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Power Monday: Madonna

First let me take a step back: What the heck is Power Monday? EDF is going to kick off the week by choosing a real-life Exceptionally Desirable Female and highlighting exactly what makes them so amazing.

In honor of this year’s VMAs, yours truly went on a search for females in the history of music videos. I buried my nose in Google and found:

  • a Wikipedia article on the history of music videos that said nothing about women;
  • lots of articles on sex-role stereotyping and visual exploitation of women in music videos;
  • links to the “hottest” music videos, “featuring 2 beautiful women making out,” or the like.

When you think about it, this isn’t too surprising. I think of the music videos of my past, my memory churns up images of skinny girls in bikinis, skinny girls in bikinis on motorcycles, skinny girls in bikinis rolling around in questionable substances. I don’t think I have to spell out what the common themes are here.

Of course, there’s a fine line between exploitative and sexy. There’s nothing wrong with struttin’ your stuff, especially if you’ve got it goin’ on to the degree Shakira does inher video for “Gypsy,”  or JLo in “I’m Into You”. And of course I have to mention Gaga‘s videos, which, though she is often scantily clad, belong under the category of art more than just about any other artists’ videos today.

That said, there is a huuuuuge difference between these and the way other videos portray women. For example, the video for “Bow Chicka Wow Wow” (Mike Posner feat. Lil Wayne) is disgusting. You couldn’t pay me enough money to be one of the women in that video, who act disinterested in Posner and Lil Wayne until they flip a magical switch, emitting an obnoxious noise that is apparently a universal cue for women to jump whatever bones happen to be lying in front of them. Not to mention Lil Wayne’s feature begins with the oh-so-memorable line, “I got a leather couch.” Yeah? So? You ain’t gonna see me on it any time soon.

I could keep up this rant, but I’m getting off-topic. Despite the fact that my search yielded very little information on the female side of music video history, I finally decided that Madonna was the perfect first-ever Power Monday EDF.

Madonna 3 by David Shankbone

Why she kicks butt: Well, she’s Madonna. ‘Nuf said.  She released her first single, “Everybody,” in 1982, and since then hasn’t stopped rockin’ everything from the stage to the silver screen.  And if there’s anyone that SHOULD be in the history of music videos, it’s Madonna. She’s won 20 MTV Video Music Awards. One of the twenty is the lifetime achievement “Video Vanguard Award,” which she took home in 1986. The short story: not many stars can claim to have the sort of epic career she has had.

10 things you might not know (source)

  • She was born in Bay City, Michigan. Midwest respresent!
  • She’s been vegetarian since age 15.
  • She’s been in 22 flims.
  • There’s a 13-foot statue of Madonna in Pacentro, Italy, where here grandparents immigrated from.
  • Her true name is…Madonna! Yep, she was born with it.
  • Gwenyth Paltrow was her maid of honor in 2000.
  • She designed a clothing line for H&M in 2007.
  • In 2010 she started a chain of fitness centers called “Hard Candy”.
  • Sting is her son Rocco’s godfather.
  • She published her first children’s book in 2003 and has since published nine other books.

Here’s to a happy Monday and a fabulous week!
Queen B.

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