Distracted by the nice beat and the feel or attractiveness of Bruno Mars, many of us forget about the lyrical context the music industry promotes when men talk about women. While there have been many love songs that have hit the top charts, "Please Me" by Bruno Mars reinforces stereotypical gender roles on how exactly women are supposed to "please" or cater to men.
Women are being treated like second-class citizens.
At first glance, the lyrics are very sexual and refer to how women are supposed to do sexual favors for men. This reinforces the stereotype for women that they are sex objects and subjected to dehumanization. No matter how "cool" Bruno Mars or Cardi B might look having an attractive interaction and dressed up to the nines, to be a woman still being treated like a second-class citizen in 2019 is exhausting. My point is we have to stop profiting off of discriminatory stereotypes and care more about social responsibility.
Knowing that the music industry is organized around profit, it's easy to put out a song with a music video and message without caring who will interpret it. Like advertising, all that matters is partnership and viewership. Out of all the love and sex songs we know and love, having a song titled, "Please Me," obviously grabs attention for the title, but for all the wrong reasons.
Cardi B's girl gang represents an impossible standard of beauty.
For those who haven't seen the music video, there's a long list of reinforced stereotypes that are as old as time. First, Cardi B appears with her girl gang dressed as if they were models, toys, and representing an impossible standard of beauty. Cardi B and her girl gang are seen holding a lollipop that symbolizes how they want or Cardi B specifically,(yes, I actually have to say this) lick Bruno Mars's lollipop. The lyrics that support this time frame in the video are:
" Lollipoppin' (poppin'), twerkin' in some J's (ooh) On the dance floor (uh-huh), no panties in the way (nope)I take my time with it (ow), bring you close to me (ow) Don't want no young dumb shit Better fuck me like we listenin' to JodeciI was tryna lay low (low), takin' it slow (slow) When I'm fuckin' again (ayyy)"
Second, Cardi B's girl gang faces the cashier and persists to shake their booties as guys openly touch their butts and mimic having sex disguised as a dance move. This signifies ownership of women by allowing men to do anything to them in this part of the video. Third, if that wasn't enough, wait until the girl gang hops on the cashier counter and persists to twerk and smack their butts like a stripper.
No matter how much you might like Cardi B or Bruno Mars, we should all be disappointed and expect better from all artists. Portraying a stereotypical video as men being dominant is old and downright not creative or unique.
Instead of asking, "Why was this video made," we can instead dismiss it as a false reality that doesn't align with how life should be portrayed.
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