Friday, 14 April 2017

Evaluation Question 1b

How do your products represent social groups or issues?

In order to answer this question, I will be using Periscope. I will go live on Periscope and connect with my target audience who would ask me questions about my music video, website and digipak, how they represented social groups or issues. To make this official and to inform the audience I have used twitter and Facebook.

These are the topics I will be covering in this periscope video:

  • -       Age: actress (Orla) is young, therefore they are less responsible and criminal, out of control. The owner of the house is old, therefore he is more financially sustainable and can afford the house
  • -       Ethnicity: working class black youths are commonly stereotyped as criminal. However, the character who is playing a criminal in my music video is played by a  young female Caucasian. This countertypes representation of black youths. 
  • -       Gender: There are quite a few gender stereotyped used in order to represent characters in my music video . Although some of them were unintentional, they still followed the stereotypes used in media, which proves that the representation of individuals in media is constant which makes the audience consume it and take it as a norm. 

Starting with my actress Orla who is the protagonist in this story. She is a young caucasian female, who burgles the house, this challenges negative representation of working class black youths as they are commonly stereotyped as criminal. She is also a female which follows and issues a stereotype of female gender representation. Females are conveyed as patriarchal. In my music video she is running away from a person wearing all black who is playing a demon. The demon is wearing lose black hoodie which has physical appearance of a male. Orla obeys the demon and burgles the house after gets lost in her own thoughts. This shows how women are emotional, weak and screaming helpless victims. However, the actress is playing a criminal which is commonly stereotyped by males. She is also not wearing make-up and dressed in a hoodie and jeans which makes her look less feminine. This applies to Levi Strauss binary oppositions where a young female is playing a role which is more commonly portrayed among males.

Moving on to the second character who is played by a mature male. His role is the owner of the house she burgled. He is a mature caucasian male, who gets of an expensive car which signifies he's financial stabilised, this makes the audience presume that he is the owner of the house. I have used mise-en-scene to represent his social class.

In terms of gender representation he is a male which makes him dominant and powerful. The camera angles can be used to establish class difference for example in my music video, in order to represent the male character I have used over the shoulder shot and low angle which signify power. In the video audience do not get to see that characters face which leaves him as a mystery.

Another convention of an electropop genre includes revealing clothing, this type of genre convention follows Laura Mulveys' theory of a Male Gaze which relegates women to the status of the objects to be admired for the physical appearance, this leads to hegemonic ideologies within our society. Other female artists of an electropop genre include Madonna and Lady Gaga who are known for their revealing clothing and sexual manner. We can see that almost in every music video they are wearing revealing clothing. In this example taken from a video Bad Romance we see Lady Gaga wearing a diamond covered chain like two piece. This clothing is not only revealing but gasps attention. This is a clear example of Laura Mulvey's theory which  makes Lady Gaga look like an object, like a jewellery for men.

The third character in my music video would be the artist Halsey who is played by Evie. She is a young caucasian female. Halsey is a strong feminist but she falls under Miley Cyrus category which is controversial factor of gender representation in media, for feminist film critic Laura Mulvey. She argues that visuals arts depict the world and women from masculine point of view, presenting women as objects of male pleasure. Evie in my music video is wearing bralette and a short skirt which is very revealing and may cause objectification from the males. This is an issue of gender representation as Halsey the artist wants to show others that she is strong powerful women who believes that she doesn't have to hide her body and who she is. Although revealing cloths has connotations of being sexual, cynical and lose, Halsey believes that she is strong and powerful.

Halsey is a similar artist who Miley Cyrus, however compared to her she is less extreme. Although she is a post-feminist she still not as open as Miley. Looking at Halsey recently. You could see that she cut her hair short like Miley, started wearing heavy make-up and wear more revealing clothing. 
I have placed an image of Halsey taken from her Instagram account. 
The turn point of Miley Cyrus was Wrecking ball. This is when fans first saw this side of Miley.
This music video was directed by Terry Richardson. He is an American fashion and portrait photographer who has shot advertising campaign for Marc Jacobs, Tom Ford, Yves Sait Laurent, etc. He was involved with a lot of controversy surrounding his exploration of women.
This song received positive reviews from critics and debuted on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.

Feminist vs Post-Feminist

Feminists and post-feminists would differ with perspectives. Feminist would see this music video and be discussed by the way females are being represented. Where as, post-feminist would see it as a women who is open about everything and not scared to be herself. 
Miley Cyrus considers herself to be a post-feminist. She and many other artists such as Lady Gaga, Madonna, Nicki Minaj, etc. would believe that feminism assumes male control. She breaks free from this, especially in this video. 
Here we can see her wearing barely any clothing, boots and holding a mallet, she also has a short hair, all of this goes unconventional for female pop genre artist. Miley Cyrus considers herself a "gender fluid" which shows that she doesn't count herself as either bisexual or gay. 

