The movie Dreamworld 3 presented some female artists original desire to present themselves in a less hyper-sexualized manner. The movie uses Mariah Carey and Christina Aguilera as examples, but also shows their gradual movement from “innocent” girl to over sexualized women. The movie argues that the women fell victim to the male dominated industry, in essence they changed in order to sell records despite what they may loose in the process. The movie does not talk much about the women’s choice in the process, but it is implied that they don’t have very much of it. One can only guess my surprise when I came across Britney’s newest video, “Work B**ch”, in conjunction with the article entitled: Britney: ‘A lot of sex goes into what I do’.
“Oh my God, we showed way more skin and did way more stuff for the video than what is actually there,” said Spears. “Like, I cut out half the video because I am a mother and because, you know, I have children, and it’s just hard to play sexy mom while you’re being a pop star, as well.”
After watching the video with Britney’s words in mind, I can only wonder how much more risqué the original was. Britney uses her mother status as a badge of honor to clean up the video, but only to a certain extent. I believe her message to the people, in particular women, in even more specific terms her daughter(s), is that one has to work hard to attain the things they want in life. If one wants an healthy (synonym for “hot”) body that looks good in a bikini, new cars (“Maseratti,” “Bugatti,” or Lamborghini specifically), drink alcohol (“martinis” seem to be her favorite), live a good (synonym for “fancy”) life in a decent size house (“a big mansion” preferably), or have a great social life that involves partying in “Paris” one has to be committed to putting in the tremendous effort needed to make that happen. While I can’t get upset with Britney encouraging us to work hard, I do find offense to the way she presents it in her video. The dominatrix motif she presents implies that one has to command others in order to achieve those life accomplishments she speaks about in her chorus. I was most appalled by her holding a group of women clad in animal designed leather outfits by their leashes representing to me that she is riding her success on the backs of others. The irony lies in the way her father and manger have been the true ring leaders in her success. Their encouragement of her using her physical assets for monetary success has translated to them being ok with the more risqué version of this video. If it was not for Britney putting her foot down, a more tantalizing video would have been produced. This may be the case for this particular situation, but I wonder how often does the female artist put their foot down and say enough is enough.
- Britney Spears video banned in UK (contactmusic.com)
- Britney Spears Thought ‘Work Bitch’ Was Too Sexy – Does She Know She Was In It? (crushable.com)