Media Analysis Task

Blurred Lines

Robin Thicke - Blurred Lines ft. T.I., Pharrell
This video (along with most of the lyrics) portrays a very unhealthy view of gender and sexuality, as well as being a veritable gold mine of stereotypes and discrimination. The men in this video are (mostly) fully dressed, while a lot of (mostly) naked women run around and pose provocatively. This enforces the stereotype that women only exist for mens sexual enjoyment and as 'eye candy', as well as the idea that men can do whatever they want to women, with no consequences.
This video also displays the (very strict) gender roles of the man in charge and the woman subject to his will. This is shown by the fact that the men in the video are fully dressed and standing up, while the women are crawling around almost entirely naked. This is not indicative of a healthy relaionship. This has more connections with a master/slave relationship than a healthy one.
Another problem with the music video and lyrics is:
Some negative behaviours and attitudes that may result from this song include:

  • Women being thought of as sex objects.
  • Negative body image for anyone, male or female, who doesn't look like the people in the video.
  • The idea that, while women are just eye candy, the men might actually have something productive to be doing (as shown in the way the men are fully dressed and the women are mostly unclothed).
  • Calling women 'bitches' is degrading. I don't mean if they've actually done anything bitchy, I mean just using the word interchangeably with 'women'.
  • After the release of the song and video, Robin Thicke apparently said this in an interview "What a pleasure it is to degrade a woman," "I've never gotten to do that before." He along with a few others have insisted the whole thing (or that statement anyway) was just a joke, but even if it was it's not exactly in very good taste.
Some positive things about this:

  • It has a catchy tune
  • It could be sexually liberating for people (women and men)

Potential Health Consequences and Unhealthy Attitudes

People are influenced by the media in many ways; we get most of our ideas of 'acceptable' behaviours and body types from mainstream media. Which wouldn't be a problem, even for impressionable young people, if it was in moderation. The problem with modern media, unfortunately, it's everywhere. We are constantly inundated by news, celebrities and advertisements. Some unhealthy attitudes that could result from this song include:

  • The assumption that women are only sex objects or eye candy
  • The idea that women only explore their sexuality when urged to by men or in relation to men
  • The idea that men can just treat women however they want with no consequences
  • I'm not entirely sure but I think the whole 'blurred lines' thing is about consent and the whole thing just adds more confusion to the (theoretically simple) concept of consent
Some potential health consequences are:
  • Domestic violence
  • Sexual abuse
  • Anxiety
These things are explored more on some of these places:

Young people might be able to support their own health and that of others by responsibly consuming media. We need to make sure young people have access to (unbiased) information about what they (we) see and hear all around us. Young people need to be sensible when exploring the internet and we need unrestricted access to information. Ignorance breeds contempt; if young people are kept in the dark about sex, or what people are actually like it will only cause more problems down the road. Of course, that solution's not perfect either.

But we (and I don't just mean young people) desperately need access to more than one point of view on any given subject, and teenagers especially need to have things properly explained.

Some websites to check out for more information are:
By Sophia Walston