Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Robyn Clements - Third Place in Rotary Young Photographer of the Year 2013

Women in Music by Robyn Clements

This body of work is about the portrayal of women in the media, particularly in songs. The way that singers and writers perceive the women in their lyrics says a lot about how they feel about these women, and women in general. Men tend to view them as unattainable objects they know little about but have built up to be perfect due to one or two minor details, ignoring the flaws that make them human; or people that have ruined their lives. (In ‘Every Man has a Molly’, the singer does just that, though her breaking up with him was perfectly justified.)

There is a major change when looking at how women view other women – usually. There are the obvious few who engage in ‘girl-hate’, believing they are better than the object of their affections’ girlfriends, because they are more virtuous, academically intelligent and less popular, who contribute the diminishing of their gender to one or two stereotypes. Hayley Williams of Paramore says she regrets certain lyrics in their hit ‘Misery Business’ for these reasons, as when she wrote it she was surrounded and influenced by teenage boys.

Then there are singers who, in their works, subvert this, portray their muses as strong but flawed, and question the society that inspires the aforementioned kind of behaviour. They are also unapologetic concerning their attitude in the business, as men would not be called out on it.

In any of these views, the characters involved are interesting and often incompletely represented. Who they might actually be, what they may actually be like intrigues me. Do they know the songs are about them? And do they think they are accurate?

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