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05-10-2013
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Well it seems everyone is trying to out-twerk (hate that term, sorry to use it) and out-grind each other these days...Rihanna, Beyonce, Nicki Minaj, Iggy Azalea, Miley Cyrus. It's like the defining thing about mainstream female performers, pretty sad times.


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Last edited by sojou; 05-10-2013 at 05:55 PM.
 
 
06-10-2013
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I recommend everyone to read this discussion on the video. I found this video underwhelming and was falling out of love with Rihanna but this changed it all around.

http://thehairpin.com/2013/10/rihanna-on-my-mind

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06-10-2013
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saw her concert on friday and wow i love her even more now! she sang so well and looked amazing! loved her outfits too!

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06-10-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emailme. View Post
I recommend everyone to read this discussion on the video. I found this video underwhelming and was falling out of love with Rihanna but this changed it all around.

http://thehairpin.com/2013/10/rihanna-on-my-mind
Thanks for sharing. I enjoyed reading their interpretations... but felt somewhat saddened about the references they bring, which mostly serve their own hunger for fascinating products that say so little and leave so much room to fill them up with your own quasi-analytical fantasies where being attracted to a trend is magically less meaningless than... being attracted to a trend.

Anyway, the so-called twerking has existed for ages in Caribbean countries (and the rest of Latin America), I think it's raunchy and grotesque by nature, and particularly offensive if you look at it with Western or just classist eyes... because it screams slums and behavior that means fall and not rise in society, but as personally bothersome as they can be, I love how these dances discard or openly challenge what becomes more valued as you climb in class structure, how they thrive on the prohibited, from tango to baile funk to perreo, always the same protest. And yes it can be self-denigrating on an individual level but it's a very powerful statement of segregation. As criticized as it was, I loved when Rihanna attended the carnival a couple years ago and did it out there on the streets, being from there, knowing there's background pride attached to it... and then it was in something like British headlines like 'she couldn't get any worse'...

So highly sexual dances are part of her upbringing... what's ridiculous is seeing some of them getting translated into a commercial, post-Disney culture, seeing people like Miley do it almost as a last plea to not be sexless.. ().

Back to the video, I find it bad... I think the dances are actually amazing but I don't think being 'dude-free' is entirely true when it's a celebration of what 'dudes' themselves created in first-world rap culture, which is reducing women to tits and butt... with some money and some bling to make them more useful. Whether she makes her own currency and gets to keep it unlike dumb men that lose it is inconsequential when she's chaining herself up to being a possession, and god knows nothing sucks more than being your own possession, look at Paris Hilton. So I don't think it's remotely empowering, and I think she's proved to be so much smarter than that...

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Last edited by MulletProof; 06-10-2013 at 08:40 PM.
 
06-10-2013
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Yeah those arguments are weak and reaching IMO (from the link posted above).

I understand and partly agree with the West Indian cultural context arguments. Sometimes I feel that argument is subtly racist because this is a European assumption/stereotype, that Caribbean people are more sexual (I mean everyone is sexual, just in different ways).

But for me, it boils down to this - these kinds of displays serve men. Never would you find that males would reduce themselve to a piece of meat in this way. Can you imagine male performers grinding on everything like fevered dogs? They wouldn't do it because it would reduce them down to just a d*ck and looks, and then women would judge them purely on that (couldn't be having that).

So what if she's really rich? That doesn't equal empowerment (Jay-Z and her team are her puppet-masters after all!). To me, the strippers and clubs reference is intrinsicly oppressive and sexist.

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06-10-2013
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Agree completely on your last part.

I don't find Caribbean or Latin American cultures particularly more sexual either but, maybe being from one of these cultures myself, I do think the approach contrasts vastly in the fact that there's a very open intention of being offensive, which stems from tension... offensive to people within the same culture but not the same class or race, which is the centuries-old issue anywhere from Barbados to Brazil, where the roots and aspirations hang on to European standards of propriety (especially when having fun/dancing and restraint equals class) and being denied of it results in celebrating the opposite, almost as a middle finger to inequality and exclusion. Not that people that dance this every weekend care or are even aware of this but it built up slowly.

