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The Double Standard

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Essay title: The Double Standard

Today, music is a form of entertainment that is a dominant part of American culture. It is a universal language that can be presented in a wide array of tongues and genres. Hip hop, Pop and R & B are some common genres which can be portrayed through lyrical skills along with the unique and creative short stories of videos. Music has had an influence on the way we dress, what we buy and even how we act as a culture. Society has placed views such as: a woman should stay home and take care of the family, show no sexual desires and dress conservatively. As times change, there have been many attempts to change these female standards depicted by society. Female music artists have used the art form of the music video to express their opinions, experiences and their roles in the heterosexual courtship process. Many contemporary music videos show the female complaining about incompetent males in the relationships. Other videos give confidence to women viewers who are in similar situations. In Christina Aguilera’s “Fighter” and Destiny’s Child’s “Independent Women”, these women strengthen the position of women by challenging the patriarchal parameters of heterosexual courtship and societal norms of the female roles in relationships.

Christina Aguilera’s “Fighter” is a motivating song that we assume addresses one of Aguilera’s relationships. In the song, Aguilera is talking about a man that did her wrong. She sings about the trust issues, fights, stealing and cheating that she went through in her relationship. She also sings about how this man she knew could be so unjust and cruel. “After all you put me through you’d think I’d despise you but in the end I want to thank you” (Fighter, v. 1). At the end of each verse, Aguilera says “So I want to

thank you” or “So thanks for making me a fighter”,

For example:

'Cause it makes me that much stronger

Makes me work a little bit harder

Makes me that much wiser

So thanks for making me a fighter

Made me learn a little bit faster

Made my skin a little bit thicker

It makes me that much smarter

So thanks for making me a fighter (Fighter, Chorus)

As Tricia Rose states “These raps are not mournful ballads about the trials and tribulations of being a heterosexual woman. Similar to women’s blues, they are caustic, witty and aggressive warnings directed at men and at other women who might be seduced by them in the future.” (269) Aguilera validates Rose’s argument. By creating a song which is not complaining or criticizing her ex, she thanks him for what he has put her through. She is telling everyone that she has managed to pull herself out of a relationship that was not beneficial to her and that it did not kill her confidence, but made her a strong fighter in the end. For that reason, “Fighter” reinforces the woman’s positions and breaks the norms of female roles in the relationship.

The video of “Fighter” is a series of rapid scenes of imagery in black and white. It depicts her internal development and her transformation from traditional societal perceptions of a woman to her personal beliefs as a person. The video opens to a scene in a dark area of a moth struggling to walk. The symbolism of a moth in this video can be depicted as Aguilera being trapped into something that she does not like being in. Moths are usually seen at night or in dark confined places. It then shows Fragile looking ballet dancers supporting themselves on huge pins. The video then goes to Christina Aguilera (dressed in a black cape) in a glass case trying to get out. It also shows her eventually releasing her built up frustration and breaking the glass on her journey to emancipation. Through her travels out of the confined area she starts gaining back strength taking the pins, seen in the beginning scenes, and throwing them with accurate and skilled aim. The video then shows her sitting on the ground and the cape melting away to a moth covered white dress. This shows the final stages of her transition, she has moved from her being a sheltered and dark person to being a new person in the light. In the following scenes show the moth burning, this can represent her old self in the past. As the moth burns, she sings: “I am a fighter, I ain’t goin stop, There is no turning back, I’ve had enough” This shows that she has put Confirming that she has made her full metamorphosis, The last scene shows her completely dressed to her individual style. Her hair and clothes along with the tattoo on her forehead fit her newly developed personality

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