Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Gender Representation in Music video's - Keri Hilson,The you love me

How do the representations conform or subvert typical gender representations : 
In this video Keri Hilson conforms to gender stereotypes through a number of different shot types for example at 4:12 in the video there is a mid shot used on Keri where you denote her licking her lips and also her upper torso as she's wearing a revealing costume exposing her breast, this connotes her as being a sexual object through her provocative costume and dance routine.

Another time this can be denoted in the video is during her dance routine at 1:29 in the video as she uses a suggestive stance while also rubbing her body this links to her lyrics at the time, 'The way you love me you got me going crazy'. This shows her in a passive light sugesting that she needs Male love or attention which connotes her being inferior to males a common stereotype in music videos.
However at times through this video Keri Hilson subverts some stereotypes of females in modern music video's, a good example of this is during the opening sequence to the video at 0:06. Here she is denoted as being dominant and powerful through the establishing shot of the room, you can denote this because of her being between the camera's power points but also through her body composition as she has her legs resting upon guns on the top of the table. You can also denote her dominance in this shot as all the other characters are withtin the shadows, most notably the one male character Al Jamal in the foreground.
The stereotype of women being inferior in music video's is subverted again at 5:28. In this shot two women are not only holding but pointing guns at Rick Ross the featuring artist on this single. This subverts their stereotype because guns connote masculinity and their expected to be feminine because of their sex, it also connotes authority which is also normally a male role.

How are the Micro/technical aspects used to create the representations :
The micro elements such as cinematography and mise en scene in this video are used stereotypically portraying Keri Hilson as passive and inferrior.

For example throughout the video there are a number of close ups on her body, you can denote this at 4:40 this close up of her legs panning up her body, this connotes her as being a sexual object. A common representation for women in R&B and Hip Hop video's.
Another way the music video director has created representation is through the mise en scene used in the video with specific reference to Keri Hilson's and the rest of the dancers costumes. They wear short, sexually provocative outfits conforming to the typical expectations of a music video.

Can you apply the theories of The Male Gaze or female gaze ?
You can apply elements of The Male Gaze and Sexual Objectiontification theory by Laura Mulvey ,1975. However there are valid points to argue agaisnt it at the same time. For example the difinition of Voyeurism is the erotic pleasures gained from looking at a sexual object who is unaware of being watched, while people may gain erotic pleasures from watching this video Keri Hilson knows she is being watched as a large part of the video is of her dance routine. On the other hand the presence of the other women besides Keri Hilson in the music video is solely for display purpose as they do not play a part in the small narrative of the video. Another point that conforms to the theory is that the females on display in the video are passive and objectified but in the same video they are also shown as strong and dominant which subverts stereotypes of women in music video's. Another point that goes agaisnt the theory is the Voyeuristic treatment of the female body in 'male' videos, the reason this goes agaisnt the theory for this video is because its a females video which only features a male artist as a side act. While this video conforms to the basic ideas of the Male Gaze theory you cannot apply it because its based around Male video's and this is Keri Hilson's video who is female but you can agree it has correct criteria to fit into this theory.

What genre is the video and how does the representation alter due to this ?

What is the star persona of the artist ? 
In this video we see Keri Hilson in two ways one being a strong women subverting stereotypes for instance at the beginning of the video and the other side of being passive and inferior to males throughout the majority of the video. Overall i would say she conforms to the stereotypes of women in music video's as she only subverts stereotypes when she's with her partners or 'bad bitches' as she put it, suggesting she can only be strong and seem superior with back up.