A Guided Tour of Gender-Fuck Pop Iconography


I have just realised that the music press tends to ignore music videos, viewing them merely as vehicles for the real art- the music.

The aesthetic decisions necessary in making a band video seem to lead to decidedly non-male territory: you have to care about what you look like because it’s a visual medium, and vanity and narcissism are feminine attributes that get in the way of meaningful musicianship. BULLSHIT! Image is just as valid a way of expressing as some bleeding-heart earnest guitar song.
So, to kick off this new appreciation of the images a band creates, I’ll review FAN DEATH‘s new vid: REUNITED.

How many androgynous male pop stars can you fit in one video? Prince, Adam Ant, Axl Rose??, Brian Eno in ┬áhis Roxy Music heyday, Marilyn Mansun…

Boys like dressing up just as much as girls, and this video is rare because the sexiness is evenly spread between the girl band and the lookalike boys.

There’s a playful sexuality going on, which undermines how serious sex has got in videos in the past 10 years- house and rap are playing oneupmanship with sexploitation. REUNION is a timely antidote to all the Snoop Doggs and Benny Benassi’s tits’n’ass smorgasbords.

On a fashion tip, my favourite moment is at 1.42 when the AMAZING axl rose meets Andrew VanWyngarden guy flashes his gym knickers as he leaps from the car.

The skirt/kilt has made several attempts to be taken seriously- John Paul Gaultier couldn’t get it to work even in the midst of 80s excess, and Viv Westwood has similarly failed. Men just can’t get over the boy-trousers/girl-skirt dichotomy that has marred fashion from the outset.

I have worn a kilt, with much fear and jeering. It’s so hard to do because NO-ONE ELSE IN THE WORLD APART FROM HAIRY SCOTTISH NATIONALISTS WEARS A KILT!!!

It is a garment that oversteps some invisible gender boundary…