Time to piss off some Ne-Yo fans! Time to prove, that feminist won’t stop moaning until they have it all! ;)
Since we started this month discussing popular movies, why not take a closer look at one popular video? Last time I checked it had over 65 million views and far more likes than dislikes. I’m talking about “Miss Independent” video and song. I guess some of you like it.
Before I come to bitter part, let me write something sweet first. Thanks Mr. Ne-Yo for trying your best to depict working women as desirable date and claiming that you love independent women, because they don’t want shit from you. That is progress from “gold digger” videos and yes, it feels much better to listen to a song about independent women, than “all the bitches love me” stuff. I honestly thank you for showing that man doesn't have to be scared by confident women.
However, the song and video are far from feminist dream, so sorry, I won’t be taking it as my “girl power” anthem.
First of all, how many offices have you seen filled with women who look like super models? I bet loving such a beautiful, independent women isn’t that hard after all. Women shown in the video conform to beauty standards that hardly any women meet, independent women are not exception here. If your secretary was as beautiful as a model, she would most probably become one and then play in Ne-Yo’s video about working women. I’m not saying being a model is not a job. Being a model is making money of beauty and that’s something majority of women don’t do at work. Naomi Wolf, in her book “The Beauty Myth”, calls modeling a “display profession” and describes it's correlation with feminist movement like this:
“Until women’s emancipation, professional beauties were usually anonymous, low in status, unrespectable. The stronger that women grow, the more prestige, fame, and money is accorded to display professions: they are held higher and higher above the heads of rising women, for them to emulate.”
Women face enough scrutiny in the work place for their looks and they don’t need any more reinforcement of the idea that they have to be beautiful enough, young enough or stylish enough to be worth of success.
Pressure on women to be beautiful makes them spend their precious time on unimportant tasks like researching what is trendy now, putting on makeup every day, making their hair look perfect, their nails look perfect, their butt look perfect– trying every morning to look elegant, professional, yet feminine. Even listening makes me sick. Biggest question is – for how many jobs out there, knowing what’s trendy is a crucial skill? Men simply take shower, shave, put on their suits and frankly, no one can really tell how many suits they have, because they all look so freaking similar.
Time is not the only thing working women have to waste. They also spent way too much money on beauty maintenance in order to be young for as long as possible and be visible in the work market for as long as possible. Designer clothes, anti aging creams and makeup are not cheap if any of you wondered ;) some say that professional women spend around a third of their salary to preserve their looks. Combined with the fact that average women still earns less than men for doing the same job, only increases the odds of women heaving less savings by the time they retire.
In this context, Ne-Yo’s video does a very good job for fashion and cosmetic industries, and big disservice to independent women. Keeping women’s self-esteem low (and it really cannot be very high if any women compares herself with models) is equivalent with keeping sales of often useless products high.
Now my favorite part - lyrics. I’m always angry that the first compliment to give women is “you look good” or “you are beautiful”. It simply undermines any success you can achieve as a woman, because first and foremost you have to be beautiful. If you’re not considered pretty, but you are successful/happy, people say you are successful despite being ugly, as if it was a disability. Or they say... well you cannot have everything girl, but at least you’re happy with yourself.... Maybe you are not the most beautiful women on the planet, but hey, you are Secretary of State, not so bad! Ne-Yo’s song doesn't represent anything better, because the fist important thing is:
“there's somethin about just somethin about the way she's move”.
What if she didn't move so sexily, would she still steal Ne-Yo’s heart?
There is something that puts me off even more than priorities, because those are really not such a big surprise. The secret to why “Miss Independent” is not so revolutionary is hidden in those verses:
“Cause she walk like a boss talk like a boss;
Cause she move like a boss do what a boss”.
Yeah, she’s not really a boss; she just acts like a boss. Maybe that makes her so sexy? Paying her share of bill on a night out, heaving her own place, being self confident and not really putting him out of his comfort zone of being the true boss?
“She made for a boss only a boss;
Anything less she telling them to get lost”
There is no doubt in the video as to who is the boss in that office. Ne-Yo - the truly blessed man who works among the most beautiful office staff in history of this planet. Boss who has to be appeased since morning - “good morning Ne-Yo :) :) “, “good morning Ne- Yo”, because looking like a super model is not enough in that office to operate the copy machine, you also have to be pleasurable and likable without air of bossiness (licking fingers with sexy gazes at their boss or getting into his personal space are just some of the proposed ways they can achieve that).
Honestly, evaluating looks he’s giving his employees are for me eligible for sexual harassment lawsuit. Unless of course, he’s official Head of Committee on Cleavage Supervision in his company.
In the world were money and sex appeal are often inextricable it shouldn't be such a big deal that men is confused about what’s so amazing about this girl. Is it her sexy moves, flirtatious eyes or “bills paid on time”? Even he “can't figure it out”.
Just putting it out to you girls that you should realize how deeply embedded beauty standards are in our society and even a song about independent, hard-working women has to feed us info about how we should look. I know, video without super models is not a popular video, so Ne – Yo probably “had no choice” deciding about actors – that’s exactly why I moan about beauty standards!
It is possible to be beautiful and smart, but thanks messages from popular media we began believing that if woman is not pursuing the ultimate goal of being beautiful, she’s lazy and she deserves (inevitable) punishment for not achieving this goal.
I hope you understand by now why those nasty feminists simply can’t be happy with anything or why it is, that “Miss Independent” didn't quite do the job of advertising strong, independent women in my opinion.
To summarize it quickly I would just like to say, that “half marathon” is only half of a marathon, even though it has word “marathon” in its name.
Written by Inanna