So I watched this music video, and this is in fact completely untrue. There are many scenes in which black/brown girls are casted.
One could conceivably argue that any white star who features twerking in a music video is automatically being exploitative.
However, that was not my perception of this video in particular. It actually appeared to me the director took pains to portray a variety of dance styles (ballet, interpretive dance, rhythmic gymnastics, break dancing, twerking, cheerleading, etc.) all as equally valid art forms. Every performing group in the video includes a variety of ethnicities. I think I did actually see a black/brown dancer in the ballet troupe, though it’s difficult to tell. Look in the rear left of this gif:
We don’t know if they cast individual dancers or hired a dance troupe, so if black women are underrepresented that might say more about the dance troupe’s selection practices than the video director’s casting practices.
All the styles of dance, ballet or otherwise are presented in the same fashion — talented professionals being brilliant + Taylor Swift being endearingly incompetent. The black women in the video aren’t portrayed as Taylor’s dancing accessories, but rather as experts in their style:
Moreover, at the end of the video there’s a sequence showing all the different professionals being silly and dancing in a non-choreographed manner, thereby humanizing them, showing they exist outside of their role as dancers in Taylor’s video:
I think if we interpret the twerking scenes in this video as demeaning, that says more about our cultural perception of black women than it does about this particular video’s specific portrayal of black women.
Wow. I’m not really a Taylor fan, but I’m glad this was pointed out.
^^^^ our girl did great! taylorswift did represent people of different genders and races in a variety of roles, and did so marvelously.
A few weeks ago, I was made privy to the fact that my abuser worked for the same company that I did. By “made privy”, I mean “ran into him in an elevator and dissolved into a sobbing mess in the bathroom”.
Obviously, I needed to get out of there and was able to find a job at a company I feel I mesh with and I feel safe at. I found out yesterday that I got that job and was give a start date of two weeks from now. I feel incredibly lucky to have been able to find a job so quickly, let alone one that’s as good as this job.
I put in my two weeks notice at my previous employer and was let go on the spot. Florida is a right-to-work state, so they aren’t legally obligated to honor my two weeks. This leaves me without a paycheck right before rent is due. I won’t receive my first paycheck for my new job until around the 26th of September and my bills are due on the 20th.
I normally don’t seek the help of others, but I’m truly backed into a corner here.
I’m only asking for $400 to help me make it until the 26th. This includes my rent (my landlord is allowing me to only pay half this month and I can put the other half towards next month), my cellphone bill (my only means of communication), and my inhaler refill.
If you can donate anything at all, I would be eternally grateful to you. Like I said before, I normally don’t ask for things like this and I know things are tight for all of us, but anything helps my situation out at all.
Thank you <3
Hey everyone, this is one of my friends (who no longer has a tumblr). Please, if you can help or signal boost, this is a REALLY shitty situation, and getting terminated essentially for putting in a two weeks’ notice is awful.
You all probably know by now that I don’t blog/reblog donation requests unless I have extreme confidence and familiarity with the person in question, so please take my support for what it’s worth. Please help my friend, who only wants to be in a safe working environment.
I make you guys turn in a rough draft early because I know students. You'd procrastinate with the final draft otherwise. You'd sit at home and be like, "Waahhh, I don't wanna write. I just want to watch Supernatural and go to band practice."
Suddenly strong language and cuddling are ‘controversial.’
Movie ratings are often ridiculous, but this year the MPAA might have gone too far. Love Is Strange, a quiet story about an elderly gay couple who face homelessness, received an R rating. Understandable, if clothed cuddling, conversations between family members and Cheyenne Jackson count as controversial movie content.
The sad reality is that the rating reeks of a reluctance to consider homosexuality as an uncontroversial, everyday fact.
In Love Is Strange, nobody is naked and nobody has sex on camera. There is no blood or physical violence. There is swearing, yes; maybe half a dozen instances and nothing particularly strong. The great-nephew of John Lithgow’s character tells him to “fuck off,” and other curses are interspersed in the dialogue once or twice. That’s it. In comparison, the weekend’s other movie that drew an R rating was Sin City 2: A Dame to Kill For — a film filled with bloodlust, nudity and shlocky misogyny. The real question: How are both of these films rated R?
The official answer to that question can be found on the MPAA website, which classifies an R-rated film as one that:
Contains some adult material. Parents are urged to learn more about the film before taking their young children with them.
Note that the action movie The Expendables 3, bloody and destructive as it is, only warranted a PG-13 rating. The Hunger Games, full of bloody child-on-child murders, is a PG-13. Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, full of dour cityscapes, rampant crime and psychopathic terrorists, was also only a PG-13. Apparently rampant violence is not enough for parental accompaniment. One has to wonder if the MPAA found something other than a rogue F-word objectionable for young people about Love Is Strange. The quick answer, and the conclusion to which many people are jumping, is the presence of homosexual couples as main characters.
Many other movies that have featured gay couples have also been rated R. The Kids Are All Right, a pretty tame, charming movie with one sex scene, was rated R. The Birdcage, starring Nathan Lane and Robin Williams as an older gay couple, was also rated R. Velvet Goldmine, My Beautiful Laundrette, Brokeback Mountain, My Summer Of Love and Milk, all movies with gay relationships, also all received R ratings. While some of them may have deserved the rating for other content, there seems to be a consistent theme across gay-centric movies the MPAA rates. Something about them seems to merit an R rating, which usually accompanies far more violent, racy pictures than Love Is Strange.
J. Bryan Lowder points out in a recent Slate piece that Love Is Strange shows a beautiful, happy marriage and a hopeful future for young gay men: “It offers a vision of a gay romantic future that, while beset with a specific struggle, is also full of love, as well as a sense of community and history — older, happy gay people exist! […]for the straight kids, the film can reinforce the dignity of gays and their relationships in a way that abstract lectures never could.”
The Wrapcompared this outrage to previous examples of nervous ratings for gay movies. Last year director Darren Stein posted to Facebook that his gay-centric movie G.B.F. had received an R rating which he couldn’t understand: “Perhaps the ratings box should more accurately read ‘For Homosexual References’ or ‘Too Many Scenes of Gay Teens Kissing.’ I look forward to a world where queer teens can express their humor and desire in a sweet, fun teen film that doesn’t get tagged with a cautionary R.”
A spokesman for the MPAA asserted that profane language was the sole reason for the R rating. But according to a Huffington Post piece on the proliferation of F-bombs in modern cinema, usages of the word that are contextually appropriate or inconspicuous are allowed under MPAA rulings. Having seen the film, I can barely remember where the profanity was anything more than that.
Great examples of LGBT characters in family-friendly projects have already made their way onto screens: Mitch in ParaNorman, who admits to having a boyfriend; the gay parents who appeared on Disney TV show Good Luck Charlie; the married lesbian couple Madame Vastra and Jenny in Doctor Who. Shows like Girls and Looking on HBO also provide teen audiences with gay male characters who show how multifaceted and varied gay men can be. But there is always more to be done, and a rating like this is a step backwards.
By including LGBT characters in the wider media landscape of the world, children and teenagers are exposed to a version of the world that contains a wide variety of sexual orientations. There’s no reason for parental accompaniment to a quiet film about an older couple.
One of my favorite things about the new Doctor Who episode is the emphasis on the relationship between Madame Vastra and Jenny, and that they are married. It’s so important to not only have gay and lesbian characters that are an example to other characters. Like when Clara compares her relationship with the Doctor to Jenny and Vastra, and Jenny’s like “eff that, she’s my wife and my love, you crazy future girl”. Important.