Roar: A Thematic Analysis

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In modern society, feminism is defined as being part of a cultural world that is expressed within the media rather then as critical, independent voices. In other words, feminism can now be described as ‘post-feminism’, whose boundaries are closely linked to those of ‘antifeminism’, ‘new traditionalism’, and ‘third-wave feminism’. According to scholars such as Jess Butler, Rosalind Gill, and Marjorie Jolles, post-feminism offers a contradictory and patterned approach to feminist ideals, which are revised and more often then not, attacked. Today, past feminist victories, such as gender equality, are seen to be common sense. Females have the ability to do anything males can do socially, politically, and economically (Gill 161). Furthermore, there…show more content…
In modern society, women are “portrayed as active, desiring sexual subjects who choose to present themselves in a seemingly objectified manner because it suits their liberated interest to do so” (Gill 151). This is a revision of pre-feminist ideals except now women are “simply reconstructing patriarchal norms by choice” (Butler…) where they are able have sex without shame and feel comfortable displaying their sexuality. For instance, in the beginning of the music video Perry has very little exposed skin and then later on displays her feminine sexuality as she emerges from the cave wearing a leopard bra and grass skirt. This display of feminine sexuality follows the theme of self-empowerment as Perry is declaring her strength as a woman and is taking back the power of choice through the presentation of her body and through the lyrics, “I’ve got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire” (McKee, Luke, and Martin). This post-feminist construct is effective because it appeals to both audiences of men and women – men because she is dressed in sexy feminine attire and women because she stands as a voice of power for them. Therefore, Katy Perry’s use of post-feminist ideals of women as sexual subjects induces confidence within her viewers and inspires female audiences to become more sexually assertive which, in…show more content…
Marjorie Jolles, an associate professor of Women and Gender Studies at Roosevelt University, explains in her article how the rules of fashion, seen implicitly in media culture, are the most effective way to self regulate because women are adhering to the accepted rules of self-presentation. She claims that “without diminishing the role of rules in maintaining respectable femininity” (Jolles 47), post-feminism’s regulations are achieved not only by following the rules but also by breaking the ideological norms of successful femininity as well. For example, in Katy’s music video Roar she plays into feminine stereo types: painting the elephant’s toenails pink; using food, a pomegranate, to wear as lipstick instead of eating it to survive; brushing the alligators teeth; and taking pictures of herself with the animals. This draws in female audiences who feel more comfortable valuing traditional expresses of femininity such as prioritizing family life or wearing pink. However, the rules of femininity are broken when Perry’s boyfriend is killed as she no longer depends on a man to provide for her and instead embraces the independence she has gained. Thus, the rules of fashion and the maintenance of successful femininity are meant for the weak or the unsuccessful; success, strength, and freedom are achieved through the divergence of these rules,

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