How stereotypes we see and hear affects our lives in a very negative way

As a college student at Vanderbilt University, knowledge and access to information, videos, pictures, etc. are very easily accessible for us to acquire. We live in a society where everything we do, see, and hear is somehow broadcasted on a form of social media for the world to see. Songs we just heard on the radio are saved to our phones, and videos that our friends show us are immediately shared with more and more friends. Celebrities fill our lives more than the professors that teach us, and the coaches that coach us. The issue here is following the wrong role models as we are nearing adulthood. There is more talk about Nicki Minaj’s new song “Anaconda” then our economy, fighting in the middle east, or even crimes committed near our homes. Here is a verse from “Anaconda which really portrays some issues in our society.

This dude named Michael used to ride motorcycles
D!@# bigger than a tower, I ain’t talking about Eiffel’s
Real country ass n$%^‡, let me play with his rifle
P!@#$ put his ass to sleep, now he calling me NyQuil
Now that bang bang bang,
I let him hit it ’cause he slang Cocaine
He toss my salad like his name Romaine
And when we done, I make him buy me Balmain
I’m on some dumb shit

This verse shows many stereotypes in our society that are not true, especially those relating to sex and sexual pleasure. The first myth brought by this verse is the second line where it says,” dick bigger than a tower, I ain’t talking about Eiffel’s”. Nicki sings that a guy needs a big penis in order to satisfy her. She also portrays the view that her being satisfied means that she had an orgasm which is another stereotype that sex is only done correctly if the women and man both orgasm by the end of the sex period. Sex has turned into an act for pleasure and pleasure only. This is especially relevant on college campus’s where fewer and fewer people have long term relationships, instead they get rid of their sexual urges and desires by finding someone at the bar or on campus to have sex with. In the second to last line, Nicki makes a reference about making the man buy her something after they finished having sex. Another stereotype that promotes the idea that if a man buys a girl enough things, she will have sex with him. This idea of paying for sex is really no different than prostitution. Is Nicki showing women that they can be free and explore their own sexual desires or is she enhancing the already prevalent stereotypes associated with sex? She claims to be a strong feminist, that is equal rights for women and men, but is she showing this in a productive way?

An even bigger example of a social problem that is constantly being reinforced is the idea of “rape culture”. Many songs we listen to have lyrics that make things that are not ok, seem ok. An example of this would be Robin Thicke’s song blurred lines. My first impression of the song was that it had a catchy tune and was probably going to be a mainstream hit because of the beat and the delivery of each word. Listening more intuitively, and reading the lyrics I realized I couldn’t have been further from the truth and realized the song demonstrated a huge issue in our society. Here is the chorus of this song:

And that’s why I’m gon’ take a good girl
I know you want it
I know you want it
I know you want it
You’re a good girl
Can’t let it get past me
You’re far from plastic
Talk about getting blasted
I hate these blurred lines
I know you want it
I know you want it
I know you want it
But you’re a good girl
The way you grab me
Must wanna get nasty
Go ahead, get at me

The lyrics of this song continue to normalize ideas and actions that should not be in our society. The chorus essentially says that girls in general are born in a way that makes them crave having sex with as many guys as they can because its in their ” animal nature”. It shows that humans, male and female, have sexual urges that precede other things such as respect and values. These lyrics make it seem right for guys to almost attack girls with the idea that they will want to have sex with them, and if they don’t, there is something wrong with her. This song, and many other usually hip-hop songs, fuel the “rape culture” fire and normalize terrible, not normal things. Ive heard numerous radio stations play blurred lined in my hometown of weston, Florida and even here in Nashville. Children are listening to this music and singing it with their friends without really understanding what they are promoting. The songs continue to brainwash the youth.

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3 thoughts on “How stereotypes we see and hear affects our lives in a very negative way

  1. While I do agree that celebrities and music fill most of our lives, I believe that it is our choice of how we receive and process that information. People always say that rap music and hip hop poison the people that listen to it and make them become violent. No. That is your choice, music does not make you do or say anything; nonetheless, it can influence your beliefs.

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  2. I understand that Blurred Lines is considered to play into rape culture…but no one ever mentions the line “The way you grab me” in their analysis, and that drives me crazy. Why is she grabbing him? Maybe the girl really does want to have sex with him. I originally interpreted this song a little differently. I thought that the “blurred lines” were the lines of their relationship, are they just friends, or ready for more? I also think this song references a bit of BDSM, maybe calling her an animal is referencing her nonnormative sexual desires. The singer wants to “liberate” her, and allow her to express her sexuality how she wants to (though perhaps without the consentual contract “papers”). The singer says that her last guy was “too square”…and possibly not into the S&M practices the girl likes, because “He don’t smack that ass and pull your hair for you.” He seems to think she is a good girl with an S&M side that’s a little hidden. Maybe I’m reading a bit too much into this, but I’ve always thought of this song that way.

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  3. I got to say I thought Anaconda was more about drugs more so, like the drug dealer/ user lifestyle (or a glamourised version of it). But I get your point. Good post.

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