I also find a big difference between American hip hop culture, its portrayal of woman and its displays of masculinity and Caribbean stuff like daggering/perreo/etc... precisely in the fact that once in the dance floor, they are all fevered dogs and if anything, just like society holds it on men, their "performance" makes or breaks the dance, and them!, same for the value put on physical embellishment (dicks and looks all the way!), I don't see it that unequal, but I do think that the nature of [dry] sex on its own (and traditional positions- ugh I hope this is still tfs-friendly!) will rarely favor women.

Hip hop culture is another story though... and I think Rihanna tries to combine the trickier side of both worlds with unfortunate results. She excluded the necessary side of Caribbean dances, where men are just as weird and raunchy, and played with Western objects of male success, where women are right next to bling and bills... so, no gender statement, just your average strip club, yeah.

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08-10-2013
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09-10-2013
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Rihanna goes make-up free as she steps out onto the balcony of her waterfront hotel in New Zealand on Sunday



The singer appears to be back on her game in Auckland later that day


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10-10-2013
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Wow, people really read into that video? It's stripper culture...nothing new at all. Rihanna looks AMAZING...but this is nothing new. I don't understand these intense discussions of gender roles. Who cares really? Rihanna probably did not put HALF this energy into the thought process of the video..nor did her team.

Note: I said stripper culture because it isn't just West Indian/Caribbean/European/American.....I wouldn't just reduce stripping to a certain culture. Nor do I find it oppressive or sexist...it's their choice for gods sake. This is a culture that has been around FOREVER! If it's sexist and opressive why would they still do it?

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Last edited by XavierRaphael; 10-10-2013 at 11:26 PM.
 
11-10-2013
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11-10-2013
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i found it so overwhelming that i was underwhelmed after it was over (does that make since?) i mean why did it look so cheap and literal?

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11-10-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XavierRaphael View Post
Wow, people really read into that video? It's stripper culture...nothing new at all. Rihanna looks AMAZING...but this is nothing new. I don't understand these intense discussions of gender roles. Who cares really? Rihanna probably did not put HALF this energy into the thought process of the video..nor did her team.

Note: I said stripper culture because it isn't just West Indian/Caribbean/European/American.....I wouldn't just reduce stripping to a certain culture. Nor do I find it oppressive or sexist...it's their choice for gods sake. This is a culture that has been around FOREVER! If it's sexist and opressive why would they still do it?
Well for every one dimensional viewer that just claps at any bone pop culture throws at him, there's always the boring that "reads" into something and does see something new. I don't think one position's more valid than the other, but maybe intensity has more use.

And being around "FOREVER" doesn't mean something can't be sexist... people have also been trafficked with or mutilated for an eternity, but hey maybe it's their choice, it's been around FOREVER! why would it still happen if they don't like it?

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12-10-2013
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The current image of stripper culture is specifically an American thing I would say, dollar bills and all that. It's so very specific, ballers, NFL, Lil Wayne, Rick Ross, all of those associations come to mind. It's definitely about subjugation of females - buying expendable p*ssy, women not being anything other than p*ssy draped all over rich men. Think of all the songs, lyrics and imagery that come with it, definitely not empowering by any standards. Stripping in other cultures is more about maybe the art or rebellion (maybe this is what you were saying MulletProof, and if so I agree, so the Caribbean carnival/dancehall type dancing and imagery really has not got much to do with this American stripper culture portrayed in the video).

So what if Rihanna and her team didn't put much thought into it - we are not allowed to form views? If they put no thought in to it, well to me that makes it all the more disturbing!

I actually have no problem with nudity as such, I just wish more male performers had to 'work' in that way! Asides from that, I think if Rihanna had left out all the money-licking, cheesy Chanel product placement and done a little bit more in it, the video for Pour It Up would have been much better. Her body certainly looked incredible in it.


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