Monday, November 25, 2013

Hear Me Roar

Last week, my eight-year old daughter and I watched Katy Perry's "Roar" video on my smart phone. I forgot that I had forbidden her to watch pop music videos. By the end of the song, I remembered why.

At the beginning of the video, Perry and a young man are exploring the jungle. He's soon taken out of the picture by a tiger, and the rest of the video focuses on Ms.Perry's exploits. She hunts, builds herself a hut, and tames animals. I like the idea that a woman can survive on her own. But may I speak to someone in the Jungle Wardrobe Department?

By the end of the video Perry wears a grass skirt and a leopard-skin top that reveals a lot of cleavage. Granted, a woman must have appropriate clothing for the jungle heat. But let's face it -- the point of the outfit is to show off Perry's body. Maybe her curvy body helps us associate femaleness with power. Nice idea, but I'm guessing that's not what girls hear. They get a mixed message. "You can do anything you set your mind to. But your value is also tangled up in your appearance."

I guess it's progress. In my childhood, many female leads were beautiful, but helpless. Today, some of them are beautiful and powerful. Let's hope we'll continue to advance, and one day rock stars will sing in the tropics without showing so much skin. A woman who tames the jungle while keeping her dignity -- that's a real tigress.

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