The male form in music videos

Objectification of the Male Form in Music Videos

With the amount of music videos out there that objectify woman, it’s plausible to think that there are none that objectify men. However, there are quite a few that do.

The focus of most sexually charged music videos by male artists, is the artist’s (or the video character’s) ability to satisfy women in bed, thus focus is placed on his skills in the bedroom. Furthermore, women’s desire of the male artist is also a theme constantly explored in videos.

In these videos, women are often shown as inferior to men; the implication of this is that they are ‘objects’ to be owned. Other references in male artist’s videos seek to represent their virility, masculinity and physical strength.

Videos which blatantly objectify the male form are usually done by female artists. These videos feature the uncommon ‘female gaze’.

Just as in the previous post, let’s look at ‘male objectification in music videos’ in Gifs.

Squat for the camera – Na Na

Yeah… what about it? – Lemme See

Did that just happen? – Naked

Anonymous torso – Super Bass

Who’s the boss? – Lay it on Me

“Is you big enough” – Rude Boy

Stripped – Call Me Maybe

Music Videos

Na Na – Trey Songz

This video takes no prisoners concerning ‘objectification’. Men (Trey Songz) and women (the female characters) are objectified. However, the women are objectified considerably more.

The sexual tension in this video arises from the clever manner in which exercise moves suggest sexual positions and actions. This sexual tension is further amplified by the video being shot in black and white.

Lemme See – Usher ft. Rick Ross

Anyone who knows Pop music knows Usher constantly objectifies his body, as he does in this video.

Usher starts off fully clothed and eventually he sings, “I decided to take my shirt off and show my chest” as he removes his shirt. He then continues most of the video shirtless, he caters to the ‘female gaze’, as many of his fans are female.

Naked – Marques Houston

This video which I discovered while researching the topic, is the height of male objectification for the ‘female gaze’.

Marques Houston is basically naked throughout the video. It is clear he performs for the ‘female gaze’, through his positions and movements.

Super Bass – Nicki Minaj

This video parallels Hip-Hop videos in which women are objectified. The men are merely objects to be looked at.

Early in the video, parts of the male form are objectified. A male torso, face, lips and eyes are shown – with no focus on who they ‘belong’ to.

In this video Nicki and her female companions are clearly in control. Towards the end of the video, they take control of the men and essentially dance ‘on’ them.

Lay it on Me – Kelly Rowland ft. Big Sean

As in my previous post I have to reference Lay it on Me. This video represents female control of men and the ‘female gaze’ of the male form, like no other.

In this video, the idea of men being background objects to look at is epitomised in a shot of Kelly covering a man’s private area. We have no idea who he is; he only serves to ‘sex-up’ the shot.

I got you covered

Rude Boy – Rihanna

This video by Rihanna, one of my favourites, on account of its crazy backgrounds and rendering of footage, treats men as decorative props.

The men in the video serve no other purpose, but to play Rihanna’s male counterparts. Female control of the male form is evident in the video, as in the shot where Rihanna checks if a man ‘measures up’ to her standards.

Call Me Maybe – Carly Rae Jepsen

In this humorous portrayal of male objectification and the ‘female gaze’ – Carly gawks at a shirtless neighbour while he mows the lawn.

In the end when it is discovered that Carly’s love interest is gay, she is quite surprised. This comical twist is more complex than it appears though, as it hints at the homosexual ‘male gaze’ – which is almost non-existent in mainstream Pop music.

In Conclusion

It is clear that there are music videos which objectify the male form and represent the ‘female gaze’, however as it stands, they are considerably less than those that objectify women.