In a society where conglomerate media intake can skew one’s perceptions on what it means to be a woman, an alternative is necessary! Alternative media has the freedom to be different, not bound to the tried and true formula that is constantly repeated time and time again in conglomerate media because it has proven so effective. Alternative media is so important because it effects the conglomerate media coverage if it can be successful. Mimicking the alternative media, or simply covering it is what happens when an alternative media source has churned profit.
An artist I would like to focus on that embodies women’s alternative media is Clare Boucher, more commonly known for her stage name, Grimes. She is self aware in the fact that she has to label herself and construct her own image, and speaks openly about that. Like in bell hooks’ “making movie magic” reading Grimes understands that other artists take the “real” and manipulate it. (hooks 1) I find that very important in a society where the constructed image of the celebrity or musician is often taken as truth without question. Grimes isn’t a performer for the fame, but because she simply loves making her own music, writing her own songs and synthesizing her own beats.
|Claire Boucher as Grimes|
Her music is catchy and dreamlike, using the platform of pop music to deliver female-enpowering songs, reclaiming her body after a sexual assault is what the very popular Oblivion is all about from her album Visions. Her music video for the song Oblivion was her in a male dominated field of sports. She was not the one being sexualized, however, owning her own sexual power and being a respectable distance from the the topless men who disinterested her, as she completely enjoyed the experience of her own sound. watch oblivion here!
Her songs are of female empowerment, and not one of her videos have featured the traditional love story to date. Actually, the men in her videos are only props, the focus is on her. She is not subjecting herself to the male gaze either, she is having fun, she is intwined with what she is performing. She performs for her own standard, not for anyone else’s.
She is very articulate with her intentions as an artist, and demands to be taken seriously. Grimes is in charge of everything about her works: she is not a construct of a conglomerate. Her image is something she writes, produces, directs and performs. She has received offers for help in the darkest depths of the internet: Youtube comments. She questions if this is because she is a woman, because her male friends that are also emerging artists don’t have offers like this. Even compliments of being cute and skinny she doesn’t take kindly to. She searched the dictionary definition of “waif” and it meant “homeless and helpless esp. an abandoned child” ,“an abandoned pet animal” ,or “cute”. Because she is female, Grimes doesn’t feel the need to be validated on her appearance even if she is perceived to be conventionally attractive.
Grimes isn’t afraid to express her sexuality, wearing plastic rings shaped like an atomically correct vagina, as well as her hat that says “pussy” in her Genesis music video. The female passion and reproductive system beyond the superficial emphasis on breasts is something shunned by American media, further separating Grimes from artists created for the conglomerate.
|Grimes' plastic "pussy rings"|
Grimes is successful because she doesn’t force feed us what it means to be a woman, her intellectual standpoints and her secureness with the identification “feminist”as a young person encourages fans and viewers to think rather than consume, which is so important.
Introduction "Making Movie Magic" Reel to Real. bell hooks