My final project is mainly supposed to be about women in music videos, but while I was in the process of doing research, I thought it would be interesting to talk about the images of women projected in music videos in regards to skin color. I visited beauty supply stores and interviewed sales persons, not to mention looked through isles and iles of skin bleaching products. I visited my local beauty supply first which is in a mixed neighborhood I came across products like Bright and White. And Clear Essence. I found that a lot of the products had words like ‘corrector’ or ‘white’ in their names which left me with the general impression that the correct skin color to have was fair skin.
At one point in time it was very rare to see a dark skinned lead female in a music video. I think that speaks directly to the issue of skin bleaching and lightening. Popular music is dictated by what consumers find attractive and ultimately what patriarchal society finds attractive. During my research I stumbled upon a website for a series of products under the name ‘Claire Blanche’ everything from skin whitening pills to creams and facial wash is available in this product line. The line is also claiming to be only for the use of treating hyper pigmentation. But with a before and after gallery full of users who are shades lighter it is safe to say that they are not using these products correctly.
The issue of skin whitening is actually so common that I could have focused an entire research project on it and still had information to spare. During my interviewing process one of the main questions I asked was how much money women spend on makeup and personal upkeep per month I got everything from $7 to $320 per month. Keeping these extreme numbers in mind it is safe to say that media plays a part in the way women view themselves. Music videos can serve as a mirror of what is expected of everyday or average women. Ultimately this is sending out the wrong message. Another part of my research had to do with viewing music videos from different atists and paying attention to the roles women played in them. I chose to pay close attention to three artists one was Dr Dre. The video I chose to watch was ‘The Next Episode’ I chose this particular one because of its lyrical content, message and view of women.
A frame from 'The Next Episode'
This frame depicts a woman as a stripper and the lyrics go on to demoralize and objectify women with such lines as ‘go home with something to poke on’ Women are also refered to as ‘tricks’ which is slang for prostitute. While it is understood that music videos are strictly for entertainment value the ways women are portrayed go beyond entertainement and as I stated earlier in regards to skin lightening have a direct effect on how the general public views women.