“Sharpened” Lines

For those of you who have yet to see the Blurred Lines Parody Video, take a moment to check it out.  Note: it contains inappropriate language and images that have the potential to seriously offend people (not unlike the original “Blurred Lines” video), so I would not suggest watching this in a public place where others can hear.

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The video parodies Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” (the unrated video for which contains incredibly demeaning and objectifying clips of women prancing around in the nude).  This revamped version is essentially a feminist representation of a compete reversal of the sexist imagery rampant in today’s media, especially in music videos.  The minute I started watching this video, I knew I was going to love it.  And while I still do, I recognize a few of its debatable shortcomings, as is true with any sort of argumentative or statement piece.

To start off, I’m going to focus on the good…

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While this video is perhaps a bit more outrightly explicit, telling it as it is instead of relying on not-so-subtle innuendo, it establishes so much truth.  The general reaction to this video only works to point out the seemingly unavoidable double standards that have become so ordinary and natural in today’s media.  While I absolutely loved this video, there were definitely images in it that made me feel awkward and self-aware at moments.  However, the content simply takes the many overtly sexual and objectifying  roles attached to women in the media, and applies them to men instead. The simple fact that so many people were shocked and offended by the visual and textual content of this video provides a significant illustration of where we are as a society.

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On the opposing side, I talked to a (male) friend of mine about the video after sharing it on Facebook.  While I had other friends of both genders who found the video hilarious, he was offended, though not for the reasons some may expect. He felt that the video unfairly blamed and targeted men as the sole reason for women’s current position in the media. Since I have been studying the topic of women’s representation in the media, I did not view the video in this way, though I did see where someone could interpret the video as such.  While the parody relies on a role reversal, championing against sexual discrimination, I do not feel there is any one group that should be blamed for the unfortunate positions women often hold in today’s culture and media.

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One of my favorite quotes from the video was “we aint whores to do your household chores to make you a sandwich when were on all fours.”  This quote does hold a certain air of defiance against men, however I recognize that men are not the only enemy in the war for equal and positive representation.  Many things in the media and our society have resulted in the unfortunate objectified state of women in multiple media outlets today.  While men hold part of the blame, they can not be treated as the sole scapegoat.  Women also need to learn to love and support each other in an honest way that extends beyond jealousy and petty flattery. As a general whole I think this parody sharpens the lines of perception and allows a clear view of the unfortunate double standards embedded in our culture.  People can talk about and analyze the problem forever, but it is actions like this which really allow us to make progress and draw the attention of the public.  I sincerely hope to see more works like this in the future – those which inspire conversation and draw attention to all the hypocrisy of the world without needing to rely on lengthy, fruitless arguments.

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In relation to the Point Five Project, I feel this video has a similar heart.  It calls attention to a representational problem in a way that shows rather than tells, guides rather than leads, and inspires rather than attacks.  “Peoples minds are changed through observation and not through argument.”

Until next time, stay terribly beautiful.

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