Friday, 25 October 2013

Representation of Women - Cosmopolitan Magazine Cover, May 2011


 Women are judged by their looks and appearance. Stereotypical representation as they are defined by how men see them and how society expects to see them. 

Hayley Williams as cover girl - appeals to both men and women, as women aspire to be like her (unattainable aspirations) and men want to be with her (The male gaze).  However, airbrushing and other forms of editing have been used to construct this image of unattainable beauty.
The cover line by which Hayley Williams is represented by defines her in terms of relationships, 'Hayley Williams, Paramore's .. on Love'. However, it also says 'on success', showing her in a powerful, unpassive way, as she is not the typical woman.
Image constructed through visual codes, mode of address and clothing. 
 Posture and body language suggest self confidence and power, but she is also very sexualised, as she is wearing clothing that reveals a lot. 
The discourse of the magazine is very much based around sex. There are various stories such as 'This sex position increases female orgasm by 56%', and '75 sex moves men crave.'
As well as this, the magazine also seems based around beauty and looking good, 'Lean thighs.. without lunges'.
Representation concentrated on sexuality. 
Unrealistic representation of women. 
The sell line of the magazine, 'Call him or text?' draws in the female audience, as it gives them advice on relationships and love. 
The colour red used also symbolizes passion and love, again relating to the discourse of the magazine. 
Direct mode of address.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Representation of Women - Miss Nothing Music Video by The Pretty Reckless

Context of Music Video

Based upon the last supper and the idea of Mary Magdalene losing her mind. Mary Magdalene was said to be present at both the crucifixion and the resurrection of Jesus, and was described as courageous and brave. There have been many different ideas about the role that Mary Magdalene played within The Bible, such as a harlot, secret lover, wife and mother. Many people consider her to be a saint. Mary Magdalene was said to be present at the last supper, but played only a minor role, as she wiped feet. She was not said to be present at the table. 

Textual Analysis 

Type of music video - Thematic. Song lyrics are as important as the actual video. Also narrative, as the music video takes the audience through a specific story.

'And as I watch you disappear into the ground
My one mistake was that I never let you down
So I'll waste my time and I'll burn my mind
On miss nothing, miss everything'

The lyrics for the chorus above suggest a character that was unpowerful. It also suggests the decay of the mind in to insanity, which again suggests a weak woman, who is being dominated by a male character.

Title - The first thing you notice about the music video is the actual title of the song. The title, 'Miss Nothing', could be seen as thinking lowly of oneself. The word nothing suggests no value, which could directly reflect how the persona seen within the music video thinks of herself. However, if we read further in to the title, we could also say that the word 'Miss' directly tells us that within this representation Mary Magdalene is not seen as a wife. (Intertextuality used throughout.)

Clothing - Taylor Momsen, the lead singer of The Pretty Reckless, is seen to be sexualised within this music video through the use of particular clothing. The clothing she wears is seen as very provocative and revealing, thus suggesting a totally different representation of Mary Magdalene that totally challenges other representations of her. During the first few seconds of the music video we get a close up, where she appears to be wearing a veil. The fact that she is dressed in white could suggest a positive representation of Mary Magdalene, as white has the connotations of purity and innocence. However, this suggests that woman are sexualised throughout the media, and it also shows that they are trying to sell their music through sex.

Filming and editing - The fast paced editing and the use of certain effects, such as a fast forward and rewind, are used to suggest that the character is become/ becoming mad. This again tries to show a weak woman. However, this too can be contradicted, as throughout the music video she is seen walking around on top of the table, which could be seen as dominance. As well as this, she also smashes a bottle over a mans head, showing her in a position of power. Another intertextual link can be seen through the filling up of the glasses, showing her as a servant, like Mary Magdalene at the last supper. The editing also suggests that she is upset. The lead singer of the band, Taylor Momsen also said, when asked what the video and song was about, that 'It is about how Mary felt, and how she was grieving, but I think that a lot of people can relate to it.'

Enigmas - Who has she lost and what did they mean to her? Is she actually gone mad?
Iconography - Some of the iconography relates to the genre of the band (Post grunge). Dark clothing, black nail varnish, dark make up, skulls and crosses etc.

Star status - Close ups, long shots etc used, fast paced editing, shows her insanity and she crawls around the floor and table, which again is sexualised. The band is mainly marketed around the star status and sex appeal of their lead singer Taylor Momsen. This is shown within the music video, as she takes center of attention throughout. This appeals to their male audience. As well as this, there are quite a few other famous people who are included in the video, such as Jimi Hendrix and John Lennon.

Chanel Website Analysis