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Music Videos

Watching a Leslie Gore music video (1966) and then comparing it to a Lil’ Kim video, it seems that we are moving in the wrong direction.....

“It’s My Party? performed by Leslie Gore is about a lost love, and how “it’s her party and she’ll cry if she wants to.? The video takes place at a party where there are many guys and gals dancing all around the set. All of the participants are wearing clothing associated to the time (1960’s) and Leslie is wearing day clothes as well. She moves around a little bit, but the majority of her effort is in her lyrics and portraying her feelings to the audience. In contrast, Lil’ Kim’s video “How many Licks? has her starting as a doll from an assembly line – making her an object from the first scene. The video continues with sexual portrayals of herself and others, referring back to the doll making. There are also references to her being a pin-up, and many scenes with a prison as a background. Her clothing is a little different than Leslie’s, as she is not wearing much.
I feel that the role of women is displayed much more positively in the Leslie Gore video. Women should not be proud to be an object, or just a sexual symbol. I took apart the Lil’ Kim video in order to see if in a different light, and it just made it worse. I first watched the video without sound, and then I just read the lyrics on their own. Both were incredibly inappropriate, especially to think who the target audience is. I would much prefer that our youth today were empowered by videos such as the Gore video instead of seeing the negativity of the Lil’ Kim video. While the Gore video takes a negative approach on relationships - by showing the true sad part of them when things don’t work out but she has a normal, healthy response. In contrast, because the other video displays Kim as a sex symbol and object it ultimately shows the audience that women are there to satisfy men, and in relationships, men are superior. I do not think we could send a worse message to today’s youth. And, I am not even getting into the foul and poor, inappropriate language choices!
After thinking about these videos, I then watched Fiona Apple’s Criminal video. Honestly, I did not too much about her before watching this video so I was not sure what types of video to expect. I found it just as appalling as the Lil’ Kim video. I saw the same types of objectifying and demeaning behavior. While the clothing isn’t as risqué, the lyrics and dancing are just as inappropriate. She also looks like she is on drugs during the video and just does not promote a healthy, well established woman role model. I just do not understand why these are the popular videos. Reading a review on the Apple video, two comments caught my eye. The first one was when the reviewer stated that “the video actually plays into the male rape fantasy.? (Mark Zeltner) My only comment to this is that why would we ever produce something that did this and advertised it so that every youth in America would watch it and then take it as the truth? The second statement that caught my eye ended that same review and I am going to use it to end my response. I think it sums up the topic of the inappropriateness of our videos in the 21st century, and I really hope that somehow they become extinct. “The question now is whether Apple will mature and use the career momentum supplied by "Criminal" to push for more positive images of herself and women in general in her future videos. If Apple continues to play on her video sex appeal to sell her music than she is likely doomed to a short and turbulent career.? ( Mark Zeltner)

I hope so too, otherwise our youth are doomed to short and turbulent lives as well.