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Britney Spears–empowering or insulting?

“You want a hot body, you better work. You want a Maserati, you better work.” Britney Spears’s new song Work Bitch is a new wave of controversy. The lyrics are all about putting in work to make it to the fast-lane lifestyle. The video has sexual outfits and scenes alluding to racy behavior. The music video certainly got the UK’s attention, being banned within a week. Fox news reported that it is a “stab at her own gender.”

However, is the meaning of the song empowering?

Susan Bordo believes “Today, however, the well-muscled body has become a cultural icon; working out is a glamorized and sexualized yuppie activity.” Heather Locklear, a promoter for Bally Matrix Fitness Centre believes “ You exercise, you diet, and you can do anything you want.” I agree. I think that the song in general is inspiring. The sexualization is a bit much in the music video but the overall message works. Being physically fit and a woman can feel very empowering. Having the ability to do certain things and achieve goals such as earning a large salary, or losing weight is evidence of success. The song lyrics encourage the listener to work hard because things such as these can be achieved if the listener is willing to put in that work.

Bordo also believes that “the body has become a symbol of correct attitude. It means that one cares about oneself and how one appears to others, suggesting willpower, energy, control over infantile impulse, the ability to shape your life.” I could not agree more. Society has centered success around appearance, and as unfortunate as it may be, it is the truth.

Bordo, Susan. The Slender Body. https://genderandsociety2013.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/bordo-reading-the-slender-body.pdf.

McKay, Holly. Fowx News. 2013. http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2013/09/17/britneys-back-with-another-bitch-song/.

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