Analysis Of Laura Mulvey 's Express Yourself Essay

784 Words Mar 11th, 2015 4 Pages
Laura Mulvey argues in her essay that women do not see the world as observers and instead, they are only to be seen. Outlets of popular culture, such as magazines, tell women to wear certain clothes, stand with a specific posture, and make a pouty, sexy face to obtain a man. These attributes put together symbolize the straight female. In a heteronormative world, this is what it means to be beautiful and sexually available. Thus, the male gaze is ubiquitous in culture of the past and present. This contributes to narrow and unrealistic cultural beauty standards. However, Madonna, a famous singer, made a career by toying with the male gaze. Although Madonna’s “Express Yourself” video initially presents itself as a dip into feminism, a more analytical viewpoint through the use of camera angles and the actions of the characters reveal the scopophilic elements described in Laura Mulvey’s “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema.” The music video tells a linear story about a woman who is married to an owner of a factory and is the property of this man. Madonna is trapped in her husband’s tower, and even when she is “rescued” by the man who saves her cat, she is not actually allowed to leave captivity (Madonna). Instead, she has sex with a stranger who wanders into her room. The camera captures angles of Madonna as she smiles and pouts through lowered lashes, which invites the audience to come closer and look. Women are valued for their ability to be looked at and to be pleasing in…

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