Thursday, February 16, 2012

Gender Ambiguity is Music and 'Hair Metal'

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In the image obsessed decade of the 80s the music had a ambiguity in gender relationships and image sometimes called gender bender.  With the rise of the counter culture and Rock and Roll bands like The Beatles and The Rolling Stones made boys having long hair acceptable in the 60s and in early 70s figures like David Bowie and Marc Bolan brought glam rock and boys wearing make up to the world.  In the 80s with the up rise of MTV giving an even bigger focus on the image with music videos with new genres like the New Romantics with acts such as Boy George who go a step further and closely resembles a female.  These gender boundaries were broken and massive arena rock bands like Queen dressed in drag for their ‘I want to break free’ video.  The genre that took advantage of this trend was glam metal or else wise called  hair metal due to the fixation with their self image with long wild hair, makeup and leather trousers.  This aesthetic fixation is primarily a women’s characteristic and contradicts the macho posturing of musicians with their phallic symbol of the guitar and the sexual objectification of women shown in the videos and the misogynist lyrics towards them.  Bands like Motley Crue, Twisted Sister and Bon Jovi (to some extent) were successful due to the rise of the music video and a new age of image orientated and style over substance which is why they were appealing to MTV and its audience members.

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