Pushing the bounds

On November 19th, Kanye West released the music video for his new single “Bound 2” from his latest album Yeezus on the Ellen Show. The video starts as a strange mash-up of different and unrelated scenes, and eventually leads to different shots of the rapper and fiancé Kim Kardashian on a motorcycle, best described as soft porn. Kim, always the center of attention for one reason or another, is naked during the entire video and is literally mute. She assumes the role of the Other, the “object of vision: [the] sight”; she simply appears in the video, which supports gender-normative and sexist views of a woman (Butler).

When classic comedians Seth Rogan and James Franco watched this video, they were compelled to make a remake of the video. James Franco plays Kanye West, and Seth Rogan is the naked equivalent to Kim Kardashian. I think the video is a great way to utilize comedy to address a looming image of women still present in society. The comedians satirize the way that Kim is presented in this bizarre music video and playfully challenges norms of sexuality, gender roles, and how men are presented in the media.

What are your thoughts on the two videos? They’re played side-by-side below.

Butler, Judith. Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity. New York: Routledge, 1999. Print.

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One thought on “Pushing the bounds

  1. amaliad2013

    I completely agree with everything Kelly said about these two videos. The first time I watched Kanye’s Bound 2 video, I felt really uncomfortable – not because of Kim’s nudity, but because of the clearly Kanye-centric dynamic of their relationship in the video. I obviously wasn’t the only one who felt this way — Twitter blew up with a collective wail of disgust as fans proclaimed the video as #nauseating. It is hard not to note the awkwardness between the couple in the video. Never the feminist, Kim’s blank mannequin face and lack of involvement in the piece other than as a wordless object of lust has not won her any more female fans in my opinion. Furthermore, I think the James Franco/Seth Rogen remake of this video is taking a stab at Kim’s sexually-charged/intellectually-void presence and Kanye’s hyper-masculine/obnoxious presence in this video. I also agree with Kelly in how she said that the Franco/Rogen video is challenging the typical portrayal of men in music videos — Seth’s naked body is definitely being fragmented by the camera and revolving around the alpha male, James Franco. I wonder how the audience is taking the objectification of his body and this male/male dynamic?

    Reply

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