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With Careful Textual Analysis Of Any One Media Text (For Example Television Advertising, Fashion On Film, Music Videos Etcetera...) Explore The Relationship Between Fashion And Mass Media

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"With careful textual analysis of any one media text (for example television advertising, fashion on film, music videos etcetera...) explore the relationship between fashion and mass media"

The mass media can be described as a form of communication designed to reach a vast audience without any personal contact between the senders and receivers. This includes several institutions, including books, magazines, adverts, newspapers, radio, television, cinema, and videos that occupy a central and essential role in our lives. I will specifically be exploring and discussing the relationship between fashion and the music video. Both are considered to have a symbiotic relationship; where one cannot operate without the other; I am looking to investigate the to what extent this statement is true; I want to investigate whether the contemporary music video has become an advertisement for empty capitalist ideologies.

The mass media can also be referred to as a 20th century "Pop Culture"; it shares the same origins, including popular music, film, television, radio, video game, book and comic book publishing industries.

Modern urban mass societies have been heavily influenced by the introduction of new technologies of sound and image broadcasting, and the growth of mass media industries, especially the film and television industry, which are reliant on interaction (in order to make money, and maintain capitalism) between those industries that promote, and those, that consume their products.

Dave Harker (1992) points out that that the 1960s was a period heavily influenced and dominated by rock music in particular; this was the earliest example of popular music taking form, for example it became popular radio play, record releases and sales were at their highest during this particular period, and rock was being rotated over a range of media including films and theatrical theatre shows such as Sound Of Music.

Twenty years later pop rock music was arguably at it's most influential. With the rise of modern technology, the music video had been introduced.

Pop and rock music was regared as an aspect of "promotional culture" (Wernick 1991) where basic principles of the advertising and selling of goods such as soap powder were applied to other other spheres such as politics and university life, and then the music industry.

Pop and rock were heavily promoted forms; music was promoted and analysed in the print media such as music newspapers and magazines. Eventually music was then promoted through the use of the music video.

The music video is a short film used to present a visual representation of a popular music song. During the 1980s, with the introduction of American cable television channel MTV ("Music Television" launched in 1981) it was heavily used as a marketing device to increase sales of recordings, aimed at adolescents and young adults.

E. Ann Kaplan (1987) makes a crucial point about the transformation of the music video. She argues the traditional linear progression of a narrative in relation to the song had been abandoned. Music videos were all now based on the selling and reinforcement of the dominant culture's capitalist ideologies; right-winged ideas on a range of topics. Analysing videos shown on rotation on MTV - Kaplan found that most were reliant on repetition; all videos loosely covered the same themes of romance, love and loss - where the female body was used as a sign of oppression. And the male body was used as a sign of high power and dominance.

Laura Mulvey's (Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema, 1975) feminist film criticism of women in traditional Hollywood film reinforces the previous statement made by Kaplan. Mulvey reveals that women in Hollywood during the 1950s were objectified; the cinema was a highly gendered misogynist genre. She argued that women took on the "male gaze"; they were eroticised for the sole pleasure and catering of men.

Mulvey's statement can be applied to the contemporary music video, for example, Madonna's video for the single Hung Up (2005, Johan Renck, Appendix: Image 1) does not even follow any form of a narrative; instead the main focus of the video is on her; the performance of her female body; Fred Davis (1994) argues in particular, women's appearance seems to have a key role to self and identity; fashion is often considered by many people an expression of sexuality and gender roles, for example, Madonna is shown dancing seductively, whilst showing off her athletic, fit body in little pink clothing and emmacualte make-up; a covert connotations and cultural construction of femininity and the importance of maintaining beauty. Even at the age of forty-seven; the importance of looking beautiful and maintaining beauty is highly encouraged.

Gwen Stefani can be described as a similar kind of sign... her body in itself is a recognisable narrative - she is instantly associated with her distinct physical appearance, and her career as a performing artist.

She is a globally established successful singer and acteress, renown for her trademark platinum blond hair, bright red lipstick and distinct dress sense.

Stefani is arguably one of the most influential icons to come out of the 21st century; she is feauterd daily over a range of mass media including the internet, radio, television and magazines.

Stefani is primarily addressed as a musician, however she is predominantly associated with being an elite fashionista; many fans aspire to her unique dress sense.

Using her eclectic music as a muse to create and reflect a similar eclectic dress sense, Stefani uses her fashion identity as a selling point, and markets and promotes it to her audience covertly through her music videos...

It is crucial for her to maintain her trademark stylish looks; so that she can still remain and be regarded a significant in the music media industry.

Music consumption is considered as a sign of identity; belonging to a particular cultural group - whether it is in relation to the individual's age, class, gender, and ethnicity; Stefani uses her fashion to create a similar kind of association and identity.

Stefani paid four Japanese, Harajuku girls from the stylish fashion district, Tokyo to follow her around and feature in all her solo music videos as stylish dressed dancers. Stefani may have used the Harajuku Girls to establish herself further in Japan, so that Japanese fans could at least associate themselves with a similar culture to that of the Harajuku girls if not Stefani, (therefore allowing her audience to experience polysemic interpretations of her music) at least in terms of gender, ethnicity, and geography,

Many critics have argues that Gwen treats her

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