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New Beyonce Videos March 1, 2007

Posted by ajaramillo in Uncategorized.

Since we just finished our class discussion about the portrayal of Beyonce and Jennifer Hudson in the media, I thought it would be appropriate to put up the two new Beyonce videos. The first one is for her newest single “Upgrade You,” and was the song that Professor Parham mentioned in class about the civil rights movement. I believe the line that Professor Parham was quoting is…

“I can do for you what Martin did for the people
Ran by the men but the women keep the tempo.”

I think that this video is very interesting because in one part, she actually acts as if she is Jay-Z. I do not know if this is some kind of message that women can be just as strong as men, but if it is I do find it strange that she continues to dance around herself as if she is trying to entice Jay-Z. (This will make more sense if you watch the video.)

I am also putting up her new video that features Shakira, “Beautiful Liar.” I feel that this video perfectly portrays the way that many Blacks and Latinas are shown in mainstream media. In this video both of the women come off as very light-skinned, blonde and “passable.” However, there is still an undeniable “ethnic” quality, which can be seen in the way that they are constantly belly-dancing and gyrating.



1. sindhub - March 4, 2007

In the “Beautiful Liar” video, it really is jarring how much the camera purposely flashes between Beyonce and Shakira, and how similar they’re made up to look (hair, clothing). I think the director probably purposely made this decision to emphasize how the song is about how they were two-timed by the same guy; however, to me, making them look almost the same takes away their individuality and objectifies them more since they seem so manufactured.

What I find interesting about the “ethnic” character of the video is how “exotic”/Orientalist it is. Shakira has always bellydanced (I think she’s stated that it’s her way of celebrating her Lebanese heritage?), but even the music has the Eastern twinge to it, especially at the beginning and after the bridge. And one of the backgrounds has Arabic writing, and another one has bamboo covered with orchid flowers, and even the way Beyonce was dressed in that part (in a kimono-style dress, with her hair pulled back) brought some popular images of “exotic” Japan to mind. I’m not sure what this means, though…

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