Having recently written two different articles for issue three of Semple magazine, one questioning the different ways that women dress when meeting men and the second focussing on how female musicians are marketed so differently to their male equivalents, it has been hard not to have music and dress on the mind.  I’ve been considering how staggeringly important music videos are, being such a key part of how an artist presents themselves: they have approximately three to four minutes of video time to hook their viewers not only on their song but on the film itself. You can often define a fashion era, music trend, or key cultural moments from watching the accompanying video to a single release. Those few minutes last a lifetime, forever being available to view on YouTube to anyone who can recall the song name and type it into the search bar. Music videos can be impressive, artist, intelligent or sometimes, just plain awful. Look to the likes of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, OK Go, Michael Jackson, Nirvana, and Blur for some of the best, then have a look at Rebecca Black, Cher Lloyd and JLS for the opposite end of the scale.



For better or for worse, much like the rage provoking Go Compare advertisements on television, some clips simply stick in your head. There is one particular moment in recent music cinematography that I wish I could erase from my mind, which, as it transpires, is one that many would also have been better off without. Not so long ago a British pop phenomenon hit us whose fame seems to show no signs of diminishing. All was well and good until members of our lovely general public began to feel the need to inform me of how much we look alike. Often when told how much you resemble a celebrity, feelings of flattery bubble up, the need to thank the kind commentator overwhelms. For me, this is not the case.


If likened to someone in the public eye for their innate fashion sense, incredible talent, even good legs then I might be pleased. However, when faced with a stranger squealing at me about how they have to get a photo proving they met Jessie J in a local pub in Surrey (think about the likelihood of that really happening), all I can think of is that moment in her viral video for ‘Do It Like A Dude’ when the songstress drops to the ground and grabs her crotch, trying to prove the point that if she feels the need to clutch her genitals like her male peers, so will you do so proudly. Forgive me for not wanting to be associated with that image. Whenever I share my disapproval of being overwhelmingly likend to the singer, I find that people immediately understand my opinion .Her catchy pop songs may dominate the radio, but still her immediate attempts at drawing publicity are not forgotten.

It seems that despite visual presentation and vocal talent, personality is still a vital part of the fame game. Regardless of their profession, the true celebrities of our generation either keep quiet and let their skills speak for themselves in a Kate Moss fashion, or aim to show off every aspect of their true nature to further win people over (we’re looking at you Cara Delevigne). Few women I know want to be associated with crotch grabbing and other unattractive male antics – in the years before Jessie J came on the scene I was often quite pleased when I received a Katy Perry comment for example, my thoughts being that she has a great stylist and fantastic hair. So in terms of making a lasting impression whether it’s those three short minutes be in a music video or any other situation for that matter, I’d say that the key to winning people over is just to be yourself, and absolutely avoid  ‘doing it like a brother’ even if you are trying to impress a group of men.

By Sophie Seymour.

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