Brazilian, as defined by the Oxford Dictionary is known as a native or inhabitant of Brazil, or a style of waxing a woman’s public hair in which almost all the hair is removed, with only a very small central strip remaining (see the Oxford English Dictionary at http://www.oed.com.proxy.lib.pdx.edu/). As a female American/Brazilian citizen it is quit terrifying to see that in the definition of Brazilian, in the English Dictionary, as a definition for modification on a women’s body. Since my ethnicity makes up a huge part of who I am and, who I am continuing to become, I wanted to study something in our modern popular culture that would interest me. Therefore, I decided I would research how the representation of Brazilian women in music videos such as: I Got It From My Mama, Beautiful ft. Pharrell Williams, and P.D.A. (We Just Don’t Care), gives the wrong idea of how Brazilian women are outside of American culture.
I Got It From My Mama, a well thought out music video produced by will.i.am and A&M, is dedicated to the Brazilian women. In the opening scene of the music video you notice advertising for Rio De Janeiro, Brazil in the magazine that will.i.am is holding. When the magazine is lowered you are on one of the beautiful beaches of Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. The camera pans from one beautiful tan/dark women to the next, dancing in their small sized bathing suits. In this music video the women are used as objects to express their status and identity.
Meaning women are used to show the rappers status in society, and the identities of their culture, in this case Brazilian’s are represented as sexual. Consumers consuming this video now relate Brazilian women with a consumer culture. They want to have Brazilian women on their arms to represent them in society and to showcase the identity of these “sexual” women by their side. The whole music video only purpose is to portray/show beautiful Brazilian women, and how their sexual identities can hold up a rapper’s status in society.
In artifact two, Beautiful ft. Pharrell Williams, we see another portrayal of Brazilian women and their “sensual” bodies. The music video was directed by Chris Robinson of Partizan Entertainment and produced by Renata Chuquer. This music video took place in Lapa district, Rio de Janeiro, which they conveyed as the Brazilian favela. A favela is known as a shabby town, also a town where all the poor people of Brazil live. The music video opens up with a little boy speaking Portuguese and handing Snoop Dogg the phone, then the video starts.
The music video shows a lot of Rio De Janeiro, Brazil and then it starts to primarily show the women of Brazil. In the beginning scenes you see the women of Brazil in their small bathing suits, hanging around Snoop Dogg and Pharrell. It starts to create a certain allusion, of the women of Brazil. The allusion is created by what Author Jasmin Mitchell would call the Imagining of the Mulatta. The main purpose of this article is to essential discuss how popular media represents mulatta/mulata (woman of African and European descent). In particular, this video specially sexualizes mulatta women and portrays them as the dominate in the Brazilian culture, although they are the least dominate. Again, Snoop Dogg and Pharrell are using women to represent, and demonstrate their status in society.
In my final source, P.D.A. (We Just Don’t Care), the music video concerns the sexual attractiveness of women through the lyrics. In the opening of the music video you are introduced too, two different couples exploring Brazil in different ways. The younger couple exploring the more rundown areas of Brazil, the favela. They are riding around in a little motorcycle smiling and laughing. The older couple is exploring Brazil through black and white camera in a more sophisticated manner. They are getting lost in their love through the camera lens.
In the middle of the music video you see a little bit of an allusion of the younger couple being a reflection of the older couple. After this scene you see the older couple getting lost in making love in the bedroom, while the younger couple gets lost in the night life of Brazil. It is a small demonstration of the country of Brazil and more a storyline of the love of the couples. Although the music video does a good job at keeping sexualized images to a medium. We still uncover the dominate theme of Brazilian women used as status for the artist singing. We see this in the filming of the video, and through critically analyzing the lyrics. The women in this video are more reserved in identity, but are still extremely sexualized.
With the critical investigating of these three music video I discovered that majority of music videos that have depictions of the Brazilian women, the mulata women, as extremely sexual and a social status. Although all the depictions are similar because they are music videos, I would challenge my finding when looking at other popular culture mediums. A wide range of other mediums (news, social media, and etc.) also portray Brazilian women in this sexual manner. I strongly believe that major of mediums involving Brazilian women are sexualized and unorthodox. When was the time you saw a Brazilian women represented differently? Thus is why I feel that Brazilian women are poorly represented in modern popular culture. Do you feel the same?
Crean, L. (2001) Women, Race and Popular Culture in Brazil, Journal of Beliefs & Values, 22:2, 229-230, DOI: 10.1080/13617670120079523
Dogg, S. [emimusic]. (2009, February 24). Beautiful ft. Pharrell Williams. [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_FE194VN6c4
Legend, J. [johnlegendVEVO]. (2009, February 24). P.D.A. (We Just Don’t Care). [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZwbNesQeods
Mitchell, J. (2000). “Popular Culture Imaginings of the Mulatta: Constructing Race, Gender, Sexuality, and Nation in the United States and Brazil”.
Will.I.Am.[williamVEVO]. (2009, November 22). I Got It From My Mama. [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XomQLhjCYYk