Wednesday, 23 September 2015

The Male Gaze - Music Video

My analysis on the Male Gaze is based on the music video 'Can't remember to forget you' by Shakira and Rihanna.

 From the moment the music video gets into full swing (7 seconds in) there is an obvious sexual element in the way Shakira is presented. It opens with her sitting on a double bed, wearing only underwear and a partly see-through top. She is making sexual movements such as putting her hands between her thighs, and crawling towards the camera, creating an 'invitational' vibe to the male audience. Her facial expressions (the commonly used heavy lidded and non-smiling look) also create a similar sensual and sexual effect. Putting all of these things together creates the association of inviting or luring a man into the bed with her.

We also see close ups of her body, her bare legs and half covered chest mainly. This is very intimate and encourages the idea of enticing a man into her bed. This whole section of Shakira could be seen as degrading in some cases as she is being sexual so that she is more appealing to men. However, it could also be interpreted as her teasing the men, and therefore she is in control and is empowered.

During the first chorus of the song, there are various shots of Shakira in revealing clothing. One of which features her in a red, dress-like outfit, first seen properly about 53 seconds in. This outfit, accompanied with Shakira's sexual positioning, allows it to emphasise her figure and show a lot of skin without revealing too much. This again reinforces the idea that she is teasing the men and is in control. 

The colour of the outfit is also devious and sexual as the colour red is often associated with the devil and/or erotic love, resembling her 'naughty' side and giving off a bad girl affect. 

She is again making sensual facial expressions, with heavy-lidded eyes and parted lips, which resemble a sense of pleasure in relevance to sex. The way she is sticking her bum out added to these facial expressions could possible resemble pleasure from behind.

When Rihanna first appears in the music video, at 1 minute and 2 seconds in, she is immediately acting sexual as well. We see her walking away from the camera in her jet black outfit, showing off her curves for men to gaze at. What adds even more sexiness to this clip is the fact that it is done in slow motion, meaning her figure and way she walks and moves is enhanced so that the male audience can get a better look at all her features.

However, the rear view of Rihanna being the first proper occasion on which she appears in the video does not give the first impression of a confident woman, but an object to men's eyes and something they can lust after.

During this aspect of the video we also see her leaning up against a wall at some points, and at roughly 1 minute and 21 seconds we witness her tilting her head back and closing her eyes slowly, keeping them closed. This creates the resemblance of sex and even an orgasm.

After Rihanna's entry into the video, chorus number 2 begins and both women start to dance against the wall, this is done 1 minute and 44 seconds in. However this dancing is done in a sexual and almost aggressive way. It then continues with them both falling to the floor with sexual looking faces, borderline orgasmic, and then whipping their heads up at the end of the chorus. This whole scene almost mirrors the process of sex. The sexual dancing resembling the sex, with the slight aggressiveness suggesting that it is passionate and/or erotic, until the point of orgasm which is resembled when falling to the floor. This will arouse the male audience and keep them enticed.

Nearing the end of the video, at 2 minutes 44 seconds, we start to see glimpses of Rihanna and Shakira together with no visible clothing in sight. At 3 minutes 11 seconds the audience views Rihanna kissing Shakira on the cheek, both are making sexual faces and Shakira is making eye contact with the camera. All of these factors make the scene more intense. Referring back to my earlier observations, this physical contact between the two females teases the male audience as they realise they 'wan't what they can't have' as it were, yet still keeps their attention and in some cases again arouses them.

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