Normative and Hegemony

Cultural hegemony is a concept developed by Italian scholar and activist Antonio Gramsci
This term refers to the ability of a group of people to hold power over social institutions. Normative is when a person is exposed to a certain image over and over again until it becomes normal. Hegemony is an idea which can become hegemonicHegemonic would be considered when a girl is wearing a skirt, but if a boy is wearing it he would be considered as counter-hegemonic
In this example Miley Cyrus is presented as counter-hegemonic


Looking at Miley Cyrus we can see her hair braking the gender stereotypes, short hairstyles are stereotypes of men and long are for females. We can see how this became a normative through media and show the society brings it to us, making it societal construct. In this video Cyrus is wearing a white tank top, we can see her strong arms which is mostly seen as a male stereotype. We can see her exposed arms and see her muscularity which is shown among males, this may make her look lesbian however as she said before she is a "gender fluid"


Miley Cyrus's' hairstyle intertextualises  the singer Sinead O'Connor who had short hair. 
After Miley Cyrus publishing her music video we were abled to see many parodies on her music video. This music video became a parody icon like Oppa Gingham Style by PSY, Tik Tok by Ke$ha and many others. Bellow we can see parodies from YouTube with 1,220,000 results. One of the most viewed parody is made by Bart Baker who specialises on parodies.

Questions for Periscope 

1) Who do you think your target audience are for your products?

After doing a questionnaire in school and online, I found out that my target audience would be young females ages from 14 - 20. Who like to listen music, watch music videos at least once in two weeks and enjoy music as a relaxation and a way of escaping the reality. 

2) You have more females in your music video, would you consider this as a issue?

No, not necessarily, I think that having more females in the video rather than males would not be an issue as there are many other music videos which had more families with leading roles rather than males. Being a female producer I think that I have been fair enough to the cast. Looking at the movies it is hard to find a film which passes Bechdel test. I find this more of an issue rather than this music video. During production process I have used a male character dressed as a demon to make the demon in different sizes to confuse the audience. However, on the screen it seemed that I had only one male. 

3) When you were trying to represent feminism do you think that your costume went over the lines?

It really depends what you consider to be feminism. From Halseys perspective feminism was considered a counter culture before it became popularised in the media because it was radical and its being exploited wrongly. I think that there were videos from artists such as  Madonna, Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj and so on, whose costume choices were more controversial than Halseys. 

4) Do you think that it is an issue to include only some part of the body of a male character?

I don't think so, because I have done this in order to show his power, especially with the angles I have used to signify his strength. I have used his certain parts to make him look mysterious and not like an object which would be considered as an opposite of Laura Mulveys theory which involves females objectification. 

5) In your digipak you had Halsey in very revealing clothing do you think that this is an issue?

This question fall in the same category as the previous one concerning my music video.  I have used the image for the front cover from the photoshoot which I have done on the same day as the shooting of the lip syncing scenes. I think that my music video and digipak should relate at some point and having similar costumes would trigger the audience. Revealing clothing is not an issue in my opinion although some feminists disagree. She is a young artist and looking at the magazines, films and commercials. This type of clothing is very common among young people. This is not something which I would like to influence my viewers to wear but this is something that influenced my artist.

6) The digipak involved a lot of pink which made the digipak target more females, was that your intension?

This was partly my intension as my product targets both males and females. However, after doing audience research. I found out that my target audience are females. This made my decisions very specific to target female audience. I have created various versions of digipak cover and have had audience feedback on each one of them and this one came out the post popular and liked by both males and females. Use of pink colour was inspired by the band "Chainsmokers" wth their album "Roses"

7) What changes have you done to your website to target both males and females.

During my website production. I have realised that I mostly targeted females by introducing tote bags, making the background colour pink. However, I wanted to target both genders. I figured out that I should change the colour scheme to suit both genders. I have changed a purple colour which is mutual for both genders. Justin Bieber's signature colour was purple when he just started out. In the merchandise I have added sweatshirts which go from sizes XS-XXL which aims for both males and females. Also looking at the magazines and males fashion. I found out that males are now more acceptable to wearing pink and feminine coloured clothing.

I have also added simple t-shirts which are suitable for males and females. Bandanas in black and red as well as a white backpack. I think that with the merchandise I was able to target both females and males. 

8) Would you consider your narrative in your music video an issue, as it may motivate younger  audience to steal?

This is an issue, as this is not what I intended to represent in my work. I wanted to show how people are pushed to do certain things by their inner demons. I didn't want my younger audience to be infused in that way.

This may vary depending on the audience interpretation. This covers audience reception theory where  there are different ways individuals received and interpreted a text. However, one of the examples which I would like to avoid in my work is "The Bobo Doll experiment" this is very controversial piece of research that proved that children copy violent behaviour. Therefore, my music video could motivate younger audience to repeat the story in order to feel closer to the artist. 

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