April 4, 2007

Christina Aguilera became famous with her first debut single, “Genie in a Bottle,” in 1999. Back then she was a seemingly innocent eighteen year old girl with blonde, blonde hair whose most revealing clothes only showed her belly. But with the release of her second album, “Stripped,” Christina looked like a completely different woman. The “Genie in a Bottle” girl did not like being marketed as a bubblegum artist and so she insisted on showing off a sexier side that was truer to her personality. And she definitely put her new image out there in her raunchy video, “Dirrty.”

The video is definitely showing everything that is typically considered “dirty” from her backless-chaps to her riding the men. And the lyrics sound just as suggestive. One reporter said, “She was a raven-haired, scantily clad sexpot getting her slut on in Dirrty.” The first glimpse of Christina is her butt peeking out underneath her underwear. Then we keep getting close-ups on her mouth, but we are also aware of her piercings, which are usually associated with wilder images. Her gyrating moves are scandalous especially when done in a shower scene with other girls. But in the video, she’s also a biker girl and a fighter which both say something more than sex. Christina gives herself a stronger side. But why does being a fighter and a biker still have some connotation of wildness? For men, motorcycles and fights are normal, but put a woman in the same role and there’s more thrill in seeing her. Moreover, when the women fight or are dancing in the ring, there are only men cheering them on–putting them in the center of men. I saw this as the women being just a sport to watch; they seem more objectified since the only spectators were men.

In response to the controversy surrounding the “Dirrty” video, Christina Aguilera said, “Dirrty was my take on coming of age. It was a song about being free of any inhibitions and just letting it all out and cutting lose. I had so much fun on that video and I felt so empowered. If anything, I look back and realize that the greatest thing about it was that no matter what your opinion was on it, people were talking about it.” Christina feels empowerment by being so sexually uninhibited, but are other young women feeling this empowerment when watching her? Is the power of newer generations of women centered on sex?


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