.
Media does control us in a way. They choose what we see, they implant ideas into our head.
In music video terms the creator of music videos for example producers and directors pick aspects of reality and reshape them to fit with current society trends and will create a profit. This is how stereotypes are continuously used as audiences will recognise them and people know they will sell.
Representation of Women
|Drawing of early burlesque dancers|
The current representation of women has been developing from a image of women as early as the 1800s. The stereotype of women was borrowed from showgirls of america in the begin of the silent film industry and Burlesque dancers.
|Poster from early Burlesque Days|
Another development of this stereotype has developed from strippers. Some characteristics of strippers are:
- Bra and hot pants
- Glitter on body and clothing
- Provocative dancing
- Heavy makeup
These aspects have easily made their way into the music videos, particularly in some genres. Rap and r&b, these genres are dominated by men and it is common for them to have women in their videos, some of them are actually strippers.
This is now become the norm. An example of this is the american show candy girls which shows how one women has set up a business by employing girls and they appear in music videos not wearing very much.
Women are objectified. They are seen as passive and objects for men. Laura Mulvey has introduced the male gaze theory. "Mulvey stated that women were objectified in film because heterosexual men were in control of the camera".
Many female artists from the pop, r&b and rap use this stereotype as they (more importantly their record label) know that sex sells. Many examples of this are Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Ciara.