• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

A comparative study of how women are represented in popular music videos from the 80s to the present day.

Extracts from this document...


Lydia Mawdsley A comparative study of how women are represented in popular music videos from the 80?s to the present day. ________________ In this diachronic essay, I will be looking at two key texts, Madonna?s ?Burning up? (1983) from the 80?s era, and Rihanna?s ?Rude boy? which is a more recent text from 2010. I will be looking at whether or not the representations of women in popular music videos have changed over time, or if in fact they have always been there, but are more so exaggerated in recent years. The hypothesis I intend to prove is that the representations of women in today?s society stem back to, and are extremely relatable to those created in the 80?s, meaning that the representations thought to be modern and controversial have actually been around for a long time, only they are more exaggerated and accessible in today?s society, with the latest stories of what the most popular celebrities have been up to, put in front of us on a daily basis through media texts such as social networking, the internet, newspapers, magazines, radio, and television. I will prove this hypothesis by closely examining my secondary research, finding out facts and figures, along with public opinions based on the matter, and analysing each of my key texts. This study will show how the representations have been similar throughout time, but the impacts upon society have changed as women have become more domineering and important in recent years. ...read more.


Music videos became more essential for the promotion of a recording, it became an entertainment product. The growing pop culture truly defined the era of the 80?s. Madonna was a feminist and fashion icon, as well as a s*x symbol of the 80?s and her music videos brought up a lot of discussion. I am going to focus on her video ?Burning Up? which was released in 1983; I will be exploring conventions, stereotypes, points, ideas and representations. The first thing I noticed upon viewing this video was how the song portrayed Madonna in classic submissive female positions such as her head rolling forwards, her arms held up above her head, on her knees and bending her back. However, I also noticed that by the end of the video, she is showing power, status and control when she is driving the car rather than the man, showing how "Burning Up" was a beginning of Madonna's depiction of her taking control of the male sexuality. During the story of the video, Madonna is shown to be wearing a white dress as she sings the song proclaiming her helpless passion for her lover. This colour of the dress (white) connotes purity, innocence and virginity, the colour is also often associated with goodness and cleanliness. The audience take this as a symbol of her love for the man. ...read more.


Therefore, the media, including internet sites such as Facebook influence their choices in order of them achieving there social goals. Recent years have also brought an uprising in the media, relating mainly to the way Women are represented in Music videos. As a female, we are constantly being taught to stand up for ourselves, and that we are just as important as men. However, it seems that female artists creating music videos lower themselves in terms of how they dress, appear, act, and the lyrics they sing. I think this is mainly due to the need to attract attention, gain viewers, listeners and fans. Also, if a female artist dresses provocatively in a video, they know it will cause controversy in the media, therefore giving themselves free advertisement and publication. Rihanna intro: MTV think Rihanna is this generations Madonna. Video analysis: Theory: Her love for the boy portrayed her as a helpless victim like the stereotyped female portrayed in many silent movies. At one point in the video Madonna is shown being hit by a car driven by a young man, played by Compton.[18] By the end of the song Madonna is shown driving the car, with a knowing, defiant smile on her lips and has ditched the man, thereby giving the message that she was in charge, a theme recurrent throughout her career.[18] ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Music section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Music essays

  1. Comparison essay: Music Videos

    The minimal set of the mise-en-scene diminishes any sense of materialism and gives a more simplistic feel, implying that when all else is stripped away, friendship endures. Additionally though, to some extent there is a consumerist mode of address in this video also as it promotes and almost publicises the sitcom 'Friends' and its six famous protagonists.

  2. Intertextuality is a technique, when one text refers to another text or uses its ...

    Monet's picture was white and colourful, with vibrant colours. On the other hand Banksy's painting was green and black, very dull; with less lilies in the pond this image may suggest that nature is reducing due to manpower increasing. A shopping trolley and a traffic cone are also half sunk into the lake.

  1. How successful have your chosen texts been for their industry. (On Beyonce)

    Her s*x is on fire cover really determined her place as the headliner in Glastonbury, the original was alternative rock chart topper and with her cover she was able to keep the raw quality of the original song and combine the sexiness Beyoncé is notorious for to make a truly special combination for the crowd.

  2. Investigate the ways in which hip hop music appeals to male and female audiences, ...

    A shot which specifically give a sense of degradation is one in which a girl is shot almost directly from above, her body twisted unnaturally on the ground, looking on command as the camera focuses on her. This appeals to the male audience by making them feel that the girl

  1. The subject of this dissertation is how feminist beliefs have been expressed in alternative ...

    The music in itself has does not convey a strong message. I believe the most important information comes from the lyrics, actions, and words of the performers in question, either on stage or in the press. Therefore, in this study I shall focus on the more culturally significant alternative bands and artists.

  2. music publication through what was relevant in society.

    - NME responded to the change in Society so the Smash Hits magazines started to notice that the group allegiances to pop and rock had changed, magazine realised it had to change so became more multi-platform - Magazines became more synergised, using television, radio, websites etc.

  1. To What Extent Do Music Videos Give an Accurate Representation of Young Women of ...

    Young girls will make every effort to obtain this "perfect figure and face", which is only possible after cosmetic surgery and airbrushing with modern technology. Young girls will look up to these women and this puts enormous pressure on them, because they think that it's right.

  2. Explore the importance of narratives in Ed Sheerans Music Videos.

    arms wide resembling the Angel of the North, linking with many references made in the lyrics to angels and the connotations of white. Once again Ed is barely seen in the video. In this case he is seen as ?the good guy?, in a scene where the young woman is

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work