While out with friends today, I happened to see music videos playing on one of the televisions in the background. Unconsciously I started paying attention to the discriminatory details in them and started to compare two specific music videos. One of the videos corresponded with a “Biggie Smalls” song, and another video corresponding with a current popular song “thrift Shop” by Macklemore. Although my taste in music expands over many genres, I do happen to like both of these songs when I hear them on the radio. However seeing the videos of hip hop and rap music really makes you question your taste.
The Biggie music video followed the typical hip hop/ rap style of degrading women by representing them only half naked dancing around a single man. This is another issue within itself that I don’t even want to focus on in this blog. The true discrimination I witnessed in this video was the fact that these beautiful, young, slim women were shown dancing around a fat man and no one sees this as a big deal. To me, this is not a big deal either. However, it is a big deal when you compare it to another video such as the “thrift shop” video.
(forward to 1:40)
The thrift shop video happens to have a fat woman rapping in it. Now just hearing this statement makes you think this is a good thing, and it should be. But it is not. This part of the video, which shows a fat woman rapping with men around her, is made as a funny matter. This is meant to be a joke, and yes people watching this video did laugh. Now why is it ok for slimmer women to dance around a fat man, yet it is considered funny if media shows us the opposite? This really did shock me because this is gender bias on a whole new level. You would think that if society is anti-fat that it should pertain to both genders, but it doesn’t! Is a “fat” woman somehow considered hilariously fatter than a “fat” man? Or is it that society thinks only skinny, half naked women should be shown on media/music videos?
After analyzing all this in my head, I realized that this video would not have accomplished its goal if society didn’t accomplish this for it. The video wanted this part to be considered funny, but we the people decide what humors us vs. what doesn’t. Sadly society does consider a “fat” woman in a music video as funny because it is against the norm. Media has firmly set this bias norm in our heads that music videos should consist of certain types of woman thus anything against that happens to humor us.
So who’s’ fault is this? Did media make us this way, or are they simply showing what they know will entertain our ignorant minds?
Ps: R.I.P Notorious B.I.G