Music Video Analysis
Music Video “Don’t Let Me Get Me” by Pink
Nowadays mass media have become messengers of significant social processes and reactions to them. Music video “Don’t Let Me Get Me” (2001) by Pink presents a rather peculiar insight into the representation of the society in media. As a secondary product compared to the song, the clip possesses several layers of meanings. The most important of them are connected with gender stereotyping, as well as cultural interpretation of the American way of life implanted by the show business industry.
Idea of Music Video “Don’t Let Me Get Me”
Surface and deeper meaning in “Don’t Let Me Get Me” seem to be rather coordinated and harmonized. This effect is achieved by resorting to almost literal representation of the lyrics of the song. Freedom of visual sequence is partly secured by a simple structure of the text: there are only several verses, and the main body of the song is presented by refrains and choruses, and it is in the latter elements where clip-makers had full discretion. Pink clearly communicates that she would really like to spend at least one day in somebody else’s shoes. Her message is so strong and relating to the feelings of the majority of adolescents that in the music video it is interpreted literally. This idea is supported by numerous alternations in the singer’s identity through the clip and by substituting the singer on the stage by a range of other people. Nevertheless, a viewer can define several layers of the message in the video. On the one hand, it presents a typical teenage protest, but, on the other hand, this protest can be viewed as directed against the whole show business and music industry in particular.
Being a majority race representative, Pink does not convey a personalized race-charged message in her work. The same refers to “Don’t Let Me Get Me” music video which features people of different races but does not put an emphasis on this component. This solution seems to be in line with the current attitude towards media representation of racial minorities which were not subjected to substantial changes a decade after the release of the video. What concerns gender issues, they find a much wider representation in the music video. Pink resorts to stereotyping of the images of the American girls. It should be noted, however, that since the middle of the 20th century a typical female is not a housewife anymore. Sadly, nowadays due to the changes in behavior women are treated mostly as sexual objects, what makes them act correspondingly. An average American female, according to Pink, is beautiful and not very clever. Such tendencies also find their manifestation in the entertainment world, and the singer feels that she does not fit them. The psychosis featured in the video can be explained by the discrepancy between Pink’s individuality and the way society treats “a typical girl”. Violence in the music video is not blatant; in line with the song’s lyrics it is rather self-focused. The character of Pink triggers her violent endeavors. This self-conflict becomes embodied in external manifestations: the performer is ready to protect herself from everybody who tries to level her appearance with the artificial standards. Skilful knife handling and a small-sized tantrum at the stage depicted in the clip seem logical in this context. Thus, “Don’t Let Me Get Me” is also an outlet for media interpretation of gender stereotypes.
Ideology refers to systems of processes of understanding, explaining and evaluating the world and its separate phenomena. All kinds of mass media prove to be powerful sources of ideological messages. In the music video by Pink this aspect is implemented in the form of distinguishing the normal and deviant representations of the individual. The singer admits that she always had problems with meeting the demands of the “normal”, thus being treated by the society as a deviant. It should be noted, however, that the notion of “normal” in American culture communicated through mass media is a subject to severe stereotyping. In this regard, “Don’t Let Me Get Me” can be assessed as an attempt to prove that thinking outside the box deserves to exist and should not be persecuted by the supporters of some limiting standards of conduct. At a deeper level, Pink maintains an ideological argument over the controversies in the American way of life.
“Don’t Let Me Get Me” exerts a fair amount of enculturation messages. From the first second the viewer understands that the action takes place in the USA: a typical sports field, locker room and class are depicted. Apart from that, the makers of the video resort to a more significant cultural reference, that of describing the American show business. The scene in the producer’s office is a downright mockery. Pink conveys that in the modern world talent and diligence mean less than good looks, which appears to be especially effective in the music industry. Apparently, Los Angeles has the same cultural meaning in the music world as in the movie world; it is conquered by stereotypes and aimed at delivering to the audience the products it is eager to consume.
Music video “Don’t Let Me Get Me” by Pink conveys a generalized message regarding the way show business operates in the USA. This reference is enhanced by the personal experience of the singer reminiscing her younger years and the road to the stage. The video also resorts to ideological manifestations of the normal and deviant in the American society. Gender-related information of the clip is the most significant layer of it; Pink presents the most superficial features of women, claims that the society actually expects them to be shallow and manifests her disapproval of such an approach.