Tuesday, January 09, 2007
If I Was a Guy, I'd Be My Biggest Fan
Fefe Dobson - If I Was a Guy
[EDIT: HAHAHAHA, welcome to an ACCIDENTAL Mislabeled Monday! On Tuesday! I used this song a while ago and labeled it "Shins - Fry That Chicken (live)" and forgot to change the tag. Woops!]
[EDIT 2: Thanks to Stylus, who have linked me from their staff blog page.]
But I would not be the skinny lead singer in a garage band. NO!
I would be a BLOGGER, and I would write things on my BLOG about women who sing about what they would do if they were a guy. Cumma cumma cumma cumma cumma cumma cumma here girl! Lemme show ya somethin' gonna rock yer world!
Sunday Love is going for about $400 on Half.com. This is slightly out of my price range. But hey, I waited and waited for Fantastic by Toy-Box at a decent price, and finally got it (albeit sans cover art but whatever, not like I'm selling it back) for $4. But oh to think once I coulda had a promo! No, no, they were out. They didn't have any more. They weren't going to get any more. It is not your fault. It is not your fault.
Why am I already feeling burned out? Made some progress on BRITNEYESQUE and am now deciding that it seems kinda bullshit, even though I think the ideas are solid. Reading Bubblegum Is the Naked Truth and finding (in a cursory skim-through) that most of these issues remain unchallenged (admittedly, this is c. '99-'00 teenpopwise), and you get a lot of "but I like fake manufactured music!" re: Britney, BSB, *NSync. Different era I suppose, but it seems to me that NONE of these acts were "manufactured" per se -- especially not, say, Hanson, who get a lot of face time in the book. And you get stuff about how the Spice Girls were fat (but it's GOOD that they're fat! They're "natural women"!) and something about Britney's single being coated in silicone.
My starting point is that Lindsay and Ashlee (and Paris and Fergie and whoever else doesn't get a free pop pass) are seen as descendants of Britney -- Britney as social construction, a sort of image archetype, since the music is different -- and are being held to hypocritical image and production standards, largely having to do with a foundational fallacy in how the audiences/artists are generally perceived/"reported on": their "real audience" (young women) are having phony music pushed on 'em against their will and display no agency in choosing what music they want to listen to, why they listen to it, and what they ultimately draw from it ("girls take harmful messages from Britney" assume that "girls" have no choice in the matter whatsoever, along with assuming that Britney has "messages" and these messages are). Meanwhile, BRITNEY has SUPERAGENCY; as a symbol of some sort of (probably dubious but let's roll with it anyway) social concern -- authenticity in performance or songwriting, presentation of a "hypersexualized image" -- she is RESPONSIBLE for the perpetuating the conditions in which she's being attacked (Mean Girls syndrome -- "c'mon girls, we know you're all just BITCHES but try to be nice!" TINA FEY SHOULD COME AND HAVE TEA WITH ME SO THAT WE CAN HAVE A NICE LONG CONVERSATION). She is also responsible for how she's being marketed (thrusting herself upon her audience) and she's also responsible for how said marketing is being interpreted (see previous point). And she's also responsible for her being a big phony and letting all these SUITS do the marketing and selling for her. And for being phony and letting all these MIDDLE AGED MEN make her music for her. Variation on Paris, I guess, or vice versa?
So we have a wildly unbalanced scale of agency here: the dumb impressionable kid audience getting steamrolled by the (dumb) manipulative evil Britneyesque. Anyway, back to my first concern -- I still think this applies directly to Lindsay and Ashlee, even if comparing them to Britney (in a musical sense) isn't exactly accurate, but something isn't quite clicking when I make the leap. Is this dredging up a problem that was more apparent five or six years ago? Is anyone claiming Lindsay and Ashlee are harmful, or for the most part has their public scorn/dismissal (stemming, I think, from Britney's dismissal, which itself stemmed from a long history of teenybopper dismissal) become so pervasive and complex that an entirely new model needs to be created from the one I've (sorta) described above?
Posted by Dave at 9:18 PM